Academic success is one of the strongest predictors of life outcomes. Unfortunately, many children lag behind in school due to reasons beyond their control. This is especially true for children who have recently immigrated to America from non-English speaking countries. These children typically come from households with little to no money, often experience culture shock and find formal schooling to be frightening. However, the biggest obstacle faced by these children is learning a new language.
Children who enter the American public school system without sufficient command of the English language are placed in what are known as English as a second language courses (ESL). In these courses students are taught normal course work by a bilingual instructor, while simultaneously increasing their English skills. The hope is that over the course of several years, these children will be integrated into normal classroom environments. Thus ESL is a critical part of the American education system. If these children do not keep pace with their monolingual counterparts then they will be woefully behind when they are integrated.
If you would like to pursue a career as an ESL instructor then you must first obtain a teaching degree that emphasizes ESL. These degrees are typically obtained through universities and colleges. As teaching is one of the most popular careers today, most institutions offer teaching degrees. Course work typically involves a large amount of lectures and a semester or two of student teaching assignment. Although this is the traditional route, it is not the only option. If you prefer a little more flexibility in your school schedule, or are unable to find a college in your area, an online program is more appropriate for you. Online programs offer the same level of education as traditional routes but allow students to view course material on their own schedule.