The future of TEFL / TESL in the U.S. – Advice for new teachers

What does this mean then for English language teaching? First, as already mentioned, it underscores the role of English as an international language for global communication. Secondly, it signals a change in the types of communication required in English. A large and increasing number of people, even if they never set foot in an “English-speaking country,” will be required to use English in highly sophisticated communication and collaboration with people around the world. They will need to be able to write persuasively, critically interpret and analyze information in English, and carry out complex negotiations and collaboration in English.

Apparently, the need for highly advanced communication skills in English is also shaping adult education in the United States. Recently, ESL surpassed Spanish as the main language taught at Berlitz (Rosen, 1999). The expensive Berlitz courses are not taken by immigrant workers, who are the main clientele of adult government-funded ESL programs in the US. Rather, the enrollees are foreign executives, managers, and scientists working in the US, who can communicate on a functional basis without problem, but now find that they need more sophisticated communication skills to carry out their work.

So what does this mean for TESL / TEFL teachers like myself. Well, one thing comes to mind – Business English. During the CELTA course, one of my fellow classmates had taught Business English in the middle east for quite some time and expressed that is solely where the money is. Post the course, I also heard from another TEFL teacher say that “B&B”  business and babies are the two top areas where the most demand is for teachers like myself.

What this means is the need for research and niche positioning is essential in the success of a future within this field. Pinpointing FIRST who is looking to learn English, where they live, what they do and WHY they are learning English will for sure be the key needed to unlock prosperity in this profession in the future. I find almost all of the best jobs overseas that offer housing, medical, reimbursements, vacation, etc. are either in Asia or the Middle East. Looking for a ESL gig back home (in the U.S.) will most likely lead you to Southern California, DMV, or NYC – bottom line. The Business English CELTA option or getting the DELTA through Cambridge are the best ways I can foresee widening your chances of getting a decent full time job in the states. I wouldn’t focus on children all the much because they will learn English through immersion which I’ve seen and witnessed to the point where the kids are teaching the parents.

Business English or Developing your theoretical skills are the 2 ways to find yourself in a better state within the field.

Have thoughts? Let me know… leave a comment below.


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