Teaching English or French
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Teaching English or French Overview

Teaching a second language to a student can be a great way to open up their eyes to new experiences and perspectives. French and English as a second language are two fields with high demand. French teachers work in primary and secondary classrooms with students who may or may not be familiar with the language. ESL teachers have the important job of teaching students who are not native speakers of English.

Students in America who do not speak English are truly at a disadvantage. You can help students assimilate and adapt to the culture and language so that they have the necessary skills to succeed in school and in life. You will directly impact your students immediately as English is needed in every aspect of life in the U.S. You may work with students as young as Kindergarteners to adult learners.

Courses you will be required to take will include course in French or English as well as teaching courses such as literacy, contemporary issues, and educational psychology and also courses about other cultures.

Required Skills

If you are interested in other languages and cultures and like to figure out how to effectively communicate with other people, this major is for you. You should have an open mind and be willing to learn from your students in order to help them succeed and develop.

Just like any other teacher, you should be creative, patient, and organized. These three traits will allow you to be effective and to be ready to teach. Just because you know the language doesn't mean that you'll be a good teacher. Students should work hard at improving their teaching skills and learn different instructional practices. This will allow you to connect with more students and different kinds of learners.

You should have a strong background in working with students either as a camp counselor or a coach or a tutor and you should also have strong content knowledge of French or English. You will also need to spend a semester teaching in a classroom.


Majoring in English or French Education will allow you to become an English or French as a Second Language Teacher. You will work with smaller size classrooms and be a main support system for students who do not know the language. You will work with other teachers to try to help catch the student up to his peers. This is a job that will be in high demand as more students come to school from families who do not speak English.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Teaching English or French might open up.

Adult Basic and Secondary Education and Literacy Teachers and Instructors
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education
Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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