Having a command of the English language is a valuable asset. Trumped only by Chinese as the most spoken language globally, there is a high demand for English language instruction throughout the world. Students may pursue a bachelor’s degree in English language learning in order to teach non-native speakers reading, writing, and basic liberal studies in the English language. A typical bachelor’s degree program in this subject will arm students with the skills needed to teach in an array of settings, including those specifically targeted toward an adult audience like corporate offices and multilingual classrooms.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree?
Although you may be able to teach English with just a certificate, most agencies employing English language teachers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Digging deeper than rote memorization, the curriculum is designed to train students in techniques for language acquisition. Gaining a bachelor’s degree may also inspire students to pursue continued education through a master’s degree program in English language learning. While master’s degree programs in English language learning don’t necessarily require students to have a completed bachelor’s degree in a related study, it can be a helpful backbone in advancing in the field.
Getting Into a Bachelor’s Degree Program
The admissions requirements for English language learning bachelor’s degree programs vary from school-to-school. However, most programs list the following prerequisites:
- Students must speak fluent English.
- High school diploma or its equivalent.
- Desired SAT or equivalent placement test score.
Inside a English Language Learning Bachelor’s Degree Program
The strategies used to teach English to adults in an English language learning bachelor’s degree program vary from those used in teaching English as a second language to children. Even the English language learning activities adults participate in greatly deviate from the activities introduced to small children. English is taught to accommodate the adult learner’s lifestyle, taking into account cultural differences, cognitive development within adults, and assessments best suited for adult learners.
Students may take a course that highlights linguistic theory and syntax, a course on oral comprehension of the English language, or a course on how different racial groups respond to English instruction. Students will also be equipped to teach learning English second language adults how to comprehend, speak, read, and write in English.
Most bachelor’s degree programs in English language learning take four years to complete. Some online degree programs may offer shorter degree paths, as they are often self-paced, but the curriculum is the same as those offered by brick- and-mortar schools. Students obtaining their bachelor’s degree in English language learning online work remotely, participating in online discussions utilizing web-based platforms such as Blackboard when needed. They may also watch video lectures and are responsible for taking exams electronically.
What’s Next for English Language Learning Bachelor’s Degree Holders?
Upon graduation, degree holders can teach English in a wide variety of settings. Some may teach English as a second language to children in schools. Others may teach adult literacy and general education development to adults, both of which typically require a teaching certification. Additionally, English language learning teachers have many opportunities to teach English abroad, an attractive option for those who enjoy traveling. Although salaries differ, GED and adult literacy teachers made an annual median salary of $46,530 in 2010, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Degree holders may also consider advancing their career opportunities and skillset by continuing their education. Master’s degree programs in English language learning delve deeper into the curriculum explored in bachelor’s degree programs. Obtaining a master’s degree would give students a competitive advantage in the workforce, improving upon their credentials. Earning a master’s degree in English language learning may make you a better candidate for teaching English in a corporate setting, educating foreign professionals who wish to learn English for better communication across international businesses.