ESL Teachers – Global demand still increasing

150 years ago 60% of the world at that time was either directly ruled by the UK or was under the direct influence of what developed into the British Empire.

ESL Teacher

The UK’s political and economic influence has receded rapidly especially since the end of the Second World War but Britain has left one last influence that not only remains but increases in importance as the world becomes a smaller place. It is our language.

English has been dispersed worldwide, making it the primary language for international trade. This language is used as the official language of the European Union, other countries and also in various world organisations. It is the third most natively spoken around the globe. Recent studies stated that approximately 500 million individuals speak English as their first language. The countries that have the highest native speaker population around the world are: The United Kingdom, United States, Nigeria, Australia, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa but within Europe it is estimated that 37% of the population have followed English as their second language and this will increase over time.

India is known to have the largest global ESL (English as a Second Language) rate. This country has the largest population worldwide, which speaks English as a second language. The English language historical home is England, where it has a regional language difference such as grammar, accent, pronunciation and vocabulary. The United States education laws require their schools to provide to their students, who are not native English speakers, with ESL instructions. We estimate that of all the ESL teachers worldwide a minimum of 60% come from North America.

Today, and into the future ESL jobs are truly global with opportunities taking in the BRIC countries and in particular the Middle East which is investing spectacularly in the education of its people. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leading the way and currently demand is outstripping supply occasioning a few headaches for suppliers such as ourselves.

Part of the issue is that the profession is developing its own language of very irritating acronyms that do not travel well over international borders and need to be deciphered by all concerned.TEFL also known as teaching English as a foreign language is a term which refers to teaching English to people who have a different primary language. TEFL is usually found in the individual’s home country. TEFL works within the individual’s public or private school system or with a tutor in a language school. The TEFL teachers are known to be non-native and native speakers. Similarly you have qualifications such as CELTA or DELTA and also TEOFL which are broadly the same thing with CELTA being the most commonly recognised. But then you have PGCE (post graduate certificate of education) recognised by some employers and from the UK City and Guilds which tends not to be recognised globally.

It is a bit of a minefield but interest in, and demand for ESL Teaching, in Saudi Arabia has increased sharply in the last 12 months. Historically it was 90% males 10% females but it is now roughly 50/50 following the opening of the all women Princess Noura University in 2011 coupled with the decision to lower the teaching age at which English was introduced into state schools by 2 years.

 


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