Data collected by the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition in 2007-2008 indicate that Washington, D.C. had over 5,000 students categorized as ELLs in its K-12 schools, a 1.8 percent increase from the prior decade and a 6.6 percent share of the overall D.C. student population. Among the most common home languages in D.C., after English, are Spanish, Bengali, African languages, Chinese, and French.
Career Outlook for Washington, D.C. ESL Educators
The U.S by the Department of Education has designated several Teacher Shortage Areas in the District of Columbia. Since 2004, English as a Second Language has been included on the list, for every year and every grade level. In addition, as of 2013-2014, the ancillary subject areas of English, Bilingual Education, Elementary Education, English Language Arts, Reading, Foreign Languages, and Early Childhood Education also have earned spots on the critical shortage list. In general, TESOL educators should easily secure work in their field in D.C.
Finding an ESL Teaching Job in Washington, D.C.
- The Join DC Public Schools (DCPS) website allows qualified educators to submit online applications.
- Members of WATESOL can subscribe to the organization’s JobBank e-List and receive several updates per month that have listings by employers in the fields of ESL and bilingual education.
Washington, D.C.’s Professional Groups and Resources for TESOL
- WATESOL is D.C.’s affiliate of the international Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages organization, consisting of multicultural, dual-immersion, ESL, EFL, and bilingual professionals.
- The Refugee Experience Series is a grassroots organization advocating for the rights of displaced people. The D.C.-based collective sponsors a book club, events, and speakers.
- GWATFL, or the Greater Washington Association of Teachers of Foreign Languages, advocates on behalf of multicultural and bilingual programming and educators in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.