The 2007-2008 data collected by the Migration Policy Institute shows that the state had 5,377 ELLs registered in its public school programs, which is 5.7 percent of the general student population. This number shows an 18 percent decrease from 1997 figures, and means that North Dakota is one of the few states in the nation to experience a decrease in immigration. The top five non-English languages spoken in the state are Spanish, Serbo-Croatian, Mon-Khmer/Cambodian, and Japanese.
However, these figures do not represent the whole picture of the state’s cultural and linguistic diversity. According to the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission, 2010 Census data show that the Native American population is growing in North Dakota. The state has nearly 43,000 people total who are Native American or a combination of Native American with another ethnic group, including over 36,000 who identify as Native Americans (5.4 percent of the population). Nearly 20,000 live on reservations.
North Dakota’s TESOL Career Outlook
The University of North Dakota’s graduate education department summarizes the state’s current situation regarding staffing its ESL classrooms. North Dakota has a critical shortage of qualified ELL educators, particularly in its more remote and rural areas. In addition, as of 2013, EPSB issued a Critical Shortage Area Declaration marking nearly every subject and grade level a critical shortage area in North Dakota, except for general educators in elementary and physical education for all grades. These factors make North Dakota a promising option for TESOL teachers seeking work in K-12 classrooms. However, North Dakota teacher’s pay is among the lowest in the nation.
TESOL Job Openings
- The School Listings page on the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (DPI) site provides hyperlinks to the state’s schools and staff.
- Job Service North Dakota advertises jobs throughout the state. Candidates can create an online resume, browse openings, sign up for email notifications of new listings, and research local labor market trends.
- Dakota TESL maintains a page of Employment Opportunities that posts openings in ESL and related professions for North and South Dakota.
ESL Educator Resources in North Dakota
- Dakota TESL is South and North Dakota’s professional organization representing multicultural, bilingual, and ESL educators.
- DPI maintains an online guide to its English Language Learner Programs. It also publishes the Native American Education Web page, outlining cultural and linguistic support programs as well as department policies concerning native learners.
- The North Dakota University System maintains a website listing various scholarships, incentives, grants, and loans for residents, including the Teacher Shortage Loan Forgiveness Program.