The data collected by the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA) shows some surprising trends in South Carolina, as well as for many other states in the region. While the 2007-2008 school year showed only 28,500 students classified as ELLs in the state’s public schools, this number marked an 828 percent increase from the following decade. In essence, new waves of immigrants have been attracted to the region and establishing areas of concentration. If these patterns continue, the public school system will have increased language diversity as well as need for programming to support English language learning. The five most common home languages in South Carolina, after English, are Spanish, French, Chinese, Russian, and German.
South Carolina’s TESOL Career Prospects
The Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listing, assembled by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education, does not show ESL as an area of critical need in South Carolina. However, the listings have included English, Language Arts, and Foreign Languages as critical teaching shortage areas for several school years. SCDE’s South Carolina TAP Web page adds some perspective, indicating that South Carolina in 2013 expected to see a shortage of 40,000 qualified educators in its K-12 classrooms. In general, ESL educators may have relatively little trouble finding classroom teaching positions.
South Carolina TESOL Job Boards
- Cerra is the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement, a website featuring a job bank, advertisements for job fairs throughout the state, certification options, current incentives for educators, and professional development and leadership opportunities.
- South Carolina’s Information Highway allows people to search for classroom teacher openings by public school district.
South Carolina TESOL Teacher Resources
- Carolina Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, or Carolina TESOL, advocates on behalf of ESL, EFL, and bilingual educators in the state and beyond.
- SCDE’s Title III – English to Speakers of Other Languages Web page gives an overview of state public programming and various research and resources available to ELLs and educators.
- Education and advocacy are the missions of the South Carolina Foreign Language Teachers’ Association.