The data collected by the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA) states that, during the 2007-2008 school year, South Dakota had 4,200 of its K-12 students in ESL programs. This number represent a 45 percent decrease from the prior decade, making South Dakota one of the few states to show a downward trend in immigration.
However, it is interesting to note that, according to a report in the Rapid City Journal, the state’s Native American population grew by 15 percent over this same period of time. This uptick in native population was due to two factors, a high birth rate and an increase in the amount of people who moved back to their homes on reservations. In 2010, the Census Bureau reported 71,817 Native Americans living in the state. The five most common home languages in South Dakota, after English, are German, Arabic, Russian, and Chinese.
South Dakota’s TESOL Career Outlook
The Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listing, published by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education, reports that, since 2008, South Dakota has had a shortage of qualified English as a New Language educators in all grade levels for every academic year. The related curricular areas of Language Arts and World Languages are also reported as having shortages. Overall, teachers willing to follow the jobs will be able to find general education or TESOL openings in the state.
TESOL Job Openings
Dakota TESL has an Employment Opportunities Web page listing ESL jobs and related literacy work in North and South Dakota.
The Associated School Board of South Dakota operates a Teacher Placement center that matches qualified educators with positions at South Dakota schools.
South Dakota TESOL Teacher Resources
- Dakota Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, or Dakota TESOL, represents North and South Dakota’s bilingual, ESL, and multicultural educators.
- The Rural Student Teaching Project is an initiative of Northern State University. Participating student teachers receive online mentoring, ongoing training, and a stipend while working at a local school in a rural South Dakota community.
- The South Dakota Office for Indian Education supports the Indian Education Advisory Council in advocating for policies and programs supporting the state’s Native American students.