Why are TESOL Educators Important? Guest Blog by Erika Phyall, USC Rossier

Erika Phyall

Today’s Guest Blog is written by Erika Phyall who currently works in community relations for University of Southern California Rossier School of Education’s online master’s programs.

USC Rossier Online provides current and aspiring teachers the opportunity to earn an online teaching degree and a Masters in teaching. Outside of work Erika enjoys networking, DIY projects, and spending time with her two dogs.

Why are TESOL Educators Important?

Teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) instructors are needed all over the world, but particularly in South America, where a growing demand for English language skills is fueling the need for qualified TESOL teachers. That demand is fueled by many factors, including the rise of multinational business interests in South America and the growth of international tourism.

TESOL Settings in South America

TESOL educators in South America could be teaching in a number of different settings, from international schools for expatriates or in local English program courses for natives, through private companies or the public school system. Regardless, TESOL instruction will present similar challenges; even in international schools, for example, many students’ first language may not be English. Some TESOL students may have experience speaking English, allowing teachers to teach a more advanced curriculum, but much of the foundational study will cover conversational English and basic grammar.

If you are considering becoming a TESOL educator in South America, there are some important facts to take into account. The most popular countries for TESOL instructors in South America include Chile, Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil, and the school year typically lasts from February to December.

The best time to search for positions is a few weeks prior to the start of the new year, though TEFL- and TESOL-certified teachers should generally be able to find work year round.

The Impact of TESOL in South America

Many local economies benefit from the presence of TESOL teachers and the English language classes that they provide. TESOL educators have a great impact on the community they work in and change their own lives in the process of their work. With English being the widely regarded as the primary language of international business, teaching it to speakers of other languages is a means of enabling them to participate in the global economy, which holds the promise of professional success.

Amongst the benefits extended to TESOL educators themselves is the opportunity to pick up another language as well. Learning another language can be very valuable to a teacher’s career, opening further job prospects abroad and back home. Thus, many TESOL teachers elect to take Spanish classes or, if they are in Brazil, study Portuguese.

Becoming Certified to Teach TESOL in South America

Many certification programs exist to train TESOL teachers and prepare them for the adventure of teaching English as a foreign language. The best training is typically offered by graduate schools of education. A popular method of obtaining TESOL training without giving up existing career prospects or becoming tied to a particular locale is by enrolling in an online education program, such as USC Rossier Online, which offers a Master of Arts in Teaching with a specialization in TESOL.

TESOL certification classes are also available online, and TESOL seminars are frequently hosted in major cities. Many of the TESOL certification programs also offer job placement services after classes have been completed. The TESOL International Association is a great source of further information for teachers who are interested in learning more about the great opportunities that await TESOL educators not only in South America, but also around the world.


2013 TESOL Teacher of the Year
Credit: TESOL International Association

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About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He is the Coordinator of the English Department at Colegio Internacional SEK in Santiago, Chile. He is the Co-Founder and Co-Organiser of EdCamp Santiago 2012 & Edcamp Chile 2013, free, participant-driven, democratic, conversation based professional development for teachers, by teachers. EdCamp Santiago 2012 was held at Universidad Mayor in Santiago. Edcamp Chile 2013 was held at Universidad UCINF. Thomas is also a member of the Advisory Board for the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL), where he also serves as a reviewer and as the HETL Ambassador for Chile. Thomas enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. Thus far, he has written the following genres: romance, historical fiction, autobiographical, sports history/biography, and English Language Teaching. He has published a total of sixty one (61) books, all available on Amazon http://amzn.to/Qxmoec . The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family, his wife Gabriela, and his son, Thomas Jerome Baker, Jr.
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