The Future of ESL Employment
Admin - Dec 22 2015
English is now the global language of business and the dominant language used in the Internet. There is now very little doubt that people in the future will work and communicate ideas in English. Given this certainty, the demand for ESL educators will not only spike up but will also be increasingly characterized by the use of different learning technologies. As this ESL employment scenario unfolds, the market for ESL resources will bustle with activity and fueled by spurts in the development of new and better teaching environments and methodologies.
Dominance of English in Global Communication
A survey of teachers in more than 110 countries shows that 66% of teachers around the world believe that English will grow in importance as a global language, with around 80% thinking that the number of students will also rise accordingly. As often published since a few years ago in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and other similar publications, the business community has already accepted the ascendancy of English as the lingua franca for global commerce, trade and finance. Meanwhile, scientific journals, computer programs and other technical fields also see a growing monopoly of English as their sole foundational language. In addition, even the production of literary and creative works is significantly being influenced by the increasing use of English even among non-native English speaking authors and the seeming bias of international publishing houses toward the English language. This has a clear ripple effect especially in the realm of entertainment, wherein English has already come to dominate the television, cinematic, and popular music arenas. One research puts it bluntly: if you want to reach an international audience, communicate in English. This mantra goes for businessmen, scientists, researchers and literary as well as pop artists.
Implications for ESL Practitioners
With the ascendancy of English as the world’s premiere language all but secure, the need for ESL professionals who will teach its linguistic fundamentals such as vocabulary and grammar will only increase. This is already evident in the rising demand for ESL schools, teachers, and resources not only in the US, Australia and other native English speaking countries but more so in non-native English locations such as China, Japan, South Korea and Europe.
Whether the ESL community is ready or not, the world’s demand for English language learning is already on a steep northward trajectory. Today, this is significantly met by non-traditional and informal second language learning such as self-initiated learning through available ESL resources such as books and hundreds of online sites and services. In addition, the globalization of the workplace has compelled many employees to learn English on their own as they heroically engage, read, or compose emails, sales letters and other communication materials to an increasingly international market.
However, nontraditional and informal learning channels for English language training are grossly inadequate, driving people, schools, companies, organizations and even governments to take decisive steps toward the acquisition or establishment of more formal and results-driven education platforms for ESL or EFL. Through initiatives in the public sector, for example, English has become an integral component in the scholastic curriculum for the primary grades in many non-native English-speaking countries such as China and South Korea. Meanwhile, multinational organizations have also partnered with ESL or EFL institutions to help their increasingly cross-cultural workforce develop and enhance its English communication skills.
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