The large and diverse city of Chicago creates a promising job market for ESL, bilingual, and sheltered English educators in Illinois. In addition to ESL teaching opportunities in K-12 public and charter schools, Illinois has an extensive community college system, literacy programs, and adult education providers offering career opportunities in TESOL.
ESL Teaching Career Prospects in Illinois
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012, Illinois hires more literacy teachers than most of the other states in the United States, but still needs more to meet the need for services.
Bilingual education is another growing field in Illinois. Like other states with large immigrant populations, Illinois (and in particular Chicago) has bilingual dual-immersion programs in Spanish as well as other languages. If you are fluent in both Spanish and English, your teaching options are far more open. According to the article “Bilingual teachers in demand under new state law,” published in CitizenAccess in 2011, Illinois has policies in place that promote the development of more bilingual programming and services to students.
Finding an ESL Educator Job in Illinois
- Chicago Public Schools hire the most teachers, so it makes sense to find a job listings webpage, HR4U, dedicated to teaching, instructional assistance, and administrative jobs in Chicago K-12 schools. Applicants can sort openings by type of teacher. Candidates may apply online to get their resume and credentials on file, or they can browse current openings by region.
- The Illinois Education Job Bank operates a state-wide search page where applicants can search for jobs in early childhood education, K-12, and related areas.
- Illinois Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages – Bilingual Education (ITBE) maintains a Job Bank for job seekers as well as employers.
Illinois Professional Resources for ESL Educators
- ITBE focuses on advocacy, dissemination of information, and hosting conferences and other professional gatherings.
- The Illinois Association of Teachers of English (IATE) is a relatively small organization with chapters throughout the state. The group organizes an annual conference and has forums for educators to exchange strategies, tips, new research, and professional development opportunities.
- The Adult Learning Resource Center (ALRC), in Arlington Heights, trains family and adult educators in ESL, reading, civics, citizenship, and technology.