Data compiled by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) shows that, as of the 2007-2008 school year, Kansas had 83,713 children of immigrant families, comprising 12.6 percent of the state’s under-18 general population. 34,630 of these children were categorized as ELLs in the Kansas public school system. This number shows a 128 percent increase from the prior decade. The top five languages spoken in Kansas, after English, are Spanish, Navajo, Zuni, German, and Vietnamese. These numbers indicate that the population of Kansas is diversifying, but the total ELL population may not be large enough to create a pressing need for many additional ESL educators in the school system.
ESL Teaching Career Prospects in Kansas
The U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education’s Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listing does not show Kansas as having a shortage of ESL educators for any of the school years since 1990-1991. In fact the only area that registers with a teacher shortage is special education. However, a 2011 article in The Wichita Eagle reported that many Kansas teachers are approaching retirement age and the state predicts a shortfall of educators in all disciplines in the western and southeastern parts of the state. These are the more rural sections of the state where the pay is not as high as it is in Wichita.
Employment Listings for Kansas TESOL Educators
- The Kansas Education Employment Board (KEEB) administers the Kansas Teaching Jobs Web page, featuring certified, classified, coaching, specialist, and support personnel jobs in education.
- KSDE maintains a list of charter schools with links to their Web pages.
Professional Resources in Kansas TESOL
- KATESOL/BE is Kansas Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and Bilingual Educators. The state branch of the international TESOL association hosts conferences, reviews books, maintains a digital ESOL library, and publishes links to policies, news, and resources concerning multicultural and ELL programming.
- The Kansas World Language Association provides professional development and promotes the teaching of world languages.
- Emporia State University’s William Allen White Library is a lending library containing materials for ESOL, bilingual, and foreign language educators. Educators can borrow books via an inter-library loan in the Kansas public library system, or if present at the library, they can obtain titles on the second floor.
- The Kansas Teacher Service Scholarship is a service obligation scholarship program offered through the Kansas Board of Regents. Educators commit to teaching in Kansas’ under-served geographical areas in exchange to financial support for teacher preparation and endorsement programs.