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The guide to Louisiana assembled by the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition shows that Louisiana does not have the immigrant population nor rate of growth in immigrant population of many of the other southern states. In fact, only 12,500 students were classified as ELLs in the 2007-2008 academic year, showing an 80 percent increase from the previous decade. The most common non-English home language in Louisiana is Spanish, followed by French, Vietnamese, Arabic, and Chinese.
Louisiana’s ESL Teaching Career Outlook
There is a great variety of options available to ESL educators in Louisiana. The majority of job openings in public school classrooms are in New Orleans, where extensive internship programs, accelerated on-the-job training, mentored teaching opportunities, and incentive programs are mostly found. These are urban classrooms with diverse learners, opening up options in TESOL work.
That said, information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that Louisiana scores below average nationally in its hiring of literacy educators, the category which includes ESL teachers. In addition, Louisiana scores below average compared with the need for services in the state. The annual mean wage of a literacy educator is $42,940, which is slightly above the national average of $40,600. The regions hiring the most educators in this field are New Orleans, Metairie, Kenner, and Baton Rouge. There is also some employment activity in Lafayette, Natchitoches, and Winsboro. In general, urban educators will probably have the most success in pursuing TESOL careers in Louisiana.
Louisiana Education Job Boards
- Teach Louisiana is the first stop for exploring options in the state’s K-12 public schools. Its Talent Recruitment System allows candidates to browse openings. The site also advertises job fairs and provides resources for certification and preparation to work for LDE.
- teachNOLA, also known as the TNTP Teaching Fellows, places qualified educators in the state’s high-need urban schools, many of which have large numbers of ELLs.
Key ESL Teaching Job Resources in Louisiana
- LaTESOL or Louisiana Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, represents bilingual, multicultural, ESL, and EFL educators as the state’s affiliate of the international TESOL association.
- The Louisiana Foreign Language Teachers’ Association hosts an annual conference, as well as networking events and professional development opportunities.
- The Lindy Boggs National Center for Community Literacy, housed at Loyola University in New Orleans, trains teachers and supports Louisiana’s community program literacy workers with professional development, advocacy, and technical assistance.
- The Louisiana Language Access Coalition (LLAC) advocates on behalf of the state’s immigrants, refugees, and population with limited English proficiency.