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While Oregon cannot compare in diversity to California, its neighbor to the south, it has an impressive immigrant population compared to other states with similar population sizes. According to data compiled by the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA), Oregon public schools had over 65,000 ELL students in the 2007-2008 academic year. This number represents a 112 percent increase from the prior decade. Most Oregon ELLs have a home language of Spanish, followed by Russian, Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese.
Oregon’s Prospects for ESL Teachers
The Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listing, compiled by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education, indicates that Oregon has reported a shortage of qualified Bilingual/English Language Learner educators for every academic year since 2007. Concordia University’s Professional Developmental Center confirms this information, adding that the federal government offers loan forgiveness and financial assistance programs for students pursuing ESL licensure. This comes in light of reports in 2012 that ODE is intent on revamping all its services to limited English proficient (LEP) students. These factors may make it likely that a qualified ESL teacher could locate work in Oregon’s public school system, particularly in districts with higher numbers of immigrants such as Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, David Douglas, North Clackamas, Reynolds, Tigard-Tualatin, Gresham-Barlow, Centennial, and Forest Grove.
Oregon TESOL Job Boards
- ODE’s Human Resources Department maintains a Jobs page. Educators can also subscribe to Ode_job_opportunities, a mailing list for openings.
- Browse the Career Opportunities Web page on the Oregon.gov website for statewide employment opportunities. You can refine your search results by selecting a job title, location, or department. The site’s Jobs in Education page allows you to search by school site.
- Portland Public Schools (PPS), the state’s largest school district, has its own Human Resources Department with a Job Listings Web page.
Oregon TESOL Teacher Resources
- ORTESOL, Oregon Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, publishes information and resources as well as organizing conferences relevant to bilingual and ESL educators. It’s the Oregon branch of the international TESOL association.
- Advocacy and networking are the focus areas of the Oregon Association for Bilingual Education (OABE).
- Portland ESL Network maintains a list of Portland’s ESL classes, as well as select listings in Gresham, Washington County, Clark County, and others.
- The Portland Literacy Council organizes programs in adult literacy and provides workshops and professional development for literacy volunteers.