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In 2007, the Migration Policy Institute found that Vermont had more than 6,300 children living in immigrant families. However, only 1,741 of these children were categorized as ESL students in the Vermont public school system, meaning that they make up only 1.9 percent of the overall student population. This is a dramatic difference from New York, Vermont’s neighbor to the west, which has 213,000 ELLs in its school system. However, Vermont’s immigrant population is growing at a rapid clip, at a rate of 114 percent since the prior decade. The state’s most common home languages after English are French, Spanish, Chinese, Swedish, and Turkish.
Vermont’s ESL Teaching Outlook
The U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education gathers information from every state every year to form its Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listing. It shows that Vermont has had a shortage of trained educators in the field of English as a Second Language every year since 2004. The Vermont Education Job’s guide to High Need Areas corroborates this information, singling out English as a Second Language as one of the primary shortage areas in the state. It also mentions bilingual education as an area needing qualified educators. The loosely related areas of educational technology specialist, library media specialist, modern languages, and classical languages also appear on the shortage list. However, prospective TESOL educators will need to locate more diverse school districts in order to find openings. With so few ELLs in the school system, it is best for job-hunters to start with the relatively large, more diverse Burlington School District.
Vermont Teacher Job Boards
- The VAE advertises openings in its K-12 public schools through the Vermont Education Jobs website. Search for openings by region category, grade level, and job type.
- Although primarily a resource for New Hampshire residents, the TeachNorth site also represents one Vermont supervisory unit, listing openings in the more rural parts of the state.
TESOL Teacher Resources in Vermont
- Vermont, as well as New Hampshire and Maine, is represented by the Northern New England Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (NNETESOL).
- The TESOL at SIT Graduate Institute blog contains posts about program offerings and professional and academic opportunities in international and domestic ELL and bilingual education.
- The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation has information about Teacher Loan Forgiveness, a financial incentive for full-time teachers working at least five consecutive years in the state’s low-income public schools.
- The Vermont Foreign Language Association (VFLA) promotes study and quality training in foreign languages.