Like North Carolina, its neighbor to the south, Virginia has seen a major influx of immigrants settling in the state. Statistics from the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition indicate that nearly 90,000 ELLs were in Virginia’s K-12 public schools during the 2007-2008 school year, which is a 261 percent increase from the prior decade. Spanish is the most commonly spoken home language of non-English speaking households, followed by Korean, French, Vietnamese, and Chinese. These factors point to promising career prospects for ESL and bilingual educators in Virginia.
TESOL Career Outlook in Virginia
As of 2013, VDOE’s TeachVirginia website has identified several Critical Shortage Areas in the state, meaning that there is a shortage of qualified teachers to fill open positions or projected need. While ESL is not listed among these areas, some careers that include ESL and sheltered English instruction are listed, among them elementary education, middle education, career and technical education, foreign languages PreK-12, and English 6-12.
Virginia TESOL Job Leads
- TeachVirginia is the official recruitment arm of the VDOE. Candidates can browse job openings, learn about paths to licensure, research tuition assistance opportunities, and find out about current initiatives and educators incentives. The site also maintains a calendar of Virginia Job Fairs.
- Virginia Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (VATESOL) maintains a Professional Opportunities Web page that contains information about ESL and bilingual education jobs, grants, and professional development courses.
TESOL Teacher Resources in Virginia
- VATESOL is Virginia’s state affiliate of the International TESOL organization of pre-professionals and professionals in ESL and bilingual education careers.
- VDOE maintains an English as a Second Language Web page regarding its policies and programs for Virginia ELLs. It also contains a list of professional organizations and parent resources pertaining to ESL education.
- The Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center, a project of Virginia Commonwealth University, provides training programs for ESL and general educators working in adult education and adult literacy.