Is A Degree In ESL Worth It?

A recent poll asked whether English teachers should have a degree of some type. Approximately 64% of the respondents thought they should have a degree for teaching ESL: quite a high “yes” because, as always, there were some “don’t know” meanings that make the “no” camp very small.

Photographer: Michael D Beckwith | Source: Unsplash

I am generally in favor of teachers being first educated to degree level. This is not some arbitrary snobbery or elitism. Teaching requires a trained mind. A teacher has to be analytical, methodical, and able to reason. By following the first degree, a person is required to flex all these mental muscles. This is not to say that people without degrees do not have these abilities, but the degree is at least a tangible piece of evidence to show an employer.

Then a teacher needs to be mature. Dealing with students is not always easy and an immature person could be overwhelmed by the pressures. By setting a degree as the pre-training threshold for teachers, we also by default, ensure that the teacher is not too young.

Photographer: ThisisEngineering RAEng | Source: Unsplash

It is possible to train in teaching English in just four weeks. By requiring teachers to have a degree, we should be ensuring that the person has some intellectual foundation. Teachers need to be well informed to command respect. So, yes, on balance, I think that English teachers should be educated to a degree level.

But, I hear the opposition say, what about people who have all these qualities but never had the opportunity to study at a university? Well, I am happy to accept that there will be exceptions. If a person can demonstrate that his or her capabilities are equal to those of a person who has completed their higher education, then that’s fine by me. But let them remain exceptions. I don’t see why we should hesitate to set high standards for the profession as the general rule. After all, nearly all professions today require a degree, don’t they?

Note: This content was curated from a third party.

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Dr. D. M. Hardy

I have a M.Ed. in Instructional Technology, and an Ed.D. in Adult & Career Education. I enjoy spreading knowledge, because we all need to be life-long learners.