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Chicago ESL

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Joined: 09 Jun 2003
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am    Post subject: Chicago ESL Reply with quote

Can anyone provide information on the ESL climate in Chicago?

Having earned my MA in TESOL, I've been spending the last several years doing adjunct, makeshift ESL work in California and Mexico, as well as doing some teacher training for people doing the CTESOL. At this point I thirst for a steadier and more predictable work schedule and am considering looking at community colleges and university ESL programs in the short term with an ultimate goal of becoming a credentialed public school teacher. My preliminary questions are:

1. What sort of instruction do ESL or LEP students receive in public (or private) elementary, middle, or high school? I can't find out much from the public school system websites, but I know there's a need for ESL instruction in Chgo as I lived there several years ago.

2. Any thoughts on whether masters work can be transferred toward the coursework required for a teaching credential? How long would it take to obtain the credential? (Hey, I know I'm looking for shortcuts in the researching--that's what forums are intended for, right?)

3. On a slightly different topic, how does the community college/IEP at universities scene look in terms of obtaining positions that offer the luxury of going to the doctor, knowing whether you'll have a job the following semester, financing a modest lifestyle, and so on?

I greatly appreciate any infomation on teaching in Chicago. Thanks in advance!
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Hap Thorton

Joined: 30 Jun 2003
Posts: 17
Location: U.S.A.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as transferring credits from a Master's program, you'll probably need to talk to the people in charge of whatever program you're thinking of going into. I've done a little research myself on this topic, and it seems like every state is different, and every program, too. It's hard to get straight answers, even from state depts of education. Try picking an education program and find someone there who can help you. It would probably help you a lot if you could get a copy of your Master's transcripts and get a brief summary of each of the courses you've taken. Hope this helps!
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Joined: 20 Mar 2003
Posts: 247
Location: shanghai

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 8:21 pm    Post subject: Question 3 Reply with quote

i can make a few general remarks concerning question #3. what i say here is based mostly on my experience at a single university, but ive heard from others that this situation isnt at all unique

most of the people who occupy these positions at 4 year universities are typically given 'lecture' status, meaning that they are hired semester to semester depending on the demand. they are offered little in the way of benefits and the salary is very low. even more discouraging (and typical of the situation)is that these positions often go to graduate students who are financed through TAships. English and linguistics departments need to make their new Phd's look good for when they enter the job market and providing them with different types of teaching experiences is one way in doing so. moreover, it costs the university little. however, there are usually a handful of people who are not professors who work in IEP that have only masters degrees. from what i understand, these people hang onto these positions for dear life because they are very difficult to come by, and in the future, probably will not go to people without Phds or at least a strong record of publications. as for the community college scene: increasingly they are hiring PhDs because the job market at 4 year institutions is so tight. several of the people in my program who recently finished Phds went to community and junior colleges because they didnt have a prayer in finding a job at a 4 year school. i initially intended on 'only' doing a master's in applied linguistics, but ive decided to stick around for the Phd so i have a better chance in securing dependable employment in the states when and if i choose so. however, i do go to a medicore school, so if you have an MA from an institution that carries a name, or if youve published some decent articles or can otherwise sell yourself, you should hook up somewhere, but maybe not chicago. the market is tight there with all the schools in the area that offer MAs and PHds in applied linguistics. I know that my university serves as a sort of feeder system into the community colleges in the area, and i'd bet chicago has a similar tacit arrangement. after all, it only takes a few people to get into a department and then, wham! - cronyism! good luck, and please post here if you find a job - i'd like to know how you did it b/c i'll be in your position before too long.
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