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English Language Teaching as a Second Career

English Language Teaching as a Second Career

Dr. Sarah J. Shin



This book explores the experiences of men and women who train to teach ESL as a second career. Drawing from in-depth interviews and observations of 30 students (aged 45 to 73) in a TESOL graduate program, this book provides portraits of these individuals as they develop as teachers. It describes the processes they go through to launch their teaching careers, the successes and challenges they face, and the evolving significance of their work in their overall life goals and achievements. A welcome addition to the growing literature on teacher development, this book will be an important resource for teacher trainers and anyone working in TESOL.

Sarah Shin makes a compelling case for the demographic changes in education and the accompanying challenges and opportunities for training a new breed of ESL teachers who bring profound real world experiences to their classrooms. A 'must-read' for teacher trainers and for baby boomers contemplating how the next chapter in their life story will be written!

G. Richard Tucker, Carnegie Mellon University, USA

Sarah Shin shines a welcome light on a vital, and largely hidden, area in the preparation of English language teachers – those who begin their TESOL training as they move towards retirement from other careers in varied professional areas. After building an immensely convincing case about the pressing need for well-trained K-12 English language teachers in diverse, pluricultural English-medium contexts such as the USA, she uses an ethnographic approach to uncover the experiences of retraining, and the skills and talents this group brings to the ELT profession. Her account makes for fascinating reading, and will be welcomed not only by those working in the ELT field, but also by a wider general audience interested in entering this field.

Anne Burns, University of New South Wales, Australia

Sarah J. Shin is Professor of Education at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, USA. She is an expert in bilingualism, heritage language education and TESOL teacher training, and the author of Bilingualism in Schools and Society (Routledge) and Developing in Two Languages (Multilingual Matters).

Although many ESL teachers now enter the field with extraordinary experiences and knowledge in other professional areas, this is the first book to address second career teachers. With a foundation in research in teacher education and human development, this volume offers readers new information and interesting and helpful reports that will inform career path development.

Liz England, Shenandoah University, USA

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Contents vii
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction 1
1 Wanted: Well-Trained ESL Teachers 6
2 Adulthood II 26
3 Cognitive and Social Benefits of Teaching ESL 48
4 The Role of Prior Work Experiences in Choosing TESOL 67
5 Constructing a New Professional Identity 91
6 Learning to Teach 110
7 Launching a Career in TESOL 130
8 A Vision for Lifelong Learning 150
References 167
Author Index 180
Subject Index 185