Educators who are interested in taking their career to the next level should consider getting a PhD in English as a Second Language (ESL).
While the business side of English as a second language is growing exponentially, the wheels of academia move very slowly. Higher education has started to respond to the demand for advanced degrees in ESL, but the number of programs available is not as many as you might think. Still, it is quite possible to get a PhD in English as a second language if you know which schools to choose and how to plan your course work when you get there.
One of the aspects of getting an advanced degree in ESL is confusing. There is no consistency across schools regarding which departments one would enroll in to get such a degree.
This lack of standardization can cause considerable confusion when you set out to find a reputable program.
The following is a partial list of institutions where you can get a PhD in ESL, or in a field that is closely related, such as Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL):
While ESL has become a fast growing force in the field of education, the amount of universities that offer advanced degrees in ESL is not proportionate. However, new programs are popping up each year as schools seek to meet the demands of a changing population. In time, the field of ESL studies will likely continue to standardize and will find a permanent home in English, Education, or Linguistics. Until then, contact the schools you are interested in, and see what kind of plan they have in place to get you to the upper echelon of ESL instruction.