ESL Instructor Job Description [Updated for 2024]

esl instructor job description

In the global era, the demand for ESL instructors has never been greater.

As the world becomes more interconnected, the need for skilled educators who can teach, inspire, and navigate the complexities of English as a Second Language (ESL) grows.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s truly expected from an ESL instructor?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to decode the essence of this role,
  • A hiring manager seeking the ideal candidate,
  • Or simply intrigued by the intricacies of ESL instruction,

You’re in the right place.

Today, we present a customizable ESL instructor job description template, crafted for effortless posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right into it.

ESL Instructor Duties and Responsibilities

ESL Instructors teach English to students whose first language is not English.

They use various teaching methods to enhance students’ language skills and cultural understanding.

ESL Instructors have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Assess student’s proficiency level in English
  • Plan, prepare, and deliver lessons catering to the needs of individual students
  • Teach different language skills, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening
  • Utilize various teaching resources and strategies to facilitate student learning
  • Create a positive, engaging, and supportive learning environment
  • Provide feedback to students and conduct periodic assessments to measure progress
  • Communicate with parents or guardians about student progress
  • Participate in professional development and stay updated on current teaching methodologies
  • Develop and implement interactive activities to enhance classroom learning
  • Manage classroom behavior and ensure students respect the rules of the classroom
  • Assist students in understanding the cultural aspects of English-speaking countries


ESL Instructor Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a skilled and experienced ESL Instructor to join our team.

The ideal candidate will be passionate about teaching, patient, and able to create a supportive and engaging learning environment.

As an ESL Instructor, your responsibility will be to deliver lessons that enable non-native English speakers to become proficient in English.



  • Plan, prepare, and deliver lessons to improve students’ reading, writing, and speaking skills.
  • Develop and use suitable supplementary materials as necessary.
  • Conduct placement tests to assess student language ability.
  • Provide feedback to students on their progress and assist them in overcoming learning obstacles.
  • Prepare classroom and coursework materials, homework assignments, and handouts.
  • Participate in ESL curriculum development and school events.
  • Perform administrative tasks such as keeping student attendance and grades.
  • Stay updated with the latest teaching trends and methodologies.



  • Previous experience as an ESL Instructor or similar role.
  • A recognized teaching qualification (TESOL, TEFL, or equivalent).
  • Excellent command of the English language.
  • Great communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong understanding of teaching methods and educational procedures.
  • Ability to adapt teaching methods to different student levels and needs.
  • Working knowledge of MS Office.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Education, Linguistics, or relevant field preferred.



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities


Additional Information

  • Job Title: ESL Instructor
  • Work Environment: This role is typically based in a classroom setting. Some evening or weekend work may be required for extracurricular activities or parent-teacher meetings.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Head of the Language Department or School Principal.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $45,000 minimum to $65,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does an ESL Instructor Do?

ESL (English as a Second Language) Instructors are specialized educators who teach English to students whose primary language is not English.

They work in a variety of settings, such as public and private schools, language institutes, and through private tutoring sessions.

Some ESL Instructors also provide online lessons to students around the world.

ESL Instructors are responsible for designing and implementing lesson plans that focus on improving a student’s competency in English.

This includes teaching grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, written and oral comprehension, and reading skills.

They use a variety of teaching methods to cater to different learning styles, including interactive activities, games, and real-life scenarios to make learning English as engaging as possible.

ESL Instructors also assess students’ progress through quizzes, tests, and one-on-one evaluations.

They provide feedback and guidance to students to help them improve their English language skills.

Apart from language teaching, ESL Instructors often also play a role in helping students understand and acclimatize to new cultures, particularly when teaching abroad.


ESL Instructor Qualifications and Skills

An effective ESL Instructor should have the skills and qualifications that align with your job description, such as:

  • Proficiency in English language, both written and oral, to effectively teach non-native speakers
  • Understanding of various teaching methods and the ability to adapt them according to the students’ individual needs
  • Strong communication skills to clearly explain complex language rules and concepts
  • Interpersonal skills to connect with students from diverse cultural backgrounds, build rapport and facilitate a positive learning environment
  • Patience and empathy to understand the challenges faced by students in learning a new language and to provide appropriate support
  • Creativity to develop engaging lesson plans and learning activities that can make the learning process interesting and interactive for students
  • Problem-solving skills to effectively address any challenges or issues that may arise in the classroom
  • Organizational skills to manage classes, prepare lessons, and track student progress efficiently


ESL Instructor Experience Requirements

ESL instructors typically require a bachelor’s degree in English, Linguistics, Education or a related field.

Some employers may also require a master’s degree or a specific certification, such as the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) or Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification.

Entry-level candidates may have 1 to 2 years of experience, often gained through student teaching, volunteering or part-time roles in education or tutoring.

These professionals can also gain on-the-job experience in roles such as English Tutor, Reading Specialist, or Language Coach.

Candidates with more than 3 years of experience usually have developed their teaching skills and knowledge in beginner-level ESL Instructor roles.

They may have experience teaching a diverse group of students, including children, adults, and immigrants.

Those with more than 5 years of experience may have leadership experience in their background, such as coordinating language programs or supervising a team of educators.

They may be ready for a managerial or curriculum development role.

In addition to teaching experience, an ESL Instructor should have a strong understanding of grammar, pronunciation, and sentence structure in both English and at least one other language.

They should also have experience with different teaching methods and be able to adapt their teaching style to suit a range of students with different learning needs and cultural backgrounds.


ESL Instructor Education and Training Requirements

An ESL (English as a Second Language) Instructor typically requires a bachelor’s degree in English, education, linguistics, or a related field.

In addition to having a firm grasp on the English language, understanding the mechanics of reading, writing, speaking, and listening are key.

Therefore, coursework in these areas is highly beneficial.

Many positions also require a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification.

These certification programs provide specialized training on the teaching methodologies, language pedagogy, and cultural sensitivity necessary for teaching English to non-native speakers.

Certain roles, especially those at the college level or in more specialized settings, may require an ESL Instructor to hold a master’s degree in TESOL or a related field.

In addition to these formal education and certification requirements, ESL Instructors must have strong cross-cultural communication skills.

They should be adaptable, patient, and creative in their teaching methods to effectively teach students of diverse backgrounds and skill levels.

Some ESL Instructors may also choose to pursue additional qualifications or certifications, such as the Cambridge CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or DELTA (Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), to further enhance their skills and career opportunities.


ESL Instructor Salary Expectations

An ESL Instructor earns an average salary of $46,456 (USD) per year.

This salary can change based on factors like teaching experience, the type of institution where they are employed, and the cost of living in the geographical location where they teach.


ESL Instructor Job Description FAQs

What qualifications does an ESL Instructor need?

ESL Instructors typically need a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as English, Linguistics, or Education.

A teaching certification is often required, and in many cases, ESL instructors are required to have a specific certification in teaching English as a second language.

Some positions, particularly those at universities or colleges, may require a master’s degree or higher.


What are the daily responsibilities of an ESL Instructor?

ESL Instructors typically spend their days preparing lesson plans and instructional materials, teaching classes, and assessing students’ progress.

They may also spend time meeting with students individually to address specific language learning needs.

Additionally, they might engage in administrative tasks such as recording grades, attending staff meetings, and communicating with parents or other education professionals.


What skills should an ESL Instructor possess?

Effective ESL Instructors should have excellent communication skills and a deep understanding of the English language, including grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

They need to be patient, culturally sensitive, and able to adapt their teaching strategies to accommodate students with various learning styles and language proficiency levels.

Knowledge of a second language can also be beneficial.


What should you look for in an ESL Instructor’s resume?

Look for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a relevant field, as well as any certifications related to teaching English as a second language.

Experience teaching or tutoring in this area is key, especially if it involves students of the same age group or proficiency level as those in your program.

Also, pay attention to any experience or familiarity the candidate may have with the culture of the students they will be teaching.


Is it difficult to hire ESL Instructors?

The difficulty in hiring an ESL Instructor often depends on the location and specific requirements of the job.

In areas with a high demand for ESL instruction, there may be a shortage of qualified candidates.

It’s essential to offer competitive salaries and benefits, professional development opportunities, and a supportive work environment to attract top talent.



And that wraps up our tour.

Today, we’ve unveiled the true essence of being an ESL instructor.

And you know what?

It’s not just about teaching grammar.

It’s about shaping the global conversation, one student at a time.

Armed with our handy ESL instructor job description template and real-world examples, you’re ready to make your move.

But why halt your journey here?

Delve deeper with our job description generator. It’s your ultimate tool for creating precision-crafted job listings or polishing your resume to perfection.


Every lesson taught is a step towards the bigger conversation.

Let’s shape that future. Together.

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