TESL is . . .   Teaching English as a Second Language.

This field offers great opportunities for employment, career satisfaction, and intercultural encounters.  TESL teachers are in great demand both domestically and worldwide, and many who engage in this career find their work challenging, but extraordinarily rewarding.  To be an effective teacher of English to speakers of other languages is not a simple task.  Professional training helps students acquire some expertise in the structure and uses of language, language teaching methods and intercultural communication.

The TESL curriculum at SIUE attempts to help students:

1) gain a specialized understanding of how languages and language learning works
2) construct a working philosophy of language learning and teaching
3) gain awareness of the role of cultural and social variables in language learning
4) design, organize, conduct, and assess ESL instructional programs
5) observe other teachers and participate in a practicum for hands-on-experience

Linguistics is . . . the scientific study of human language.

Linguists are concerned with how human languages are structured, how they may be used to communicate ideas and represent meaning, and how they change.  To address these kinds of questions involves a great deal of complexity and linguistic students study a broad array of topics such as phonetics (the production of sounds by the human vocal mechanisms), phonology (how these sounds form meaningful patterns in languages), morphology (word formation and combining processes), syntax (how sentences are structured), semantics (how meaning is assigned), pragmatics (how the various elements of language are used to communicate), and more.

Linguistic study attempts to uncover both the universal and particular elements of all human languages, with the goal of arriving at important generalizations about human language and the way language is represented in the mind. Due to the nature of this task, linguists frequently become acquainted with a number of languages, but this does not mean linguists speak many languages.  For linguistic study, knowledge concerning the structure of languages is more important than achieving fluency in a large number of languages.

URL: http://www.siue.edu/ENGLISH/TESL/what_is.html
Published by: Department of English Language and Literature
Last Update: March 02, 2012 by TESL/Ling Webmaster