Teacher shortages

According to an article I found today, the numbers of students studying Arabic at colleges in the USA has been increasingly significantly since 9-11. At the same time, there hasn’t been a corresponding increase in the numbers of qualified teachers of Arabic. In some areas, potential students of Arabic have been turned away due to the lack of teachers.

Many colleges are hiring native speakers of Arabic with little or no teaching experience or qualifications. That set up sounds familiar – much of the English as a Foreign Language teaching seems to be set up along similar lines.

Elsewhere, due to popularity of Gaelic-medium education in parts of Scotland, there is a shortage of qualified teachers. There’s also a shortage of Manx-medium teachers in the Isle of Man, of Welsh-medium teachers in Wales, and of Irish-medium teachers in Ireland.

3 thoughts on “Teacher shortages

  1. My university had an undergraduate native speaker on staff to teach Modern Standard Arabic. That’s kind of unprecedented, because usually a degree of some sort is usually required to teach a class. However this was also the case when it started offering Hindi. In the case of the Arabic professor, I guess he was qualified, he just went to Harvard to get a Ph.D. in linguistics. But it definitely does reflect the shortage of teachers in certain languages.

    It’s refreshing though, because at least it shows a significant interest, and with so many now learning, this shortage should be alleviated in due time. It also is good news to read about the popularity of Gaelic, Manx, Irish, and Welsh medium courses… so long as the lack of teachers means there’s a shortage due to strong demand and not just a lack of teachers!

  2. For me it shows two distinct things, 1 American politics in the world makes it worst. Around the world people hate not american people or its culture, but its forei8gn policy.
    2- American people is trying to understand more the arabic culture, through the language, and maybe they will pass to understand better what happened on september 11. American people really don’t hate the worls, they only dont understand it as well as they should.
    About Celtic languages, I think it is an opportunity to rescue the Great Britain history, which wasn’t made only by England, but also by Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

  3. One of my Latin teachers taught ESL at a different school before, and she has an MA in linguistics, I think, and actually had teaching qualifications. But I’m sure a lot of ESL teachers aren’t qualified. If teachers got paid more…

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