ESL Instructional Assistant

Support bilingual students and their teachers through in-class help.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$17,000 – $36,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do ESL Instructional Assistants do?

ESL Instructional Assistants help pick up the slack for ESL Teachers working to teach non-English-speaking students how to read, write, and speak English. While the Teachers focus on lesson plans and teaching sessions, ESL Instructional Assistants grade papers, take attendance, and tutor students who need extra help.

Learning to speak English gives people an advantage in the business world, where bilingual people often take home bigger paychecks. An ESL Teacher can’t do it all, so as an ESL Instructional Assistant, you fill in the gaps. One day, the Teacher needs you to review the answers from last week’s test with the class, while another day, the Teacher calls in sick and you have to continue the day’s activities where she left off.

Though your main role is teaching, you can think of yourself as a Tutor as well. By studying how children learn and what motivates each student, you create efficient strategies for one-on-one teaching, and motivate students who need extra help conjugating verbs or memorizing vocabulary.

Think of yourself as a Secretary of sorts. From organizing paperwork to tutoring a student who doesn’t understand his lesson, you keep everything in order and running smoothly. Without your extra help, ESL Teachers would have less time to actually teach, and students’ learning would suffer.

Should I be an ESL Instructional Assistant?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Basic Skills Improvement Program Instructional Aide, BSIP Instructional Aide See More

    How to Become an
    ESL Instructional Assistant

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