According to the Migration Policy Institute, the number of immigrants in the U.S. grew by 24 percent between 2000 and 2009, rising from 31.1 million to 38.5 million. However, in 14 states, including South Dakota, the immigrant population grew by 49 percent during the same period. In fact, South Dakota ranked sixth in the nation for its increase in the immigrant population between 2000 and 2009.
South Dakota is representative of what the Migration Policy Institute refers to as the “new destinations” of immigrants in the U.S, which are primarily in the southern and central regions.
Among English Language Learners (ELLs) in South Dakota, the Institute reported that 38.1 speak Spanish, 13.2 speak African languages, 12.8 percent speak German, and 3.7 percent speak Serbo-Croatian.
The South Dakota State Department of Education (SDDE), which oversees all licensure for public school teachers in the state, offers an endorsement in K-12 English as a New Language. This educator endorsement requires an ESL internship and at least 18 credits of coursework in English as a Second Language (ESL), including:
- Applied Linguistics for Teaching ESL
- Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language
- Teaching Language Arts for ESL Across the Curriculum
- Cultural and Psychological Perspectives in the Acquisition of ESL
Although there are not definitive statistics regarding ESL teacher salaries in South Dakota, the National Education Association reported that educators in South Dakota were paid an average salary of $38,804 during the 2012-13 school year. First-year teachers in the Rapid City area schools earned a salary of $30,753, while first-year educators with a master’s degree earned an average salary of $34,053, thereby highlighting the benefits of achieving a master’s degree in this state.
ESL teachers in South Dakota may also be part of the South Dakota INCENTIVEplus program, which offers recruitment and signing incentives for teachers in hard-to-fill positions with participating schools. The incentive for new teachers may be as much as $5,000. Given the increasing number of ELLs in South Dakota schools, ELS teachers are likely part of this program in many schools throughout the state.
More information on ELS teacher salaries can be gleaned from the following Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) table, which details salary statistics for Adult, Basic, and Secondary Education and Literacy teachers in South Dakota: