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How Do I Become an English Lecturer?

By T. Carrier
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Lecturers impart specialized knowledge about a particular subject, typically in a higher education setting. Depending on region, these individuals may work at a single location on a full-time basis as instructors or they may be employed on a part-time basis and lecture in various places. The pathway to become an English lecturer is similar in either instance, however. Namely, individuals should pursue a master's or doctorate degree in an English related discipline, and eventually focus on gaining expertise in a concentrated area. If one wishes to become an English lecturer, an affinity for English studies and a willingness to work one's way up the teaching ranks is also important.

An English lecturer in some regions will give prepared presentations about topics of interest in English literature and the English language. This type of lecturer may not hold employment in any one particular place, but may travel and talk with groups of people in various locations as adjunct professors who have no tenure or research duties. In other regions, however, English lecturer is considered a high ranking which is equivalent to the position of assistant professor. Individuals in this role teach higher education and oversee research projects.

In either case, those seeking to become an English lecturer should have one overriding attribute: a love for the English language. Both teaching and lecturing ideally necessitate a passion for whatever subject matter is under consideration. Passion will more likely lead to intense study and a deep understanding of the subject matter that is vital for an English lecturer's success.

As for educational requirements, both an English lecturer will likely require a good degree of higher education. A master's degree is the typical standard for most lecturer job openings. Focusing on a particular area of English — such as Shakespearean studies — will also prove helpful, particularly for traveling lecturers. Specialized knowledge and expertise will make a prospective lecturer more attractive to individuals who book appearances, so individuals pursuing this route may also wish to obtain a doctorate degree.

Individuals wishing to secure steady employment at one location as an English lecturer or professor should focus on a solid academic background. At the undergraduate level, a degree in General English or English Literature with high grade marks will likely provide a sound foundation for students striving to become an English lecturer. A minor in education can provide further familiarity with teaching basics. The master's or doctorate degree will most likely follow. Sound reading, research, and writing skills are vital, as most upper-level programs require the completion of a comprehensive and original research work known as a thesis or dissertation.

Prospective English lecturers should also gain experience. Any teaching opportunities offered during educational pursuits should be undertaken. Entry level lecturers will likely have to build a resume of part-time positions before the opportunity to become an English lecturer full-time is available.

Suppose you want to be an English lecturer but don’t want to work in the typical classroom environment. In that case, you could become an online English tutor. Services like this are designed to help struggling students improve their skills, speed, and confidence.

As an online English tutor, you could help your students develop and practice good study habits, improve their academic performance, and gain confidence in the classroom. With the low cost and logistical convenience of online tutoring, you could significantly help kids from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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Discussion Comments

By Spotiche5 — On Jan 22, 2015

@raynbow- I think that you have reason to be concerned, because it is very difficult to find a job as an English lecturer on the college level. Many professors love their jobs, and plan to stay in their positions for a long time. This equals few new opening positions each year.

However, if your friend is flexible about where she would take a job in the future, there are more opportunities to become an English teacher on the high school and grade school levels. It's just as rewarding, in my opinion, because working with teens gives you the feeling that you are helping them lay the groundwork for their future college years.

By Raynbow — On Jan 21, 2015

A position as an English lecturer sounds like a great job for students who love the subject and are very good with understanding all of the complicated rules of the English language. My concern though is that I don't think that there are many career opportunities in this field. I have a friend who has her heart set on becoming and English professor, and I am very worried about her future job prospects.

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