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English Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary Career

Career Description

Teach courses in English language and literature, including linguistics and comparative literature. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

What Job Titles English Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary Might Have

  • English Instructor
  • English Professor
  • Instructor
  • Professor

What English Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary Do

  • Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions.
  • Evaluate and grade students' class work, assignments, and papers.
  • Prepare course materials, such as syllabi, homework assignments, and handouts.
  • Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as poetry, novel structure, and translation and adaptation.
  • Teach writing classes.
  • Maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records.
  • Plan, evaluate, and revise curricula, course content, course materials, and methods of instruction.
  • Keep abreast of developments in the field by reading current literature, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences.
  • Assist students who need extra help with their coursework outside of class.
  • Maintain regularly scheduled office hours to advise and assist students.
  • Conduct research in a particular field of knowledge and publish findings in professional journals, books, or electronic media.
  • Compile, administer, and grade examinations, or assign this work to others.
  • Select and obtain materials and supplies, such as textbooks.
  • Advise students on academic and vocational curricula and on career issues.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to address teaching and research issues.
  • Serve on academic or administrative committees that deal with institutional policies, departmental matters, and academic issues.
  • Participate in cultural and literary activities, such as traveling abroad and attending performing arts events.
  • Participate in campus and community events.
  • Supervise undergraduate or graduate teaching, internship, and research work.
  • Write original literary pieces.
  • Recruit, train, and supervise department personnel, such as faculty and student writing instructors.
  • Provide assistance to students in college writing centers.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as serving as department head.
  • Participate in student recruitment, registration, and placement activities.
  • Compile bibliographies of specialized materials for outside reading assignments.
  • Conduct staff performance evaluations.

What English Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary Should Be Good At

  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

What English Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary Should Be Interested In

  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

What English Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary Need to Learn

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Philosophy and Theology - Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Diploma iconThis career requires a graduate degree.
Median Salary: $63,730

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.