Foreign Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary
Teach languages and literature courses in languages other than English. Includes teachers of American Sign Language (ASL). Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.
Sample of reported job titles: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Foreign Languages Professor, French Professor, German Professor, Instructor, Modern Languages Professor, Professor, Spanish Instructor, Spanish Professor
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Prepare course materials, such as syllabi, homework assignments, and handouts.
- Maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records.
- Evaluate and grade students’ class work, assignments, and papers.
- Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions.
- Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as how to speak and write a foreign language and the cultural aspects of areas where a particular language is used.
- Conduct research in a particular field of knowledge and publish findings in scholarly journals, books, or electronic media.
- Keep abreast of developments in their field by reading current literature, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional organizations and activities.
- Compile, administer, and grade examinations, or assign this work to others.
- Maintain regularly scheduled office hours to advise and assist students.
- Plan, evaluate, and revise curricula, course content, course materials, and methods of instruction.
- Select and obtain materials and supplies, such as textbooks.
- Advise students on academic and vocational curricula and on career issues.
- Write letters of recommendation for students.
- 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.
- Perform administrative duties, such as serving as department head.
- Organize and direct study abroad programs.
- Participate in student recruitment, registration, and placement activities.
- Compile bibliographies of specialized materials for outside reading assignments.
- Participate in campus and community events.
- Supervise undergraduate or graduate teaching, internship, and research work.
- Develop and maintain Web pages for teaching-related purposes.
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- Calendar and scheduling software
- Computer based training software — Blackboard Learn; Learning management system LMS; Moodle; Sakai CLE (see all 6 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — Blackboard software; Data entry software
- Desktop communications software — Skype
- Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe PageMaker; QuarkXPress
- Dictionary software — American Sign Language ASL browser
- Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook
- Foreign language software — Computer assisted language learning CALL software
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
- Information retrieval or search software — DOC Cop; iParadigms Turnitin
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Music or sound editing software — Audacity
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Optical character reader OCR or scanning software — Image scanning software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Collaborative editing software; Google Docs ; Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Foreign Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
- 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.
- History and Archeology — Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
- 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.
- Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
- Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
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- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
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- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- 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.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- 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 that there is a problem.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
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- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Develop instructional materials.
- Evaluate student work.
- Maintain student records.
- Guide class discussions.
- Teach humanities courses at the college level.
- Research topics in area of expertise.
- Write articles, books or other original materials in area of expertise.
- Administer tests to assess educational needs or progress.
- Attend training sessions or professional meetings to develop or maintain professional knowledge.
- Prepare tests.
- Stay informed about current developments in field of specialization.
- Advise students on academic or career matters.
- Develop instructional objectives.
- Evaluate effectiveness of educational programs.
- Order instructional or library materials or equipment.
- Select educational materials or equipment.
- Supervise student research or internship work.
- Write reports or evaluations.
- Direct department activities.
- Serve on institutional or departmental committees.
- Create technology-based learning materials.
- Coordinate student extracurricular activities.
- Perform student enrollment or registration activities.
- Promote educational institutions or programs.
- Compile specialized bibliographies or lists of materials.
- Plan community programs or activities for the general public.
- Write grant proposals.
- Advise educators on curricula, instructional methods, or policies.
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- Electronic Mail — 92% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 80% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 74% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 58% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 53% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Public Speaking — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 50% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 42% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 43% responded “More than half the time.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 34% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 38% responded “Very important.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 30% responded “Very important.”
- Letters and Memos — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 35% responded “Fairly important.”
- Level of Competition — 38% responded “Extremely competitive.”
- Time Pressure — 44% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 50% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Telephone — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 34% responded “Important results.”
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|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master’s degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
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Interest code: SAI Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- 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.
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- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
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- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$69,920 annual|
|Employment (2020)||27,100 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||2,900|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Association of Teachers of French
- American Association of Teachers of German
- American Association of Teachers of Japanese
- American Association of University Professors
- American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
- Association for Asian Studies
- Association of Academic Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean
- Association of Departments of Foreign Languages
- Council of Graduate Schools
- German Studies Association
- Latin American Studies Association
- Modern Language Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Postsecondary teachers
- Society for Classical Studies
- Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies
- The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese
- The Classical Association of the Middle West and South
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