HOW TO BECOME AN ESL TEACHER
Teachers can have a big impact on the lives of their students, but few have as much impact as ESL teachers. Learning to become an English as a second language teacher can be a bit complicated, as there is no strict formula to follow and ESL teacher training and certification requirements vary from state to state. If you are interested in a career as an ESL teacher, here are some of the general requirements for prospective teachers.
WHAT DOES AN ESL TEACHER DO?
An English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher helps English Language Learners (ELLs) acquire spoken and written English. According to the Department of Education, an ELL student is defined as an elementary or middle school student whose first language is not English, who was not born in the United States and needs additional supports and services in English.
In a nutshell, this means that an ESL teacher is someone who helps ELLs acquire and acquire English language skills so that they can participate in English-speaking contexts in and out of school. ESL teachers who work with students from a wide range of age groups and backgrounds must be sensitive to cultural and linguistic differences, show empathy and support for their social, academic, and cultural experiences, and help other general education teachers adapt their classroom instruction. to support ELLs. In addition, the international importance of the English language allows ESL teachers to take advantage of a variety of employment opportunities, working in community centers, academies, schools or as private tutors.
HOW MUCH DOES AN ESL TEACHER EARN?
ESL teacher salaries vary depending on several factors, including the type of school (public, private, parochial, etc.), years of experience, education level, and location. According to Glassdoor, the average salary in the United States for ESL teachers is $50,953 per year with an average hourly wage of $18 (ZipRecruiter).
ESL TEACHER SKILLS
Learning a language can be incredibly rewarding, but also incredibly challenging. Helping students overcome this challenge requires a number of skills. Because every teacher can play an important role in the lives of their students, but as their guide to the English-speaking world, ESL teachers often act as mentors and advisors.
- This is why the characteristics and skills of an ESL teacher can include:
- Cultural response
- Strong written and verbal communication
- Fluency in other languages
WHAT LEVEL DO YOU NEED TO BE AN ESL TEACHER?
Learning a second language is not necessary to become an ESL teacher, but a bilingual perspective can be significantly helpful for the job. Earning a bachelor’s degree is necessary and generally considered the first step toward completing ESL teacher education requirements.
While no specific bachelor’s degree is required to become an ESL teacher in PA, prospective ESL teachers typically prepare by studying education, English, or linguistics. While there may not be a specific degree program, you can also find ESL teacher education programs that specifically prepare you to meet the requirements for ESL teacher certification.
CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS To become an ESL teacher
Because ESL certifications are usually a supplemental certification to a PA teaching certification, an Instructional I or II teaching license must be obtained before completing the ESL certification. With a bachelor’s degree and teaching license secured, the next step is to meet state certification requirements. While these requirements vary by region, they generally include completion of an ESL program, such as a Teaching English as a Second Language certification.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME AN ESL TEACHER?
It usually takes four years to earn a bachelor’s degree and obtain a teaching license. Completing a TESL certification program can be completed anywhere from 6 months to a year or more, and most schools require a TESL certification that includes at least 120 hours of training. This means that with the right program, you can become an ESL teacher in about four and a half years.