How Do You Become an ESL Teacher?


Quick Answer

The minimum requirement to teach English as a second language is a bachelor's degree. After obtaining a degree, the teacher must complete an ESL training program to gain certification, and then get licensed by the state or country in which he intends to teach.

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Full Answer

  1. Earn a degree

    Most countries require a minimum of a bachelor of arts or science degree to work as a professional ESL teacher. Many people interested in this career path choose to obtain a degree in English, education, writing or teaching English as a foreign language. To teach ESL in the United States and Canada, a master's degree in teaching ESL is a widely available training option.

  2. Complete an ESL training program

    After earning a degree, the minimum qualification to teach overseas is the Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate. Most TEFL courses offer more than 100 hours of classroom instruction with a focus on practical training. Add-on certifications from state departments of education allow the worker to become qualified to teach in the United States through gaining experience.

  3. Get licensed

    A license is required to teach ESL, and the requirements vary by state and country. Aside from completing a bachelor's degree and becoming certified, there are sometimes other requirements, such as a teaching test or background check.

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