How To Get TESOL Certification

Teaching English to speakers of other languages can be a rewarding career choice.  In order to make it a reality, you'll need to know how to become certified in the field.  Requirements vary from country to country, and among different types of learning institutions.

In the United States, a teaching certificate is required in addition to TESOL certification.  However, teaching certificates aren't necessarily transferable from state to state.  Some states do have agreements which allow teachers to work in another state without additional training, but this isn't always the case.  In order to get TESOL certification, additional coursework must also be completed.

These classes can usually be taken concurrently with other undergraduate or graduate coursework.  Upon successful completion of TESOL classes, actual teaching experience is required.  Often, certain classes allow students to fulfill this requirement.  After the set number of classroom and teaching hours have been completed, the student can get TESOL certification in most states.

While many universities require only a few semesters' worth of foreign language coursework in order to fulfill TESOL class credits, this may be inadequate in the working world.  Depending on where the prospective teacher plans to work, a native-level home language proficiency may be required in other countries.  If, for example, the teacher is employed in a private school in a particular country, he or she must be able to effectively speak the local language as well as the natives.  Other environments may have less rigorous guidelines.

In order to teach ESOL in a community college or university setting, a Master's degree is usually necessary.  Graduate programs in TESOL focus more intensely on the theoretical aspect of teaching English to speakers of other languages than those in undergraduate plans of study.

Those who intend to teach outside the U.S. will need to explore their destination's requirements so they can get TESOL certification which will allow them to work in that country.  Depending on economic and political situations, some countries may have a greater need for native English-speaking teachers than others.  It may be easier to get work in some areas - that is, with less academic instruction - than in others.

Fortunately for those seeking to get TESOL certification, it is now possible to receive at least some instruction online.  Often, even if a student is trying to become certified according to another country's guidelines, many classes can be taken online.  For focused, disciplined students, this is a very convenient option.  At the end of the online training, a short period of rigorous testing, including an in-classroom segment, allows the student to get TESOL certification.


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