Requirements to become an ESL teacher

Requirements to become an ESL teacher

Being an ESOL teacher stands for teaching English as a foreign language. It requires special education and constant English learning. ESL instructor is a demanding and rewarding job around the world. It's a facilitator, who guides people, who are not from English-speaking countries, and helps them to improve their skills regarding speaking, reading, writing, and listening. It's not necessary to be a native speaker as long as you have Prociency level. There are different career opportunities. You may teach children full-time in a public school or take up adult education. The most complicated thing is you must deliver the meaning of words and phrases through examples rather than translation. Your class will be full of people from different countries. So, there is no way to explain anything in a student's mother tongue. That's why qualifications for ESL teachers include a lot of details. Whatever you choose, you should know basic things regarding managing a class, grammar explanation, and vocabulary recycling. But firstly, let's figure out what ESL teachers have to do.

Video about requirements for ESL teachers

Important teaching skills

⏰ It's time!

🎓 Get a TEFL & TESOL course and certificate with a 50% discount!

And start earning money 💸 by teaching English in your own country, abroad, or online from anywhere on the planet! 🎁 Gifts and bonuses: professional support from your personal coach 🧑‍🏫 and job placement assistant 💼.

Intend resolutely

If you want to teach English in secondary school or high school, you should work not only on your professional development but also on self-improvement. It seems to be energy-consuming work to understand your students' needs and help them to overcome some obstacles. Learning a foreign language doesn't seem to be a simple task, that's why students always need to feel understanding and support. People often suffer from language barrier due to lack of self-confidence. And you as an ESL tutor should raise their faith. Be open to new ideas and changes. Don't let some students look down on others. The majority of students may be shy, whereas one is the life and soul of the party, in this case, you should pay your attention to each of them equally. 

Teaching ESL includes some personal traits:

  • empathy;
  • flexibility;
  • verbal communication;
  • organization;
  • resilience;
  • time management;
  • problem-solving skills;
  • compassionate curiosity.

If you can boast that you have most of these features, let's go to qualifications for ESL teachers.

4 steps to becoming an ESL teacher

Despite the fact that a bachelor's degree is a must-have to become a certified English tutor, it's not enough to start student teaching. As we have already discussed, the duties of ESL teachers are almost countless, so it's better to know how to deal with everything in the right way. You have to take up teacher education to understand the difference between early childhood education and teaching adults or professionals. English language learners of different categories have different goals and motives. It implies using different approaches to illustrate the same grammar structure. Whether you decide to take part in secondary education or another one, you need to analyze how much time four steps will take.

Getting a degree

A bachelor's degree is a necessity to start your career. Thankfully, you don't have to get a degree in education or linguistics, however, if you know your purposes in advance, it's better to choose a major relates to Arts in English or Science in Elementary education. Such knowledge may reduce your steps from four to two, having a license and teaching background. If you have been thinking of learning another language, don't hesitate that it will become your advantage among other candidates. As long as you understand the possible difficulties and mistakes of learning a foreign language, you fit the bill.

However, if you consider teaching the college community you must have a master's degree. It will take about 2 years. 

It provides some knowledge regarding:

  • making lesson plans;
  • identifying learning disabilities;
  • ways to motivate adult learners;
  • using technology to teach;
  • different approaches of learning.

Education programs vary from region to region, however, there are some significant parts that we've listed.

Obtaining ESL training

Teacher preparation includes special education and different methods regarding teaching. If your major has nothing to do with English language, you have a chance to enhance your knowledge by taking up some additional courses. Usually, such courses cover problems in terms of your associate degree or teaching career. So, you shouldn't worry about lack of information or practice.

Certification requirements include having international certificates, which may prove your ability to teach a particular group of students abroad. It is believed that CELTA, TEFL, and TESOL are the most valuable. CELTA doesn't oblige you to have previous teaching experience or some specific skills, because this course will give you significant knowledge in terms of theory and practice. It will take all your free time because the list of recommended literature is almost endless. That's why some teachers take breaks during this course and don't work. It costs around $1200 and lasts 4-8 months depending on online or offline ways of learning.

On the other hand, TEFL or TESOL course is much easier in terms of effort and duration. There are also sections, which make you familiar with learning approaches. Taking 120 hours of the course it's enough to have significant knowledge about teaching English as a second language. Such an ESL certification will give you confidence in how to deal with learners' problems.

You will know:

  • how to teach grammar and vocabulary;
  • how to help students to overcome language barrier;
  • approaches of listening improvement;
  • cultural diversity issues;
  • ways to manage a class.

In comparison with CELTA, this preparation program is much cheaper and faster to start your teaching career.

Also, there is a chance to start it now. Go to our homepage to purchase an online TEFL/TESOL course at a 50% discount. As a programs graduate you will be able to work in any country.

Getting a license

Certificate programs don't guarantee that you get a position in an institution with ease. Passing some exams, which are included in ESL certification, is not enough to prove your competence to teach, it relates to childhood education. Teaching English to speakers of early childhood is challenging because it requires knowledge in art, science, social studies, and literacy. Licensure exam changes from country to country, but the most popular is known as Praxis I. However, you should research such requirements for your location.

Teaching experience

The majority of employers want to hire certified ESL school teachers with a huge previous background. It might be a problem for freshers. However, that's quite a negotiable thing. As long as you have teacher certification or even a master's of education, you check the all boxes as a candidate. Also, use creativity to find a way. You can start volunteering during your continuing education, or become an assistant and teach ESL. Don't forget to ask for letters of recommendation, they will help you a lot. You can have excellent knowledge of teaching English to speakers of other countries, but only practice makes perfect.

Terms used:

CELTA, ESL, TEFL, TESOL

Related articles