How Can I Get a Certification in Bilingual Education?

Bilingual educators can help non-English speakers learn to speak English, and they can also teach a foreign language to English-speaking American students. Continue reading to learn about the requirements and opportunities available with certification in bilingual education. Check the salary potential for bilingual educators. Schools offering Teaching ESL degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Requirements for Bilingual Education Certification

Bilingual education certification requirements vary by state. However, most states require that you have a valid teaching license and can demonstrate proficiency in the language you're teaching. Some states, such as Arizona, require that bilingual education teachers earn specific college credits. You can prepare by completing a bachelor's degree program, graduate certificate or master's degree program in bilingual childhood education or bilingual special education.

Certification RequirementsTeaching license, proficiency in the language you are teaching, specific college credits, or completion of a degree program
Common TopicsBilingual education research, practical language applications, language assessment methods, psychology of language, influences on language learning
Possible CareersForeign language teacher or English as a second language (ESL) teacher
Mean Salary$50,280 in May 2015

Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Topics Will I Study?

In a bilingual education certificate or certification program, you may study methods for teaching English to speakers of another language. Some courses focus on teaching a second language, such as Spanish, German, Italian or French, to English-language speakers. These classes include strategies for teaching reading and literacy in the target language. The Arizona Department of Education requires that aspiring bilingual education teachers learn to develop a curriculum and create language-learning materials. You may also study:

  • Bilingual education research
  • Practical language applications
  • Language assessment methods
  • Psychology of language
  • Influences on language learning
  • Issues in learning languages

What Are the Other Requirements?

Student-teaching opportunities are built into many certificate and certification programs, especially in states where this is a requirement. Demonstrating proficiency in the foreign language, which can be done by taking a language proficiency exam, is also necessary.

How Can I Use This Certification?

With bilingual education certification, you can teach a foreign language to American students. High school is often the most common time to begin learning a second language, but some schools also teach foreign language in middle school or even at the elementary level. You can also teach English as a second language (ESL). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), ESL teachers made a median annual salary of $50,280 as of May 2015.

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