TESL Course and Certification

TESL stands for Teaching English as a Second Language. Aspiring TESL teachers need to complete a training program before becoming certified. Read about where you can find training programs, what you'll study during TESL training and what qualifications you need for certification. Learn about job options for TESL teachers. Schools offering Teaching ESL degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need To Know

A Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) certification course is designed for undergraduates, graduates or those who have declared linguistics as a major. Stressing second language acquisition, TESL methodology and linguistics, these programs can be found at colleges and universities, both public and private. You can also take training programs online, with some schools offering classes either in a hybrid format or 100% online.

Degrees Bachelor's degree required, with a master's degree preferred
Certification Courses available in both in-class and online formats, requirements vary by state
Salary (2014) $49,590 (Median for all adult basic and secondary education and literacy teachers and instructors)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics'

What Will I Learn?

Training in TESL is more than having a good grasp of English. You also need to know about the culture and educational levels of your students. Not only must you teach the basics of the English language, you must also be able to teach the rules of communications. Although speaking a second language is not a requirement to become a TESL teacher, it makes working with students much easier. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a minimum of a bachelor's degree is required to teach TESL, and training beyond that, such as a master's degree, is highly recommended.

What Is the Certification Process?

All of the states have different requirements to become a TESL teacher. Each state specifies the number of credit hours and teaching experience you need. The experience can be gained through a college supervised student-training program. Each state independently administers the exam, either at a state certification testing facility or the Board of Education.

What Will Training Prepare Me for?

Certification in TESL allows you to teach English in K-12 schools with the proper certification. You can teach at community colleges and adult education centers with certification and a bachelor's degree. Work can also be found as a translator or teaching abroad. Corporations also employ TESL teachers to help transition foreign workers into the system. With the job outlook looking to increase nine percent from 2012 to 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, prospective TESL teachers can look forward to more jobs.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • George Mason University

    George Mason University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at George Mason University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint John's University

    Saint John's University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint John's University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Concordia University Nebraska

    Concordia University Nebraska responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Concordia University Nebraska:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Indiana Wesleyan University

    Indiana Wesleyan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Indiana Wesleyan University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University

    Purdue University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

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