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ESL Teacher Certification in North Carolina

English teachers for non-native speakers will need to complete a few extra steps before they can earn a license in their area. Learn more about the academic requirements to teach English as a second language and which exam you need to pass for licensing requirements.

Career Information for ESL Teachers in North Carolina

Existing teachers can earn an extra academic certificate to become licensed ESL educators in North Carolina. You will need to complete one additional Praxis exam to earn your credential to teach English as a language to non-native speakers.

Education/Experience RequiredAdd-on license through certificate program
Exams RequiredBasic skills assessment; Praxis English to Speakers of Other Languages Content Exam
License ValidityThree years for Professional Educator's Initial License
License ExtensionNo renewals for initial license; must be upgraded to Professional Educator Continuing License
Average North Carolina Salary (2018)$47,580 for high school, $47,050 for middle school, and $46,500 for elementary school teachers*
National Job Growth (2016-2026)8% for middle and high school, 7% for kindergarten and elementary school teachers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Teachers of English as a second language help students of various ages learn to write and speak English. They draw up lesson plans to instruct students on the complexities of sentence structure and English grammar, and distribute homework assignments to make sure their students get practice outside of the classroom. They might also instruct adult students, holding classes at government buildings or libraries for non-native speakers. When it's time to track student progress, they can give exams and issue grades to provide feedback and explain where they can improve.

Education and Training Requirements

If you want to teach English as a second language in North Carolina, you will need to be an existing teacher or confirm that you are already working on a degree program in education. Add-on licensing can be earned with a certificate program, which usually takes less than two years to complete. You can perform your student teaching experience at a recommended institution or, if you are currently teaching, inside your current school district. During your own classes, you can study topics that include linguistics, teaching materials, and new language perspectives.

Exam Requirements

To teach English as a language to non-native speakers, you need to earn a passing score of at least 155 on the Praxis English to Speakers of Other Languages exam. The test allows two hours for completion, containing 120 questions in six different content sections. You will be asked about linguistics, culture, and professionalism throughout the exam. Each question is presented in multiple-choice format. Test takers in North Carolina will have their scores automatically sent to the NC Department of Public Instruction. All tests are given regularly, so make sure you register in plenty of time before the seats fill up.

Licensing Requirements

After you have completed your teaching education program and passed your exams, you can apply for the North Carolina Professional Educator Initial License. This credential will last for three years, and unlike some other states, you cannot renew it. To continue as a licensed North Carolina teacher, you will need to update your license to the Professional Educator's Continuing License, which is reserved for those who have taught for at least three years. Your performance will be evaluated, and you can improve your standing by passing the National Board Certification exams.