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ESL Teacher Certification in Texas

Individuals can become certified as English as a Second Language teachers in Texas. This guide will provide candidates with an overview of the certification process.

Texas English as a Second Language Licensing Process

Individuals who become certified as English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers can work with students of all ages. They will need to earn a bachelor's degree in order to work as one.

Required DegreeBachelor's degree
Required Degree FieldEducation
Required TestPearson English as a Second Language Supplemental (Test Code 154)
License RenewalEvery five years for standard certificates
License Renewal Requirements150 continuing professional education hours
Median Salary for Adult Literacy and High School Equivalency Diploma Teachers (2018)*$53,630 (Nationwide)
Job Outlook for Adult Literacy and High School Equivalency Diploma Teachers (2016-2026)*-5%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Initial Teacher Certification Education Requirements

The state of Texas has several requirements that teaching candidates must meet in order to earn their initial teacher certifications. The traditional route to teacher certification is completing a bachelor's degree through a teacher training program at an institution that is approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Pass the Appropriate Certification Exams

Teaching candidates in Texas must first receive approval to take their certification exams. Individuals will need to apply for approval through their teacher training program. Once approved, candidates will need to pass the English as a Second Language Supplemental (test code 154) test to become certified. This test is administered via Pearson as part of the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards series. The test is given via computer and has 80 multiple-choice questions. Individuals will have five hours to complete it and must earn a score of 240 to pass.

Complete Initial Teaching Certificate Application

All individuals applying for their initial teaching certificate must also be fingerprinted for a national criminal background check.

Once individuals have met all of the above requirements, they will need to complete an application for their initial teaching certificate in Texas. They will need to create an online account with the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS), which is part of the Texas Education Agency Login (TEAL).

Fulfill License Renewal Requirements

Texas requires that all teachers complete continuing professional education (CPE) as part of the license renewal process. Standard teaching certificates are valid for five years. Teachers will receive an email six months before their certificates expire. ESL teachers will need to complete 150 CPE hours before their standard teaching certificates expire. Once this requirement is met, teachers will need to log into their ECOS accounts and submit the application to renew their standard teaching certificates.

Acceptable CPE Hours

Texas requires that a minimum of 80% of the CPE hours be directly related to teachers' areas of certification, which can include instruction in diversity and special needs of student populations, increasing and maintaining parental involvement, and integrating technology into instruction. As of 2019, Texas also requires that teachers complete CPE hours in areas such as educating English learners, comprehending professional boundaries and relationships for students and teachers, and recognizing red flags for students who are at risk for dropping out of school. Other activities that can be utilized for standard certificate renewal include suicide prevention training, mental health or first aid training, and education in how trauma and grief impact student learning.