How Do I Become an English Teacher? - Video

English teachers enjoy rewarding careers in education. These teaching professionals can play an important role in building language, analytical and creative abilities in students. At the same time, these educators can inspire young people by cultivating their appreciation for the literary arts. Learn more about becoming an English teacher.

If you'd like to become an English teacher, it will likely be necessary to be licensed by the state in which you plan to teach. Most teaching professionals secure licensure by earning a bachelor's degree at a four-year college or university. These degree programs usually combine elements from both the subject of English and skill of teaching.

Required Courses

In preparing to become an English teacher, you can expect to take courses that require you to read, write about and analyze works of literature from different historical periods. You'll often be expected to provide analysis on historical, aesthetic and cultural factors at play in novels, essays, poems, plays and other texts. English classes are writing intensive and require that you demonstrate your ideas and arguments clearly and logically. You might also take classes that allow you to write fiction, poetry, drama or creative nonfiction of your own.

The second aspect of becoming an English Teacher focusing on the art of instructing students. Teaching programs at four-year colleges and universities can prepare you for the classroom through intensive courses about how children learn and best practices for effectively reaching students with instruction. You'll learn how to foster students' healthy development while building their creativity, problem-solving abilities and an appreciation for the literary arts. These classes in education philosophy and developmental psychology are supplemented with those in pedagogical methods, curriculum implementation and other practical areas of classroom guidance.

Student Teaching and Licensing

Practicum, or student teaching, is generally required before you graduate. This experience in a real English classroom can provide vital experience you can take to your future job. It's after completing this practicum that you may take licensing exams.

There are also alternative routes to gaining licensure for individuals with bachelors degrees in non-education related subjects. These education programs allow you to earn work toward licensure while teaching on a provisional basis under the supervision of experienced educators. These programs, resulting in a master's degree, are available at colleges, universities and community schools throughout the nation and incorporate courses similar to those found in traditional teacher education settings.

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