What is an ESL Teacher?

ESL TeacherStudents looking for a question to the answer of what is an ESL teacher often find that these teachers work with students struggling to learn the English language. Also known as English as a Second Language teachers, the show students what different words and phrases mean, teach them how to read English language books and help them understand how to write and communicate with others. They might work with recent immigrants to the United States or with those hoping to better communicate with the people they work with in North America.

Degrees Required for ESL Teachers

According to the TESOL International Association, ESL teachers must have both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree. During your undergraduate studies, you can choose a major in English, Teaching or Education. English courses will focus on the schematics of reading and writing, while teaching and education programs show you how to properly teach and work with others. Many ESL teachers find it helpful to take an internship during their undergraduate years. After completing your Bachelor’s degree, you need to spend an additional two years working on your Master’s degree and taking classes on teaching and linguistics. Many international employers only hire teachers with a graduate degree.

Required Certificates

One answer to the question of what is an ESL teacher is that these teachers have two different types of certificates. Regardless of where you want to work, you need to pass the licensing certificate examination in your state for teachers. Every state in the country requires that teachers have a license and that they take re-certification tests later. You also need to pay and take the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages examination. Many community colleges offer this test, but you can also take it online.

Where do ESL Teachers Work?

ESL teachers work in a variety of settings. In areas with a large population of non-native speakers, the teachers work with students of different ages and teach them how to speak with others and understand the materials presented in their classes. Some elementary, junior high and high school teachers offer additional support after students leave their classes. Community colleges also hire ESL teachers to work with students coming to the school from other countries, and some private businesses hire workers capable of helping foreign workers transition into their new jobs.

What is an ESL Specialization?

Before becoming an ESL teacher, you might want to look at the types of specializations available. Specializing in a specific topic lets you work with students struggling with one facet of the English language. Some teachers focus on grammar and proper sentence structure and show students how to complete full sentences and write longer papers. Other teachers focus on teaching students the basic of the English language, including what different words mean and how to put those words into simple sentences. There are also teachers who work solely in the business world and assist with teaching English to international business owners and employees.

Related Resource: Reading Specialist

English as a Second Language is an important subject matter in various places around the world. Those students need help learning how to read, write, talk and interact with others. If you need an answer to the question of what is an ESL teacher, you should know that these teachers offer support and assistance to non-native speakers around the world.