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English/Language Arts Teacher Education

Program Description

Just the Facts

English/Language Arts Teacher Education. A program that prepares individuals to teach English grammar, composition and literature programs at various educational levels.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Additional Information

English-language teacher training programs give you the skills to work with multicultural groups in a hands-on setting.

Colleges and universities offer a variety of certificates and degrees in teaching English as a second language (TESL).

"To get a good job with a living wage, it is generally necessary to have a master's degree," says Kathryn Bartholomew. She is a professor at Seattle Pacific University, which offers a master of arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages (MA-TESOL).

Bartholomew's program focuses on theory (linguistics, language acquisition, communication) and practice (how to teach particular skills) as well. It takes about a year and a half.

Martyn Williams teaches at a college that offers a certificate in English-language teaching to adults (CELTA). He says applicants must have a bachelor's degree, although it can be in any discipline. They must also complete the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and present two letters of recommendation.

Expect programs to be partly theoretical and partly practical.

"Students actually start teaching on the first day of the course," says Williams. "In the morning, the students are in class. In the afternoon, they teach. The kinds of subjects we cover in the morning are basic methodology, such as how to manage the classroom, how to adjust your language to the level of the students, how to explain how to do an activity.

"We also teach various skills. For example, students learn about teaching reading or listening or speaking or writing. We touch on some theory of language learning and we look at various approaches to teaching language so that students can choose an approach that suits them."

Evaluate a program carefully if you're planning to work abroad. "It should have recognition and credibility," says Williams. CELTA programs, for example, are available worldwide and take their accreditation from an examining board at the University of Cambridge in the U.K.

Williams says high school students should focus on English, paying attention to classes on grammar. It would be a natural fit to pursue teacher training at the undergraduate level by taking an education degree.

In addition, Bartholomew suggests high school students study other languages. Learning a language helps a person understand how to teach one.

Seek volunteer work with immigrants and newcomers who are learning English. Williams points out that involvement in multicultural activities or clubs would be helpful as well.

Apart from tuition, TESL courses do not have many extra expenses.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Teachers -- Preschool, Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle and Secondary

For more information related to this field of study, see: Teachers -- Adult Literacy and Remedial and Self-Enrichment Education

The International Educator
Find out how to work at American schools abroad

Teaching Jobs Overseas
International employment for teachers


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