Teaching English as a Second Language
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I am interested in teaching ESL. Can anyone tell me the
credentials you need and where you can take the courses to
fulfill certification requirements (Community College?). Also,
best places to apply for jobs in the East Bay.
It depends on what level you wish to teach. If you are looking
to teach elementary or high school, you will need a regular
teaching credential. If you want to teach at an adult school,
you need an adult school credential, which requires 5 years
experience, or units in TESOL/Linguistics, etc. If you want to
teach at a community college or university, an MA TESOL is
Lots of people get a TESOL certificate. Many places offer
these certificates. I know UCB Extension has one, and SJSU has
one. Probably most extensions and universities offer TESOL
I've been teaching at a university Intensive English Program
for a while, so I forget all the requirements of the other
kinds of programs, but I hope this gets you started! Good luck!
I am not positive about all of the possible options, but I just
recieved my teaching credential for secondary English and it
qualifies me to teach ESL. (Being prepared to teach ESL is now
part of the state requirements...) So I assume that you would
need to get a teaching credential to teach ESL in a public
school, (you didn't say at what level you wanted to teach.) That
being said, I think teaching ESL to a culturally heterogenious
classroom must be the hardest thing in the world and I only wish
there was someway to get even more preparation.
Here is what you need for different teaching environments:
1. community college ESL teacher
You will need a MA degree to teach community college ESL. SFSU
has a large program for this and I am sure CSUH has one too.
2. adult school ESL teacher
If you want to teach in adult schools (the adult programs that
are run through the high school district), you need a CA adult
education credential. I got mine at SFSU and I believe it needs
to come from a state college.
3. high school, middle school, grade school ESL teacher
You will need a CA teaching credential.
4. intensive english program teacher
Most require a MA degree but some will allow a BA with an ESL
5. EFL teacher abroad
Requirements for better jobs (in universities) or better ay
require an MA. There are plenty of EFL jobs for teachers with
only a BA or certificate as well.
Feel free to email me if you have any questions. I have a
MATEFL and have been teaching ESL since about 1992.
I am considering teaching ESL abroad for a year or two. I'm a single mom
and wonder if anyone has done this as a parent and can recommend a good
program? I have a strong background teaching ESL in this country, usually
linking ESL with community/ social justice issues facing immigrants. I
realize tht teaching abroad is a different context and would be especially
interested in teaching in Spain (pref Barcelona) but am open to other
countries. I need to make good $ to support myself and my daughter and
hopefully be able to save money as well. I'd appreciate any recommendations
and experiences you can share.
My experience was many years ago but I got teacher training and taught EFL at
a school in Barcelona called International House in 1981. At that time they
had locations all over the world. I hooked up with them in the USA, probably
through a directory or Berlitz. Another good way to find well paid ESL work
is through major corporations in the place you will be. When I was in
Barcelona, this kind of work was usually contracted through an individual
middleperson, or a school like IH. Perhaps you could use the Internet to
find out major corps. in Barcelona and contact them by e-mail. Hope this
helps some and good luck.
My husband and I taught ESL in Japan through the YMCA's now defunct OSCY
(Overseas Corps of YMCA volunteers) program. While they discontinued that
specific program, the Y still offers extensive ESL courses throughout Japan
and they take excellent care of their teachers. We did not have children
when we lived there, but many of our colleagues did and loved the experience
of living and teaching in such a child-loving country. The pay and benefits
were generous, hours pretty flexible, and opportunities for making extra
money by private lessons and tutoring were plentiful. I know the economy
there is not as strong as it was when we lived there, but have heard
teachers still do quite well. If you have an interest in Japanese culture
and traveling in Asia, I highly recommend it.
I recently returned from Paris where I taught English for Kaplan. There
should be a center in Barcelona or Madrid (although I'm not sure of this)
and they most likely have general English classes as well as TOEFL and TOEIC
courses. If you check out International Centers on the Kaplan website, you
should be able to find the centers in Spain and surrounding countries.
The pay was not wonderful, but adequate if you work a sufficient number of
Good luck! Leanne
this page was last updated: Jun 11, 2006
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