Skip to content

What Is a TESOL Certification?

With the population growing and growing global and diverseit’s not unusual to meet someone who isn’t an native English speaking. Foreigners from countries that don’t speak English who move in America for work United States for work often have family members with them, including students who attend school and are labeled as English Language Learners (ELL), English Learners (EL), English as an Additional Language (ESL) or First Language Not English (FLNE) students. The students’ English instructors are also assigned labels such as “ELL Teacher.”

If your goal is English teaching language to students whose native language isn’t English then you need to be certified to be able to provide this service. A large number of ELL and ESL teachers are pursuing an TESOL diploma or TESOL certificate programs. What is TESOL?

What is What is TESOL Certification?

The term TESOL means teaching English to People who speak Other Languages. The acronym is used to represent the actual academic certificate as well as the international body that promotes for the best methods of TESOL education. You’ve probably heard of other acronyms, such as TEFL and TESL that are used to describe teaching English to non-natives So how is TESOL different?

The term TEFL means teaching English as a foreign language. This TEFL certificate allows for teaching English in a different country to students that don’t know it. Certain TEFL certificate programs permit students to finish their coursework in another country, and assist in getting you an instructor position after having completed your certificate. The TESL certification Teaching English as a Second Language is an additional certification that allows for you to instruct English to non-native English speakers from the United States.

There’s plenty of overlap. There are a few jobs with the title “TEFL/TESOL,” as if the terms are interchangeable. However, the TESOL program actually includes both TEFL along with TESL. Acquiring an TESOL certificate or TESOL certification allows teachers to teach within the U.S. and overseas where English is taught to those who speak another language. This means possessing a TESOL certification could provide more opportunities for teaching experience as well as employment.

How Can TESOL Certification Help You?

Simply because you’re an native English speaker does not mean that you are able explain the English language someone who isn’t native. To be a successful TESOL teacher for an English learner, you should possess specialized, research-based abilities and teaching practices, and be aware of the process of learning a language. While students struggle in their learning, potential teachers should take their time and demonstrate that they comprehend the difficulty learning a language can pose for students from other countries and native speakers as well.

TESOL International Association outlines “6 Principles for an Exemplary Teaching of English Learners”:

Learn about the students that you’re instructing. If you are more aware of their background and interests more effectively you will be able to connect with them.
The classroom should be suitable for learning. Do everything you can to help your students feel at ease.
Utilize scaffolding and other teaching tools that increase student comprehension. This can include modeling, facial expressions, as well as visual media.
Continuously assess comprehension and adjust the lessons to suit. Assessments could be as easy as students pointing either way to indicate how well they understand the content.
Continuously track progress and provide feedback. Collect data to monitor student progress.
Create a learning community within your team. If teachers are in a collaborative environment and are engaged professionally the quality of their teaching increases.

It’s clear that these fundamental principles can be applied to any subject area and classroom. However, they can be particularly relevant in the case of an issue with language. The process of learning a new, difficult language may feel like climbing a terribly steep mountain.

You could become an efficient teacher for English learners if you are working to improve your proficiency in another language. It’s not a requirement for seeking TESOL certification, but you’re likely to benefit from this knowledge gained. Not only will it aid in understanding English learners and their families, but it could aid in your understanding of another language and culture not your native.

Do You Need to be TESOL certified to teach English Learners?

You have to be specifically certified to be able to teach English to students who speak other languages. However, your licensing and requirements for teachers are different depending on the state you reside in and the nature of the school. The certification in TESL can be enough for certain teaching positions within the U.S., while other jobs may require you to hold a master’s level degree TESOL. California is an example. It requires an undergraduate degree or higher and be a part of an approved Education Specialist Credential to teach English students.

Certain positions might require that you hold a degree in the same field for example, English or linguistics education, not only the TESOL certificate. Other times, you could be required to hold an advanced degree with a focus on TESOL. Like any other career objective in education, you should check the requirements in the state you intend to teach.

What are my ITESOL Certification Options?

If you’re enthusiastic about teaching English learners and you’re wondering how you can get an TESOL certification, there are several options. Which one you decide to choose is contingent on the teaching requirements of your state as well as the level of education you want to obtain.

Only TESOL Certificates. If you’re interested in some education on how to instruct English students, and do not require a state-approved teacher credential, this may interest you. Certain universities and colleges offer courses of 15 units, including courses on teaching and the assessment of English as second language, TESOL strategies and even a brief practicum. They serve as an introduction to TESOL. A certificate on its own with no teacher training isn’t a valid state-issued certification. But, this type of credential could be helpful when you plan to teach youngsters or adults who aren’t part of the public schools system as part of a non-profit education or study abroad course.
BA in TESOL. The program covers courses that cover English language history and linguistic theory, as well as cultural anthropology child development, advanced language, development of the brain and foreign language classes equivalent to a minor in the discipline. Additionally, there is an education for professionals component which includes teaching students.
Education Specialist Accreditation in TESOL. This EdS in TESOL isn’t as popular as a master’s degree TESOL. The EdS usually has greater number of courses than an master’s and is capped off with an internship or project instead of a thesisalthough the latter could be an alternative. The course includes coursework and tests as well as teaching English reading, grammar, writing, diversity and culture as well as leadership, as well as research in statistics.
MA in educationand TESOL. The program consists of courses on methods for teaching a foreign language, developing assessment and curriculum, teaching English reading, grammar, writing, as well as technology. The program also includes an opportunity to practice for students who want to become TESOL teachers that consists of a task that combines methods and concepts that were taught in the course.
Doctor of Education degree in TESOL. The Doctorate in TESOL enhances the capabilities of the master’s program. Coursework focuses on the development of language structures and language as well as teaching techniques for writing, reading, grammar as well as speaking and listening to learners of second languages as well as examining the questions of cultural and social aspects. A large portion of the course is devoted to research as well as to the process of planning and writing your dissertation.

Faster and cheaper isn’t Always the Best

There are many choices for degree programs and institutions that offer certification, it’s hard to figure out how much the certification will cost. If you spend just a few minutes online searching to find “TESOL accreditation,” you’ll quickly see the variety of options available. A lot of accredited universities and colleges provide both in-classroom and online TESOL degree programs. However, they might have higher costs and require a few months to finish. Websites offering cheap and speedy certificates are often shady. You can get an “TESOL certificate” on the internet with just an academic diploma from a top school or certificate, which costs $200 or 120 hours, however this certificate could be useless in the event you’re seeking a government-issued teacher’s certificate. It’s important to research your options thoroughly.
Do you need to renew a TESOL Certificate?

A TESOL certificate has no expiration date. After you’ve received your TESOL certificate the validity of it lasts for all the time. It’s still valid regardless of the year you obtained it. Teachers may choose to take advanced classes to strengthen their credentials. You can pick a specific teaching field to focus on for example, on-line teaching, or in teaching English for children.
TESOL Certification is Required More than In the ENTIRE Time

Information obtained from National Center for Education Statistics suggests that the proportion of students with disabilities at U.S. public schools continues to increase. The most recent figures available (fall 2016) indicate that 9.6 percent of America’s children in the public sector are classified as ELL. California has the highest rate (20.2 percent) being followed by Texas (17.2 percent) as well as Nevada (15.9 percent).

In total there are around 4.9 million students with disabilities within U.S. public schools. A positive aspect of NCES data is the percent of public school ELL students according to the grade levels (K-12). The largest percentage of students with ELLs is in the kindergarten and first grades (16.2 percent) The graphic clearly indicates how the numbers are dropping gradually towards 12th grade. This is fantastic news since it indicates it means that ELL students are reaching English proficient as they get older. This also highlights the positive influence that teachers have on English students, and the reason why TESOL certification is important.