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How to Become an English Teacher in the US

English Teacher

English might be the universal language, the lingua franca, and almost every nation speaks it and understands its usage. But it is still included in the subjects being taught at schools. In United States, where English is the first language, there is still a great demand for new English teachers for both public and private schools.

The requirements for how to become an English Teacher in the United States are similar to other subjects. To be able to teach at the middle and secondary level, the applicant must have a bachelor’s degree (a plus if the holder majored in English) and a teaching licensure. For Arizona, state universities offer undergraduate programs in Elementary and Secondary Language Arts. Other states also offer Interdisciplinary Studies with English as Major, along with other languages and core subjects. Some universities also offer bridged bachelor education degrees for aspiring Elementary, Secondary or for K10-12 levels.  For one to teach at the post-secondary level, in a college or in a university that is offering 4-year degrees, an English doctorate degree is required. For the two-year colleges, they may hire candidates with a master’s degree in English.

For those who want to pursue an English Education degree, the major subjects needed are Literature, Creative and Analytical Writing, and Cultural Studies.  After the core curriculum, most universities offer two teaching career pathways; gaining subjects credits through field experience in real schools or full semesters of student teacher internships. Some also offer integrated BS/BA-Master degrees in five years, a good choice for aspiring teachers since most institutions now require a relevant master’s degree apart from certification.

To be admitted to teacher training programs, one must first pass screening examinations for university admissions Additional requirements include GED and GPA minima. If you already have a degree but want to get a second English Major and a teacher certification, check out universities that offer alternative pathways for professionals. Some require taking additional English majors plus educations courses. Some also follow PRAXIS I, II, III tests as a substitute for national teacher examinations.

Foreign English teachers may also teach English in the United States provided that they pass proficiency exams and have equivalent degrees. To become an English teacher in the US, foreign teachers or bachelor degree holders will also undergo the same process with other aspiring US citizen teachers, with submission of other relevant requirements like a passing score in IELTS or TOEFL, and a valid working visa in the United States.

Aspiring English teachers should always inquire directly to the education board of the state they plan to work in. You could inquire more about the course and whether if you would qualify. Keep in mind the needed requirements for your entry, because it varies from one state to another.  Learning English is a whole lot different from teaching it. For teaching entails a lot of responsibilities and you must have honed your skills through practice and time. You also must have patience, discipline and understanding. Communication is important especially when dealing with your students. Teaching is never an easy feat, but if you love what you are doing, it will easily become secondary to your nature.