Teaching English as a second language is something that can be an interesting and rewarding career. It can allow you to work with kids in diverse schools or to teach adults in the community and help them prepare for better career options of their own in the USA.
It can also allow you to work overseas teaching the language to people who want to travel to English speaking countries or use English in their businesses.
There are some misconceptions about what it takes to be an ESL teacher, however, with many people thinking it is necessary to be bilingual or multilingual yourself.
In actual fact, to begin training as an ESL teacher, you only need to be able to speak English, as lessons are always performed wholly in English, allowing teachers to work with students from all different countries in the same class. If you think you have what it takes and are interested in learning how to teach English in this way, then you may be wondering whether or not you can train for the qualifications online. Here, we take a look at your options.
Online ESL Degrees
If you want to teach in schools in the US, then you will need an M.Ed in ESL. This will qualify you to teach children up to PreK-6. This is the path to choose if your preference is, for example, to work in elementary education for children who are new to the language. Teaching ESL to children is somewhat different from teaching it to adults, as children tend to be able to adapt better to new languages but don’t have the same existing vocabulary in their first language to relate the new words to.
Teaching young kids English as a second language is in some ways more similar to teaching English as a first language, as they will learn new concepts along with the words. You can do an ESL online degree that will help you learn the techniques, and prepare you for the exams.
If you want to teach adults, or are interested in working at an English school overseas, another option is to do a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) course. This is an internationally recognized program that helps you better understand the mechanics of English ready to teach students, and also helps you learn to teach techniques for teaching people whose own language you may not be able to use. This is also a course you can do online.
Studying online offers a lot of benefits, and means you can train while you are still working in another job, or while traveling. It is becoming a more and more common way for people to gain professional or academic qualifications, as it offers a lot of flexibility and can be cheaper than attending college. If ESL is something you are interested in, then why not look at your options for becoming a qualified teacher?