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Teaching English Online: Career Education to Be an English Teacher

Research English education courses and programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

Essential Information

There are currently no programs available that train students specifically for careers teaching English online. Students who want to teach English online and in traditional postsecondary classrooms typically must hold a graduate degree, preferably a Ph.D. At many 2-year colleges, a master's degree may be sufficient to obtain a teaching job.

Aspiring English teachers may begin by earning a bachelor's degree in English. They may also pursue a master's degree in education with a concentration in English education. To work as English professors at 4-year colleges or universities, individuals need a Ph.D. in English, a Ph.D. in English Education or a Ph.D. in a specialty area, such as comparative literature, linguistics or American poetry.

Degree Fields of Study English, Teaching and Learning
Degree Levels Bachelor's, master's, Ph.D.
Online Availability Fully online

Bachelor's Degree in English

Before attempting to teach the language to students, aspiring teachers must first prove that they themselves have a sufficient understanding of English. A bachelor's degree in English is an excellent first step, as students in these programs work on both fundamental principles and more advanced topics in English.

Information and Requirements

Students analyze famous literary works and in some cases, write their own creative pieces. Most courses focus on particular genres or places of origin.

Admissions for a bachelor's degree in English are fairly straightforward. Students will need a high school degree, but other prerequisites are uncommon. Good scores on standardized tests such as the SAT may help improve a student's chances of being admitted.

Common Courses

Common topics in these programs include:

  • Literature analysis
  • Introduction to fiction
  • Shakespeare
  • British literature

Master's Degree in Teaching and Learning

Most master's programs related to education feature specializations, and English is a common concentration. Students in these advanced programs can generally expect to take around 40 credit hours and can complete the program in about two years.

Information and Requirements

These programs assume that students already possess outstanding English skills, and students learn how to communicate their knowledge and experience to others. Students will need an undergraduate degree, usually in English. Other factors that can influence admission include transcripts, work experience, and letters of recommendation.

Common Courses

Students enrolled in these programs can expect to take courses in the following subjects:

  • Educational psychology
  • Composition studies
  • Advanced grammar
  • Behavior management

Ph.D. in English Education

The highest degree available, a Ph.D. in English Education is a highly coveted degree that demonstrates an aspiring teacher's mastery of educational principles and the English language.

Information and Requirements

These programs are highly selective, requiring prior graduate education and in many cases work experience. Applicants may also need to be certified teachers before attempting to enroll.

Usually requiring around 50 credits, these programs focus on research and writing skills, as students learn about the intricacies of English education. A Ph.D. in English Education also allows students to prepare for instruction at the postsecondary level.

Common Courses

Ph.D. programs generally include courses in the following topics:

  • Research methods
  • Foundational distribution
  • Advanced studies distribution

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