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Teaching English Online: Career Education to Be an English Teacher

English instructors and professors at colleges and universities teach undergraduate and graduate courses in literature, writing, grammar and related subjects. Individuals who meet the education requirements necessary for a career teaching English on a college campus may also teach English online.

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Career Education Requirements

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 earn a bachelor's degree in education with an English concentration or vice versa. They may also pursue a master's degree in education with a concentration in English education. These programs include courses from both disciplines, such as teaching methods, curriculum development, student evaluation, literature, writing and grammar. Both bachelor's and master's programs for aspiring teachers include student-teaching experiences.

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.

Online Program Availability

Bachelor's and master's degree programs in English education are available online. Some programs can be completed entirely online, though many combine online and on-campus classes, given the need for in-class teaching practica. Online Ph.D. programs in English usually consist of on-campus and online classes.

Technical Information

Online English teachers lead online lectures and discussions, communicate with students via e-mail or phone and upload tests and other documents to an online course management system. Familiarity with computers, software, the Internet and e-mail are necessary for a career teaching English online. Knowledge of online course management systems such as Blackboard is helpful.

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