Copyright

Spanish As a Second Language Certification Info for Teachers

A Spanish as a Second Language certification is generally a required credential that demonstrates proficiency in bilingual education. Continue reading for an overview of the traditional and alternative paths to obtain this certification, as well as job growth and salary information for certified professionals in this field.

View popular schools

Aspiring Spanish as a Second Language teachers can gain certification through traditional Spanish education programs or alternative certification programs. Alternative certification programs are for candidates whose bachelor's degree did not include teacher certification. Certification includes passing an exam and obtaining practical experience.

Essential Information

Traditionally, a Spanish as a Second Language instruction certification is obtained as a part of a bachelor's degree program in Spanish with a concentration in education. Graduates of an accredited college or university should then receive a teaching certification along with their degree in the language. However, there are alternative certification programs which include teacher certification coursework outside of the university setting as well as continuing education for experienced Spanish teachers from The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Required Education Bachelor's degree and certification program
Required Experience Spanish language proficiency
Required Testing Examinations to evaluate language proficiency
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% for middle school teachers; 6% for high school teachers*
Median Salary (2015) $55,860 for middle school teachers; $57,200 for high school teachers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Bilingual and Multilingual Teacher Education
  • Multicultural Education
  • Native American Teacher Education

Traditional Teacher Certification Programs

All Spanish education programs require demonstration of language proficiency for acceptance. Coursework in these programs might include linguistics, psychology, and child or adolescent development. Major requirements in these programs are likely to include courses in Spanish language and composition, Spanish literature, Spanish culture, and General Education.

Typically, students in traditional Spanish education certification programs will take part in teaching internships. Students may also be required to pass proficiency exams, such as the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), prior to actually teaching in the classroom. The ACTFL OPI is an interview-style examination performed either in-person or over the phone with the purpose of assessing an individual's language speaking ability.

Depending on state requirements, students are required to pass Praxis tests or state-issued teacher certification exams before graduation. For certification in Spanish as a Second Language, students take the Praxis II Subject Assessment exam titled 'Spanish: World Language,' which covers listening, reading, writing, speaking, and culture. Everyone who seeks this certification will be required to demonstrate Spanish language proficiency. However, there are alternative ways to obtain this certification outside of the university setting.

Alternative Teacher Certification Programs

Most states offer an alternative teacher certification route for college graduates with a bachelor's degree in a major that did not lead to teaching certification. Candidates must pass a screening process which may include interviews, criminal background checks and exams to test for basic liberal arts skills as well as Spanish fluency.

Students in an approved alternative teacher certification program complete additional coursework to meet professional teaching standards, based on the individual's skill level, previous coursework and state requirements. Experienced teachers provide individual mentoring to students in alternative certification programs during in-classroom employment. Graduates must pass Praxis exams or a state-issued certification exam to receive teacher certification.

National Certification Information for Spanish Teachers

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) awards national certification in World Languages Other than English. Teachers must be state-certified, have three years of teaching experience, take a content knowledge assessment and submit a portfolio to NBPTS showing classroom interaction, teaching, written analysis and accomplishments outside of the classroom that have contributed to the education of the applicant's students.

The content knowledge assessment, involving six exercises, is given at computer-based testing centers throughout the United States. Teachers must have high Spanish-language proficiency as well as an excellent understanding of Spanish culture, language acquisition and education.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 6% growth for all middle school teachers and high school teachers between 2014 and 2024. In May 2015, the median salary for middle school teachers was $55,860. The median salary for high school teachers in May 2015 was $57,200 as reported by the BLS.

Undergraduate Spanish education programs typically include certification to teach Spanish as a second language. Alternative certification programs are available for individuals whose undergraduate degree did not include this, but who wish to teach Spanish. Gaining certification includes passing a Praxis exam and practical classroom experience. Candidates must demonstrate proficiency in a number of areas relating to Spanish fluency and understanding.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma of GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Cert - English As A Second Language (Campus)

    What is your highest level of education?

    • MA in Teaching (for Aspiring Teachers Grades 5-12)
    • MS in Higher Education - Online College Teaching
    • MS in Education (for Practicing Teachers Grades K-12)
    • MS in Higher Ed - College Teaching and Learning
    • BS in Early Childhood Administration
    • Undergraduate in Early Childhood

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Teaching and Learning (EdD)
    • Teaching & Learning: Integrated Concentration (MAEd)

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MS in Education - Special Education: Autism
    • MS in Education - Special Education: Masters Only
    • MS in Education - Special Education and Special Education Certification
    • MS in Education - Special Education and Wilson Reading System Certification

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Special Education
    • Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership - Behavioral Health
    • MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
    • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
    • M.Ed. in Special Education: Cross-Categorical
    • M.Ed. in Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education-ITL
    • M.Ed. in Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education-NITL
    • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education
    • Bachelor of Arts in English for Secondary Education
    • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in English as a Second Language
    • BS in Elementary Education / Special Education (Dual Major)
    • BS in Early Childhood
    • B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Education in Special Education

    What is your highest level of education?

    • MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - ESOL (K-Adult)
    • MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - Leadership
    • MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - English Language Development
    • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction - STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)
    • MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - The Inclusive Classroom (SPED)
    • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction - Early Childhood Education

    What is your highest level of education?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?