Requirements for teachers of English to non-native speakers are similar to those for other teachers in Missouri, although the educational requirements are more strict. You can expect to earn post-graduate credentials on your way to earning your teaching certificate.
Requirements for ESL Teacher Certification in Missouri
|Average Salary for Teachers in Missouri (2017)*||$52,700 (Elementary)
|Required Degree||Master's Degree or Graduate Certificate|
|Degree Field||Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)|
|Testing Requirements||Missouri Pre-Service Teacher Assessment (MoPTA), Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA), Missouri Educator Profile (MEP), Missouri Content Assessments for subject and grade|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Education Requirements for ESL Teachers in Missouri
Teachers who wish to obtain certification in the area of ESL need advanced education beyond the undergraduate level. This can be found in a Master of Arts degree program in TESOL, which takes about two years to complete. This program includes courses such in linguistics, early English literature, and a seminar. A thesis may be included as part of graduation requirements. Students can also earn a graduate certificate in teaching English as a second language, allowing them to explore courses that include Second-Language Acquisition, Assessment and Professionalism in TESL, and Grammar for TESOL.
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Testing Requirements for ESL Teacher Certification in Missouri
All educators in the state of Missouri must complete a series of exams known as the Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments (MEGAs). For ESL teachers, Missouri Content Assessments will depend on the grade taught. For example, a sixth grade teacher of English for non-native speakers would need to pass the Middle School Education: Language Arts exam, while a high school teacher would take the Secondary Education: English exam. All of the content assessment exams are in multiple-choice format, and a score of 220 is needed to pass.
Also required for all potential teachers is the Missouri Pre-Service Teacher Assessment (MoPTA). Designed to evaluate teaching methods as students progress through coursework, this exam includes an optional video element, allowing the recording of student teaching sessions if permission is granted by the educational institution. There are a total of four components to this exam, and after the submission deadline passes, scores are available within four weeks.
The Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA) is made up of four subtests: science and social studies, mathematics, reading comprehension and interpretation, and writing. The writing subtest consists entirely of one question with a longer answer, while the other three subtests come in multiple-choice format. Passing scores vary depending on the institution administering them, so check with the school giving the test for their standards.
Finally, the Missouri Educator Profile (MEP) differs from the rest of the MEGAs because it is not scored like a traditional exam. Rather, the multiple-choice survey measures different characteristics of the test taker's professional personality to give the state a better idea of who they will be recommending for certification. This test does not need to be taken at any official location, as any computer with an active Internet connection will work. Furthermore, anyone taking this test has the option to pause and come back at a later date if they need more time.
Certification Requirements for ESL Teachers in Missouri
To earn an Initial Professional Certificate (IPC) in Missouri, teachers should complete the application on the state's website. A minimum 2.75 GPA is required for general undergraduate coursework, while a 3.00 in TESOL/English studies is necessary for certification. A criminal background history report is required, including fingerprinting, if one has not been completed in the twelve months preceding the application for a teaching certificate. The fee is $40.30, and this can be sent through the Missouri State Highway Patrol's website. When the school issuing your degree has received the application for certification, they will review it, and send a recommendation to the state's education department. The processing time for this may vary depending on how quickly you send in your documentation, which must include official transcripts from all schools attended.