How to Become an ESL Teacher in Connecticut

As an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, you will help students whose native language is not English. In Connecticut, you can complete a bachelor's degree in order to become one.

Connecticut has a current shortage of ESL and bilingual education teachers. You can earn certification in either one of these areas by completing an undergraduate or graduate degree program designed to train competent ESL educators. You'll also need to pass required subject area examinations.

Connecticut ESL Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Connecticut (2016)* $76,740 (Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education)
$77,250 (Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education)
$76,260 (High School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Education
Testing Requirements Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test; Praxis English to Speakers of Other Languages or American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages examination

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Step 1: Complete Educational Requirements

One way to become an ESL teacher in Connecticut involves earning a bachelor's degree in bilingual and elementary education from a state-approved teacher preparation program. However, graduate programs designed to prepare students for PK-12 certification in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) are more common among the state-approved preparation programs.

Before applying to a preparation program, Connecticut requires that you demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics. You may fulfill this requirement if you have qualifying scores on any of the below tests:

  • ACT: Verbal score of 20 and math score of 17 (prior to 10/89); Verbal score of 22 and math score of 19 (on/after 10/89)
  • SAT: Combined verbal/math score of 1000 (prior to 3/31/95) or 1100 (on/after 4/1/95)
  • GRE: Combined verbal/math score of 1000 (prior to 10/1/11) or 297 (on/after 8/1/11)

If you did not achieve qualifying scores on one of these exams, you will need to take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test. Each preparation program in Connecticut can set their own passing score requirements for this test.

Regardless of whether you pursue a bachelor's degree designed to provide you with dual certification in elementary education and bilingual education or a graduate TESOL program, possible courses may include assessment for English language learners, ESL teaching methods, and the foundation for bilingual education, in addition to a student teaching assignment.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

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

Step 2: Pass Subject Area Tests

If you're aiming for the TESOL PK-12 certification, you will need to take a second Praxis examination after completing your degree. The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages examination has a passing score requirement of 155.

If you want to earn certification in bilingual education, you will need to pass an oral proficiency interview and a writing test in a second language. This exam is created by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, and passing scores vary depending on which language you take.

Step 3: Obtain Teaching Credentials

The final step in becoming an ESL teacher is to apply for your initial teaching certificate. Valid for three years, this certificate has a $50 fee and requires that you submit your college transcripts and the ED125 Statement of Preparing Higher Education Institution. The ED125 form verifies you have completed the required education. It must be signed by the appropriate college personnel and be affixed with the college's seal. Before getting hired to teach, you will also need to send your fingerprints off to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the state of Connecticut for a criminal background check.

After the initial certificate, the next tier of certification is the provisional educator certificate. Valid for eight years, this certificate can be obtained once you meet one of these requirements:

  • 10 months of in-state teaching experience in a public school after earning an initial teaching certificate
  • 30 months of out-of-state teaching experience in a public school (must be completed within 10 years)

The third and final level of teacher certification in Connecticut is the provisional educator certificate. The two requirements for this certificate are additional ESL courses and 30 months of teaching experience under the provisional educator certificate.

Certification Resources for Connecticut ESL Teachers

Before you take your Praxis tests, considering using these study guides to get ready for them.


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 or 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.

  • 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-NITL
    • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education
    • M.Ed. in Early Childhood
    • 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)

    What is your highest level of education?

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

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Special Education, M.Ed.-Emphasis in Alternative Licensing
    • Special Education, M.Ed.-Endorsement in Special Education Generalist
    • Special Education, B.A. without Licensure
    • Special Education, M. Ed. without Licensure
    • Early Childhood Education, B.A. without Licensure

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Doctor of Education - Character Education
    • Doctor of Education - Curriculum & Instruction
    • Ph.D. in Education - Character Education
    • Doctor of Education - Special Education
    • Ed.S. in Educational Leadership - Character Education
    • M.Ed. in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) - K-12 Track
    • M.Ed. in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) - TESOL - Adult Education
    • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction
    • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction - Christian School
    • M.Ed. - Individualized Degree Program
    • Master of Arts in Practical Theology - Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • 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?

    • MA in Education and Human Development in Secondary Special Education and Transition Services
    • MA in Education and Human Development in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
    • MA in Education and Human Development in Organizational Leadership and Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Education in Special Education

    What is your highest level of education?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?