Maryland ESL Teacher Certification

The testing requirements and postsecondary studies required by certified ESL teachers in Maryland are explored here. What potential ESL teachers learn about in college and the process of applying for certification are also explained.

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Maryland English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers are also known as ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) teachers. They are certified to teach students from Pre K through grade 12. As of the 2016-2017 school year the state of Maryland reported a shortage of qualified ESOL teachers, which could be a factor for attracting prospective ESOL teachers to this state.

Maryland ESL Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Maryland (2016)* $35,090 (Pre K); $58,930 (Kindergarten); $64,970 (Elementary School); $64,840 (Middle School); $65,930 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Degree Field ESOL Education
Testing Requirements Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators;
English to Speakers of Other Languages

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Qualify For Program Acceptance

In order to qualify for acceptance to an approved ESL certification program in Maryland you must pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators tests or have received acceptable scores on other recognized standardized tests, such as the Praxis I, ACT, SAT, or GRE. Individuals who take the Praxis Core assessments must earn a minimum of 150 in math, 156 in reading and 162 in writing. The cost for each of the three Praxis Core basic skills tests is $90, or a combination test may be taken for $150.

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Step 2: Complete Education Requirements

Once you have fulfilled the Praxis Core requirements you need to earn a bachelor's degree from an approved program. As of 2017, Maryland recognizes one approved, accredited bachelor's degree program that leads to initial certification for teaching ESOL. This program requires students to take courses in linguistics and to study the relationship between language and culture. Students must also take English and education courses as part of their degree program.

All students are required to complete internships which provide them with the opportunity to gain practical experience instructing students in classrooms prior to graduation. A total of 100 days of teaching experience is the minimum required to pass the internships. Students must also have a GPA of 2.75 in the courses required for their major and in their professional education courses to qualify for the internship.

Step 3: Pass the Content Exam

ESOL teachers are required to complete the English to Speakers of Other Languages content test. This test costs $120 and allows 2.5 hours for completion. A passing score on the English to Speakers of Other Languages test is 155.

Step 4: Apply For Your Certificate

The Maryland State Department of Education awards a certificate to individuals who pass all required tests and earn an approved degree in their certification area. Certificates are valid for five years. Individuals must supply the Maryland State Department of Education with proof of their passing scores on the required certification tests. They must send their proof, along with their postsecondary degree transcripts, to the Department of Education. These materials must be accompanied by a completed application form and a cover letter that states what type of certification is being sought and includes information to establish the identity of the applicant, such as the last four digits of their social security number and date of birth.

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