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Spanish Teacher Certification Requirements in AZ

Future Spanish teachers in Arizona state are required to pass two exams, which they prepare for through rigorous Spanish and teacher education coursework.

In a growing, global market where communication with those from different backgrounds may mean success, learning a second (or even third and fourth) language is becoming increasingly important, and Spanish teachers prepare students for a life-time of learning. Readers who are interested in teaching Spanish in Arizona can learn the requirements they will have to meet to become certified for this position.

Spanish Teacher Certification Requirements for Arizona Teachers

Average Salary for Arizona Teachers (2016)* $42,830 (Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education);
$48,020 (Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Degree Field Secondary Education and Spanish
Testing Requirements NES: Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary;
NES: Spanish

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Approved Teacher Preparation Program

When enrolled in a university program that combines teacher education and Spanish, individuals will be exposed to Spanish courses such as:

  • Intermediate Spanish
  • Conversational Spanish
  • Advanced Spanish Grammar

The topics discussed in teaching courses will be akin to:

  • Spanish instruction
  • Designing curriculum
  • Latin American literature
  • Phonetics of Spanish

Some universities in Arizona may require students to hold a minimum GPA throughout their major courses. In addition to coursework, future teachers step into the classroom under the mentorship of an experienced teacher. This internship or student-teaching experience is a year-long commitment completed during the senior year. It is important to note potential teachers should submit their university transcripts when applying for certification in Arizona.

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Certification Testing Requirements

First, teachers who wish to teach Spanish at the secondary level (grades 6-12) must pass the National Evaluation Series (NES) exam titled Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary. At the computer, test-takers answer 100 multiple-choice questions, write a response to a case study, and complete one work product assignment. The inquiries cover student development, assessment, and professionalism. The exam can take up to three hours, and potential teachers have to earn a 220 score in order to pass.

Additionally, a content area exam that focuses on Spanish is required. In Arizona, candidates take the NES Spanish exam. Interpretive listening and reading, as well as language structures, and cultural understanding are all part of this test. It takes about three hours and includes 100 multiple-choice questions, one writing assignment, and one speaking presentation. To pass, candidates have to earn a 220 on this test.

Required Background Checks

The Arizona Department of Public Safety completes a background check on all Arizona teachers. Once an individual is deemed safe, they are issued a fingerprint clearance card that must be presented while applying for teacher certification.

Constitution Requirements

After receiving their certification, Arizona teachers have one to three years to complete coursework focusing on the Constitution of the United States and the Arizona state Constitution. Failing that, they can also take an exam through the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments series that takes two and half hours to complete. It is 100 multiple-questions long, and candidates have to receive a score of 240.

Link to Help Certification Candidates

Being prepared for the required exams is half the battle for Spanish teacher certification in Arizona, and this link offers assistance in the form of study materials.


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