Overview of Online TESOL Certification in New York State
Teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) is a fairly broad term that traditionally encompasses more specific English teaching disciplines, such as teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) and teaching English as a second language (TESL). The pathway to obtaining TESOL certification in New York state typically involves a candidate obtaining a relevant college degree and state-approved preparation program, passing the appropriate teaching certification tests and then applying for the certificate. Some of these steps can be completed, at least partially, online.
This pathway, from start to finish, will typically take a minimum of four years. Candidates who already hold teacher certification and wish to add TESOL certification, but do not have substantial paid TESOL teaching experience, will need to set aside at least a year to complete a TESOL master's/advanced certificate program. However, such graduate programs can be completed almost entirely online so they offer candidates a great deal of flexibility.
Online TESOL Certification Requirements
In order to become eligible for taking the New York state teacher license and TESOL certification tests, candidates should hold a degree with a major in one of the liberal arts in which courses such as linguistics, English grammar, teaching methods and TESOL were included. In addition, this degree program will incorporate a state-approved teacher preparation program, which includes a practicum. Candidates who completed their state-approved teacher preparation program in a state other than New York are also eligible for the tests if they achieved a GPA of 2.5 in their degree program and have accrued a minimum of three years of full-time paid TESOL teaching experience.
Information and requirements
The ideal undergraduate degree for aspiring TESOL teachers to take would consist of an approved teacher preparation program with TESOL content, which is often undertaken as part of a separate undergraduate or graduate certification program; some of these are offered online. TESOL courses comprise classes covering TEFL, second language acquisition, linguistics, and materials and methods for teaching TEFL.
Existing teacher certification holders can add TESOL as a teaching endorsement by completing a TESOL master's/graduate certificate program. Some colleges deliver these programs online, which provides for a flexible schedule, particularly given that many offer various start points during the year.
Obtaining TESOL Certification in New York State
Once prospective TESOL teachers have completed their preparatory training, they are ready to take the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations. These examinations consist of a basic test and a content area test.
The basic test for all teacher hopefuls in New York is the Educating All Students (EAS) test, which comprises 40 selected-response questions and three constructed-response questions. The content area test consists of 90 selected-response questions and one constructed-response question. Pearson, the company that administers the tests, makes examination preparatory materials available for download online. These materials include a study guide, test content, and computer-based testing tutorials. Teacher candidates must also undergo a performance assessment which is known as the edTPA.
Applications for initial teacher certification are made online at the New York State Education Department's website using their TEACH online service. Before applying, candidates must complete a Dignity for All Students workshop, which is typically undertaken in person. Applicants also need to be fingerprinted and undergo a criminal history background check. The application fee for initial certification is $50 as of 2020.
Career Outlook after TESOL Certification
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 3-4% increase in jobs for elementary, middle and high school teachers between 2018 and 2028. The BLS also reports that average salaries for all teachers in New York state range from $83,010 to $85,300, depending on whether teachers are working at elementary, middle, or high school levels. TESOL teachers who are instructing adult learners outside of a traditional school setting are considered Adult Literacy and High School Equivalency Diploma Teachers by the BLS, which offers a median annual salary of $54,350 and a decline in jobs of 10% for these professionals.
The pathway to teaching English to speakers of other languages in New York state is well-defined and a number of steps along this pathway can be completed online. Completing these steps and getting certified as a TESOL teacher can take between four and five years.