Bilingual Teaching Certification and Certificate Program Information

Bilingual teaching certificate programs are available for elementary and secondary school teachers looking to teach classes to non-native English speakers in their primary language. These programs are designed to supplement initial teaching certification or training.

Essential Information

Some bilingual certification programs require field experiences in high school or elementary school classrooms. Teachers learn the psychological and cognitive aspects of language acquisition, as well as how to develop lesson plans and assess a students' reading and writing skills. In most programs, teachers must demonstrate writing and speaking proficiency via standardized testing or exit interviews in order to graduate. Prerequisites for this program often include a bachelor's degree and teaching certification.

Bilingual Teaching Certification Program

In addition to qualifying students for bilingual teaching certification, students may be able to apply course credit towards a master's degree. At some schools, students with less than one year of teaching experience must complete a supervised practicum after taking the following coursework:

  • Sociolinguistics
  • Second language acquisition
  • Curriculum development
  • Assessment techniques

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

From 2014 to 2024, the employment of kindergarten, elementary, and secondary school teachers, including special education teachers, was projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to grow by 6%, about average among all occupations. Teachers with bilingual certification may have better job prospects than single-language teachers due to the shortage of qualified applicants.

In May 2015, teachers within elementary schools earned an median annual salary of $54,890, according to the BLS. High school teachers' median salary was reported as $57,200 during the same year. The salaries earned by postsecondary teachers, including college professors, vary widely according to the subject matter taught. Professors teaching foreign languages and literature earned a median of $61,380 per year in May 2015, per the BLS.

Certification Information

Teachers receive certification in bilingual education through their state education departments. Although certification requirements vary from state to state, the application process typically requires teachers to submit a formal application, copies of their teaching certificate, documentation of student teaching experience, college transcripts, and passing test scores from proficiency examinations administered by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. This exam tests oral language skills and writing proficiency through an interview and standardized test.

A teaching certification in bilingual education is an additional credential for teachers who want to teach non-native English speakers. Short-term certification prep programs are available at many colleges and universities in the U.S. The job outlook for teachers in general is average compared to all occupations.

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