Bilingual Teacher Certification and Certificate Program Overviews

Jan 02, 2019

Bilingual teaching certificate programs more commonly focus on English as a second language education. Students can obtain a bilingual teaching certificate as part of a bachelor's or master's degree program or earn the certificate independently.

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Essential Information

Bilingual teaching is often referred to as English as a second language (ESL) education. Most certificate programs focus on conducting classes in English for Spanish speakers, but some programs place emphasis on different languages. Certificate programs may be offered as part of bachelor's or master's programs in education, or they may be available in standalone format.

The educational prerequisites for certificate programs in bilingual teaching depend on whether the program is taken as part of a college degree or is completed on its own. If the program is part of a bachelor's degree program in education, applicants need to have a high school diploma. For certificates offered through master's degree programs or as stand-alone programs, applicants need to hold bachelor's degrees prior to admission.


Certificate Programs in Bilingual Teaching

Bilingual teaching certificate programs are unique because of their dual focus on the language taught and the principles of teaching a language.

The coursework in most bilingual teaching certificate programs covers topics related to writing and speaking English, psychology and teaching pedagogy. Those interested in teaching at the secondary levels usually learn to present material covering a particular content area, such as history or mathematics. Classes usually discuss:

  • Teaching methods
  • Bilingual education theory
  • Psychology of bilingual education
  • Literacy instruction for bilingual learners
  • Unique content area instruction

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) predicts that demand for adult education and literacy teachers, including those who specialize in ESL instruction, should increase by 7% between 2014 and 2024. The BLS also reported that the median annual salary for adult education and literacy teachers was $50,280 in May 2015.

Continuing Education Information

Each state has unique certification or licensure requirements for ESL or bilingual teachers. Common requirements include completion of a bachelor's program, an education program with student-teaching experiences and an exam. Many students choose to earn a master's degree in bilingual education or a related subject to improve their career advancement prospects.

Future educators wanting to help ESL students may want to pursue a bilingual teaching certificate as part of a bachelor's or master's degree program in education. Alternatively, graduates may seek an independent graduate certificate in bilingual teaching.

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