Learn to Teach ESL: Overview of Education Programs for ESL Teachers

Apr 23, 2020

Essential Information

Students in an ESL program learn to develop a flexible curriculum and adapt quickly to the learning needs of a diverse classroom in which some students may learn faster than others. Program prerequisites for a master's degree program include a bachelor's degree (preferably in English,) standardized test scores, letters of recommendation and a personal essay. Experience with a second language is preferred. A student should expect to complete a practicum and teacher certification prior to graduating.

ESL Education Programs

Because language learning is different in that students often represent a variety of demographics, student teachers learn the essential skill of working with people of all ages, learning backgrounds and educational levels. Master's programs combine theory and practical application, which is usually in the form of student teaching or internships. Many programs also supplement coursework with study abroad opportunities. Here are some classes that might appear in the curriculum:

  • Teaching English
  • Cultural communication
  • Diverse learning
  • Advanced teaching techniques
  • ESL Student evaluation

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( predicted that employment of adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers will decline 10% between 2018 and 2028.

ESL teachers earned a median annual salary of $54,530 as of May 2019, according to the BLS. The lowest 10% of ESL teachers earned $32,580, while the top 10% made $93,760 or more.

In summary, earning a master's degree program in ESL offers the opportunity to teach a diverse population of students and may include the experience of studying or teaching abroad. Teacher certification is usually required in the process.

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