EFL Certificate and Degree Programs for Aspiring EFL Teachers

Students in EFL certificate programs learn how to teach English to individuals who do not speak it as their native language. In the programs, students focus on building both grammar knowledge and teaching skills.

Essential Information

EFL certificate programs are usually offered at the graduate level, and they can take anywhere from 12-16 weeks to complete. In addition to completing classroom requirements, students in these programs typically complete field practica teaching foreign individuals how to speak English. Students who graduate from an EFL teaching certificate program are eligible to teach secondary school overseas, in special language schools, and sometimes even within schools in the U.S. Prospective students of EFL certificate programs should hold a bachelor's degree and an education in at least one foreign language.

EFL Certificates

Applicants usually must have a bachelor's degree, but it can often be in any field, ranging from English to computer science to business. Students must also have a thorough knowledge of a foreign language, with at least 12 credits of study from an accredited institution. EFL classes include an overview of both basic English grammar topics as well as techniques in teaching. Some classes include:

  • Second language learning
  • Approaches to grammar
  • Linguistics
  • Bilingual education
  • Language acquisition
  • Instruction and assessment

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers often travel overseas to teach English to individuals in other countries. This is different from teachers of ESL, or English as a Second Language, who mostly stay within the United States to teach English to non-native speakers.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) puts EFL and ESL teachers under the category of adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers. In May 2015, there were approximately 77,500 teachers working in this field, with an annual median salary of $50,280. The BLS also estimates that, within the United States, employment of all adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers will increase at the relatively average rate of 7% from 2014 to 2024.

For those seeking a career as ESL teachers, EFL certification programs are offered at the graduate level. Many EFL certified teachers choose to teach overseas or at special language schools, while some choose to work in schools in their own communities.

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