No matter if you want to teach English to non-native speaking students in the United States or in other parts of the world, you need to meet national and state ESL certification requirements. If you want to teach in other parts of the world, you may also need to provide proper identification and proof of your right to work in that country.
One of the first requirements for ESL certification is a college undergraduate degree. Most students who plan on teaching English as a second language earn their undergraduate degrees in English. A degree in any subject is acceptable if the candidate is able to pass subject matter exams to prove their English abilities. The need for qualified ESL teachers continues to grow. In fact, today there are more than three million students living in the United States who need additional training in English language usage. ESL teachers provide students with a basic understanding of the fundamentals of the English language. Rather than teaching students how to refine their skills in their native tongue, ESL teachers help international students acquire the skills they need to communicate and relate to others living in the United States and other English speaking countries.
Teaching ESL is a big responsibility, and it requires a great deal of specific training. Many years ago an organization called TESOL, which stands for teachers of English to speakers of other languages, set forth a list of guidelines for ESL certification. While these guidelines vary, most states require teachers to take coursework in linguistics and semantics in order to provide the best possible learning environment for ESL students. You can find out additional information about individual state requirements by contacting the state Department of Education directly.