Many people benefited from a memorable teacher in their lives, and they may wonder, “How do I become a dual language teacher?” Growing numbers of English as a second language (ESL) students means a high demand for teachers who are able to teach a subject in two or more languages. These are some of the necessary steps to become a dual language teacher.
Become Proficient in Two or More Languages
Although it is possible to do a dual major in a foreign language and education, this would be a heavy course load. People who are already proficient in two or more languages may have the easiest time at completing the rest of the requirements for elementary or secondary dual language teachers. It is also important to keep in mind that American Sign Language (ASL) counts as a foreign language. ASL teachers and interpreters are also growing in demand in the educational system, healthcare services and government.
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree as an Elementary or Secondary Teacher
The next step to becoming a dual language teacher is earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary or secondary education. Elementary education includes kindergarten through sixth grade, and secondary education includes seventh through 12th grades. A person who wants to instruct at a vocational school or community college should plan to earn the secondary education degree. The requirements for a degree in elementary and secondary education include proficiency in English, mathematics and more. Secondary teachers usually have a specialty, which could be the foreign language. A dual major may be needed in both education and a foreign language in order to have a better chance at becoming employed. In order to complete the teaching degree, colleges and universities require students to complete a supervised student teaching practicum.
Earn a Master’s Degree in Teaching or Education
Most public school systems require a master’s degree in teaching or education. These requirements are not always in place for private schools. The public school systems may be more likely to employ dual language teachers, especially in large metropolitan areas where there are high numbers of immigrants. Earning a master’s degree in teaching or education would take two full-time years of study. Student teaching and a project or thesis are usually a part of the degree requirement.
Obtain Licensure and Certification
Some states require a teacher to earn their master’s degree before getting licensed and certified as a dual language teacher, while others require licensure and certification first and provide a period of time during which the master’s degree must be earned. States may provide up to 10 years of time between initial licensure and earning a master’s degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teachers must pass a written exam, background check, student teaching program and subject matter test in order to be licensed and certified.
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Becoming a dual language teacher allows a person to help others achieve their own dreams. The steps to becoming a dual language teacher are numerous, but they make it more likely for a person to succeed in any type of school setting. The need for dual language teachers will continue to grow, making this a sound employment choice. Knowing the answer to, “How do I become a dual language teacher?” makes it easier to form a plan of action for the future.