2019 Accredited Online ESL Teaching Programs

Quick Facts
Accreditation: CEA
Degree Levels: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
Avg Tuition: $24,460
Avg Salary: $58,657

There are 135 online colleges and universities offering English as a Second Language (ESL) degrees at the associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate levels. Many of these degrees will lead to an ESL teaching certification. In addition to a comprehensive list of all accredited online schools offering ESL degrees, we highlight the best online master's in ESL programs. These schools were ranked based on their tuition costs and the salaries of alumni, provided by PayScale.

When choosing an ESL degree program, prospective students should check to make sure it is accredited. Students should look to make sure that their school has both regional and programmatic accredition so they can ensure they are receiving an education that will prepare them for their future careers.

Find an Online Degree:

Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - ESL Degrees ( 133)

Partner School
Partner School
Full List Accreditation Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
Full List (133)
American Public University System HLC $6,880 72% (138 reviews)
417 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Education in Teaching - English Language Learners
American University MSCHE $46,615 100% (2 reviews)
47 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • MA in TESOL
Arizona State University HLC $15,691 - $27,372 71% (78 reviews)
195 Programs, 3 in ESL (view all)
  • Grad Certificate in English as a Second Language
  • MA in English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MTESOL)
Ashford University WASC WSCUC $10,632 - $13,400 68% (634 reviews)
146 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • BA/English Language Learner Studies
  • MA/Education - English Language Learner Specialization
Auburn University SACS COC $29,640 100% (2 reviews)
84 Programs, 3 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Adult Education and English Language Teaching
  • Graduate Certificate in TESL/TEFL
  • M.Ed. English for Speakers of Other Languages
Ball State University HLC $25,942 100% (4 reviews)
125 Programs, 3 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • License in English as a New Language
  • Master of Arts in Education in Elementary Education - English as a New Language
Biola University WASC WSCUC $38,448 Add Review
32 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Arts in TESOL
Boise State University NWCCU $22,642 100% (1 review)
48 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • English as a New Language (K-12) and Bilingual Endorsements
Buena Vista University HLC $32,854 100% (2 reviews)
33 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Teacher Endorsement in Teaching English as a Second Language
  • Teaching English as a Second Language, Graduate Teacher Endorsement
California University of Pennsylvania MSCHE $15,326 79% (14 reviews)
105 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Certificate in English as a Second Language
Campbellsville University SACS COC $25,400 50% (2 reviews)
64 Programs, 3 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Education - Teacher Leader - ESL Endorsement
  • Master of Arts in School Improvement - Rank I: ESL Endorsement
  • Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language
Canisius College MSCHE $36,454 100% (2 reviews)
25 Programs, 3 in ESL (view all)
  • Advanced Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • Master's in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages - Certification
  • Master's in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages - Non-Certification
Capella University HLC $14,250 64% (544 reviews)
234 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • MS - English Language Learning and Teaching
Central Washington University NWCCU $22,010 100% (1 review)
42 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Certificate in English Language Learner
City University of Seattle NWCCU $16,920 54% (28 reviews)
83 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Education - English Language Learners (ELL)
  • English Language Learners (ELL) Endorsement Program
Coastal Carolina University SACS COC $25,872 Add Review
14 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in ESOL
Colorado State University-Fort Collins HLC $28,903 100% (5 reviews)
78 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Adult Basic Education
Colorado State University-Global Campus HLC $9,000 55% (51 reviews)
102 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate of Completion in English Language Learning
Concordia University - Nebraska HLC $31,000 0% (1 review)
39 Programs, 3 in ESL (view all)
  • ESL/ELL Endorsement
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with ESL/ELL Emphasis
  • M.Ed. in Literacy with Reading Specialist and ESL Emphasis
Concordia University - Portland NWCCU $30,270 49% (41 reviews)
52 Programs, 4 in ESL (view all)
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: English for Speakers of Other Languages
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: English Language Development
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: ESOL
  • Teaching English Language Learners (TELL) Certificate Program
Concordia University - Wisconsin HLC $28,600 67% (3 reviews)
109 Programs, 5 in ESL (view all)
  • Certificate in ESL for Teachers
  • Certificate in ESL/Bilingual for Teachers
  • Graduate Teacher Certification in ESL/Bilingual
  • MS in Education - Teaching and Learning with English as a Second Language Licensure
Concordia University-Chicago HLC $31,588 Add Review
81 Programs, 4 in ESL (view all)
  • MA, Curriculum And Instruction With ESL And Bilingual Endorsements
  • MA, Curriculum And Instruction, ESL Endorsement
  • MA, ESL With Optional TESOL Graduate Certificate
  • MA, TESOL With Optional International Practicum
Drexel University MSCHE $52,002 60% (5 reviews)
294 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)
  • Master of Science in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum: Advanced Studies - Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)
East Carolina University SACS COC $23,420 100% (4 reviews)
141 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Eastern Kentucky University SACS COC $18,250 33% (3 reviews)
88 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • English as a Second Language P-12 Endorsement Preparation
Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus HLC $11,788 100% (2 reviews)
64 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Education in Pedagogy and Learning - Bilingual Education
  • Master of Education in Pedagogy and Learning - English as a Second Language
Eastern Oregon University NWCCU $19,682 80% (5 reviews)
46 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Endorsement in ESOL
Eastern University MSCHE $32,145 Add Review
21 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • Certification in ESL Program Specialist (K-12)
  • Master of Education in TESOL
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania MSCHE $14,668 100% (2 reviews)
36 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Education in Middle & Secondary Instruction - ESL (English as a Second Language)
Emporia State University HLC $19,918 Add Review
85 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • MS in Instructional Design and Technology - TESOL
  • TESOL Certificate
Florida Atlantic University SACS COC $17,276 100% (4 reviews)
36 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with TESOL Specialization
Gannon University MSCHE $30,932 Add Review
16 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Certificate English as a Second Language Program Specialist (ESL)
George Mason University SACS COC $34,370 Add Review
57 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language
The George Washington University MSCHE $53,518 75% (4 reviews)
143 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • MA in Education and Human Development in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
Georgetown College SACS COC $37,160 Add Review
16 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • English as a Second Language (P-12) Endorsement
Georgia Southern University SACS COC $17,142 Add Review
55 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Education Endorsement
  • Graduate Certificate in TESOL/Applied Linguistic
Georgia State University SACS COC $23,971 0% (1 review)
32 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Endorsement
  • Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) - English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
Grand Canyon University HLC $17,050 53% (404 reviews)
210 Programs, 3 in ESL (view all)
  • BS in Elementary Education - English as a Second Language
  • Graduate Certificate of Completion in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Hamline University HLC $40,332 Add Review
21 Programs, 7 in ESL (view all)
  • Certificate in Adult ESL
  • Certificate in Advanced TEFL
  • Certificate in Bilingual/Bicultural Education Additional License (K-12)
  • Certificate in English as a Second Language Additional License (K-12)
Huntington University HLC $25,540 Add Review
27 Programs, 3 in ESL (view all)
  • Certificate in TESOL/EL
  • Master of Arts in Ministry and TESOL
  • Master of Education - TESOL Education
Indiana State University HLC $19,452 88% (8 reviews)
83 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language
Indiana University - Bloomington HLC $34,845 100% (1 review)
107 Programs, 3 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in EFL/ESL Teacher Training
  • Graduate Certificate in EFL/ESL Teaching
  • Graduate Certificate in EFL/ESL Teaching, Graduate Certificate
Keiser University eCampus SACS COC $18,488 41% (63 reviews)
80 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Certificate in English for Speakers of Other Languages
Kennesaw State University SACS COC $8,066 - $17,329 75% (4 reviews)
93 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Lamar University SACS COC $18,274 67% (9 reviews)
42 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Education in Teacher Leadership with specialization in ESL
Lesley University NECHE $26,675 Add Review
46 Programs, 3 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.) Language and Literacy
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction - Elementary Education Generalist: English Language Learners
Liberty University SACS COC $11,700 59% (238 reviews)
525 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • BS: Teaching English as a Second Language
  • MA: Teaching English as Second Language
Lindenwood University HLC $16,960 Add Review
72 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • MA in Education - English for Speakers of Other Languages
Louisiana State University - Shreveport SACS COC $20,320 100% (2 reviews)
38 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • M. Ed. Curriculum & Instruction: ESL
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction in ESL
Marshall University HLC $17,856 Add Review
37 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language
  • M.A. in Education - Teaching English as a Second Language
Mercer University SACS COC $36,000 Add Review
42 Programs, 3 in ESL (view all)
  • Educational Specialist in Early Childhood Education - ESOL Endorsement
  • Endorsement in English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • Master of Education in Early Childhood Education - ESOL Endorsement
Messiah College MSCHE $34,160 Add Review
39 Programs, 4 in ESL (view all)
  • Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Certificate of Graduate Studies in Bilingual Education and TESOL
  • M.Ed. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • M.Ed. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) with Pennsylvania English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Specialist Certification (K-12)
Michigan State University HLC $39,406 100% (3 reviews)
109 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum - ELL/ESL
  • Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum - K-12 English as a Second Language Specialization
Middle Tennessee State University SACS COC $26,348 100% (1 review)
27 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction - English as a Second Language
Minnesota State University-Moorhead HLC $15,878 Add Review
43 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction - TESL
Missouri State University HLC $14,746 0% (1 review)
47 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language
Morehead State University SACS COC $13,426 Add Review
51 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • English as a Second Language Endorsement
Murray State University SACS COC $23,820 Add Review
53 Programs, 3 in ESL (view all)
  • Doctor of Arts in English Pedagogy and Technology - Teaching English Language Specialization
  • ESL Certificate Endorsement for Kentucky Teachers
  • Master of Arts in TESOL
National Louis University HLC $10,440 Add Review
71 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • English as a Second Language Endorsement
Newman University HLC $29,200 Add Review
13 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • Licensure in ESOL Endorsement
  • Master of Science in Education - ESOL Curriculum and Instruction
North Carolina State University SACS COC $27,406 67% (3 reviews)
91 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • License in English as a Second Language Add-On
Northcentral University WASC WSCUC $17,526 49% (209 reviews)
272 Programs, 5 in ESL (view all)
  • Doctor of Education - English Second Language
  • Education Specialist (EdS) - English Second Language
  • Master of Education - English Second Language
  • PhD in Education - English Second Language
Northern Arizona University HLC $24,841 72% (18 reviews)
159 Programs, 4 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language
  • MED in Bilingual and Multicultural Education - Bilingual
  • MED in Bilingual and Multicultural Education - ESL
  • Teaching English as a Second Language Endorsement - Arizona Department of Education
Northwest University NWCCU $30,320 Add Review
20 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Education - English Language Learner
Northwestern State University of Louisiana SACS COC $18,710 100% (2 reviews)
103 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
Nyack College MSCHE $25,350 Add Review
32 Programs, 3 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching TESOL (NY State Residents only)
  • Master of Science in TESOL (Additional Certification)
  • Master of Science in TESOL (Non-Certification)
Olivet Nazarene University HLC $34,940 10% (21 reviews)
33 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • ESL/Bilingual Endorsement
Oregon State University NWCCU $29,457 50% (6 reviews)
109 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Endorsement
Post University Online NECHE Not Provided 33% (81 reviews)
127 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Education / TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
Purdue University - Main Campus HLC $28,794 75% (4 reviews)
68 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Teaching English Language Learners (TELL)
  • MS in Education in Curriculum and Instruction - English Language Learning
Regent University Online SACS COC $17,288 54% (13 reviews)
517 Programs, 9 in ESL (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in English - Secondary English Education
  • Certificate of Graduate Studies in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) - Adult Education-Collegiate
  • Certificate of Graduate Studies in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) with a concentration in K-12
  • M.Ed. in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) - K-12 Track
Roosevelt University HLC $28,963 100% (2 reviews)
17 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • MA in Teaching and Learning - Bilingual/ESL Education
Rowan University MSCHE $21,890 100% (1 review)
42 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Certificate of Graduate Study in English as a Second Language
Rutgers University MSCHE $30,579 67% (3 reviews)
97 Programs, 6 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Education in Adult and Continuing Education - Adult ESL and Literacy Education
  • Master of Education in Adult and Continuing Education - Human Resources Development
  • Master of Education in Language Education
  • Master of Education in Language Education - Bilingual Education
Sacred Heart University NECHE $39,820 0% (1 review)
20 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • English as a Second Language Certificate Program
Saint Joseph's University MSCHE $43,880 Add Review
45 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Endorsement in English as a Second Language (K-12)
Saint Xavier University HLC $33,380 Add Review
18 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • Endorsement in Bilingual Education
  • Endorsement in English as a Second Language (ESL)
Sam Houston State University SACS COC $18,022 100% (2 reviews)
67 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • Certificate in Second Language Instruction
  • M.Ed. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Southeast Missouri State University HLC $12,720 100% (1 review)
58 Programs, 3 in ESL (view all)
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Undergraduate Certificate
  • K-12 English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) DESE Certification
  • MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Southeastern University SACS COC $25,360 100% (1 review)
38 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Education in TESOL
Southwestern Assemblies of God University SACS COC $19,994 100% (1 review)
75 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Associate of Arts in TESOL
Southwestern College - KS HLC $28,750 100% (1 review)
43 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)
Spring Arbor University Online HLC $27,750 Add Review
44 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Arts in TESOL
  • Master of Arts in TESOL - K-12 with ESL Endorsement
St. John's University MSCHE $40,520 Add Review
41 Programs, 6 in ESL (view all)
  • Advanced Certificate in Intensive Teacher Institute (ITI) Bilingual Pupil Personnel
  • Advanced Certificate in Intensive Teacher Institute (ITI) Bilingual Special Education
  • Advanced Certificate in Intensive Teacher Institute (ITI) TESOL
  • Advanced Certificate in Intensive Teacher Institute (ITI-BE) in Bilingual Education
Stephen F. Austin State University SACS COC $17,676 Add Review
53 Programs, 3 in ESL (view all)
  • ESL and Bilingual Certification
  • Master of Education - ESL/Bilingual
  • Master of Education with All-Level Professional Reading Specialist Certification - ESL/Bilingual
Tennessee Tech University SACS COC $24,377 Add Review
41 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • English as a Second Language Endorsement
Texas A & M University-Commerce SACS COC $20,884 86% (7 reviews)
53 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics - TESOL
Texas A&M University-College Station SACS COC $36,606 67% (3 reviews)
129 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: English as a Second Language
  • Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction: English as a Second Language
Trevecca Nazarene University SACS COC $25,100 Add Review
49 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Education in English Second Language
Troy University SACS COC $13,520 55% (11 reviews)
95 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Science in Second Language Instruction (Non-Thesis)
Union College - KY SACS COC $26,080 100% (1 review)
18 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Education: The Teacher Leader - English as a Second Language
University of Alabama in Huntsville SACS COC $21,480 Add Review
30 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Master of Education - English Speakers of Other Languages
University of Arizona HLC $11,800 100% (2 reviews)
100 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • MA in Second Language Learning and Education Technology
  • Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate
University of California - Los Angeles WASC WSCUC $41,275 100% (1 review)
136 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Specialization in English Learner Added Authorization (CTEL/CLAD)
University of Cincinnati HLC $27,334 83% (6 reviews)
127 Programs, 7 in ESL (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Adult/International TESL
  • Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Master of Education in Literacy & Second Language Studies
  • Master of Education in Literacy & Second Language Studies - Adult/International Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)
University of Colorado Colorado Springs HLC $19,498 100% (1 review)
56 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • Certificate in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language
  • Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
University of Colorado Denver HLC $25,259 100% (2 reviews)
101 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • Certificate in Literacy & Language Development for Diverse Learners
  • Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages
University of Georgia SACS COC $30,392 100% (1 review)
34 Programs, 2 in ESL (view all)
  • Endorsement in English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
University of Illinois at Springfield HLC $20,938 100% (3 reviews)
58 Programs, 1 in ESL (view all)
  • Certificate in English as a Second Language (K-12)
University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign HLC $31,194 Add Review
171 Programs, 3 in ESL (view all)
  • Bilingual and ESL Endorsement
  • Doctor of Education in Learning Design and Leadership - Bilingual/ ESL Education
  • Graduate Certificate in TESL

Online ESL Degree Overview & Career Information

The training involved in becoming an ESL instructor depends on the academic level that the individual wishes to teach. To teach English as a second language at the elementary and secondary level requires the same certification that is required for any teacher- a minimum of a bachelor’s degree as well as state certification. To teach adult literacy and GED classes, one needs a bachelor's or master's degree, but not necessarily a certification. Doctoral degrees in ESL are also available, though this level is only required for those who want to teach at the university level or go into research.

View ESL Programs View ESL Programs

Online Associate's Degrees in ESL

An online associate degree in ESL can help offer students many opportunities for the future, but students will often transfer to a four-year college to gain bachelor's degrees upon finishing their associate degree. Requiring 60 credits, it usually takes two years of full-time study to complete an associate degree in the ESL program. A personal essay, ACT (American College Test) or SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) scores, as well as other documents, might also be required. In order to be eligible for admission to an associate in ESL program, applicants must present a high school transcript showing graduation details, and their admission may be affected by their high school GPA scores. The curriculum often consists of classes focused on linguistics, grammar, pedagogy and language patterns analyzation.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees in ESL

A bachelor's degree is the minimum amount of education needed in order to become a certified ESL teacher. Those interested in this career can attend a bachelor's program that is specifically aimed at training students to become ESL teachers, or they can earn a bachelor's in Education or a subject area such as English and then pursue an ESL certificate once they have graduated. Students in an education-focused bachelor's degree will usually have to complete supervised student teaching. A bachelor's degree will take around four years to complete around 120 credit hours of study. Classes that a student might take during this program of study include Structure of the English Language, Intercultural Communication, Introduction to Linguistics, and Modern Grammar. In order to be admitted to a bachelor's program an applicant will need to have at least a high school diploma or GED.

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Online Master's in ESL

A master's degree can be appropriate for aspiring teachers that have a non-education related undergraduate degree, or teachers who wish to gain more education in order to better serve their students. Programs typically take two years to complete, requiring 30 credits in coursework. To learn more about online master's programs in ESL, see our master's overview which includes a list of the best programs.

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Online Doctoral Degrees in ESL

Depending on an individual's goals, an online doctoral degree in teaching ESL may be an appropriate option. A doctorate prepares students to work in leadership roles within the field of education, as well as careers teaching the next generation of educators at the university level, or conducting their own research. The length of time it takes to earn a doctorate will vary, but students should expect to spend at least three to four years on their studies. In order to be admitted to a doctoral program a student will need to have completed a master's degree in a similar field. Other typical requirements include letters of recommendation, work experience in the field, and a written statement going over the applicant's research goals.

This level of program will be made up of traditional coursework as well as performing research and writing a dissertation. Classes that a doctoral student might take include Interlanguage Pragmatics, Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching, Language Teacher Education, and Curriculum Design.

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Online Certificates in ESL

There are many online options available to those looking to earn a certificate in teaching English as a second language. An online ESL teaching certificate program can be found at various universities, and most are available at the graduate-level. A certificate program will typically take a year or two to complete. Some schools allow students to complete this type of certificate while also working on a graduate degree in education.

A certificate by itself is not enough to qualify a graduate to gain teaching licensure but those with just a certificate may be able to find work teaching in private settings, like private language schools or businesses. Teachers who already have licensure may wish to earn this type of certificate in order to teach a wider variety of classes and students. Students will learn how to create lessons and develop the skills they need to effectively teach ESL learners of various ages how to speak, read, and write English.

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Requirements for becoming an ESL teacher

As with any teaching profession, those who work as ESL teachers in the Pre-K through 12th grade setting will need to be licensed. Licensing varies from state to state, but usually an aspiring ESL teacher will need at least a bachelor's degree. They will also have to go through teacher training, either as part of their undergraduate program or during a master's or certification course, and student teaching will be required. A certification test will also likely be required.

ESL is also widely known as ELL (English Language Learners), so a student who is interested in teaching ESL will also find value in ELL programs. However, it should be noted that earning a degree in ESL and becoming a licensed ESL teacher is different from earning a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) or similar certificate on its own. This type of certificate will qualify an individual to teach English overseas in private language institutes, but not in public schools in the United States. Program descriptions should be read carefully.

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The Importance of Accreditation for ESL Programs

One thing to keep in mind when choosing a degree program is accreditation. One important type of accreditation is regional accreditation, which is the most highly regarded and most widely accepted accreditation for higher education institutions. Regional accreditation means that the school has been evaluated by an outside organization which has determined that the school meets certain educational standards. This type of accreditation is important for a variety of reasons, including that credits earned through that school will transfer to other schools and also that students will have access to federal financial aid.

Another important type of accreditation is programmatic accreditation. This is when an organization specializing in a particular subject accredits programs that teach that subject. For many years, NCATE, or the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, was the main professional accreditation agency for education programs, along with The Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). As of July 1, 2013, NCATE and TEAC merged to form The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). CAEP uses a set of five Standards to evaluate programs, with criteria including the quality of the professors and the kinds of practical experiences, such as student teaching, that a student has access to. Those who wish to become an ESL teacher should find a program that has received programmatic accreditation from CAEP or NCATE, because this will give them assurance that they are receiving a quality education that will prepare them for their future careers.

References

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