English as second language teachers or ESL teachers has multiple intriguing roles to juggle with. They help non-native English speakers learn, read, speak, write, and understand English.

ESL teachers ply their trade in private and public schools primarily. However, they also give private online and offline lessons from their homes.

Given the independence and freedom offered by the field, several people either choose to become an ESL tutor or long to be one.

Teaching English as a second language also allows teachers to explore new places, meet new people and hone their craft.

Despite being the third most spoken language in the world, English is considered the ‘Lingua Franca’  in the internet and business world.

Considering the significance and ever-increasing demand for the language, many students want to learn and improve English to meet their educational and professional needs.

To put it in a nutshell, if you are an English tutor, you have an excellent opportunity to create your empire and earn loads of money from the comfort of your home!

Sounds enticing? Doesn’t it?

Read on as we discuss all the things you need to qualify as an ESL teacher. So, if you want to be one, consider this as your ultimate guide:

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What Are The Qualification Of An ESL Teacher?

Like every rewarding profession, ESL teaching requires you to meet specific criteria. Wondering how to do that? Take a look at some of the most critical steps (in order):

Get A Diploma

Although most ESL teaching roles require a bachelor’s degree, you can also become an ESL tutor with a high school diploma or anything equivalent to that.

If you happen to be a student at the moment, you should cherry-pick the subjects that can help you excel in the ESL teaching profession.

To earn a high school equivalent credential, you can look for local and online options, like extended coursework.

That said, you must be sure that an equivalency program can help you get into the university or college you wish to attend.

A freshly graduated ESL teacher helping their student write better
Becoming an ESL teacher has no age limit. Therefore, irrespective of how young or old you are, you can become an ESL tutor with good English Language skills and a bachelor's degree. If you want more information regarding how to become an ESL tutor, head straight to Superprof (Source: Unsplash)

Strong Command Over Written And Spoken English

If you want to become an ESL teacher during your preliminary studies or after you are done with that, make sure to perfect your English Language skills.

Although watching movies and television shows can improve your English speaking skills, reading English books is the best way to enhance your writing skills. Writing has also been found to be an effective tool to hone English language skills.

That said, as an ESL teacher, communication is the chief determinant of your teaching skills. Therefore, if you genuinely wish to make your name in ESL teaching, you must work on your communication skills.

Contrary to common belief, there is a fine line between English skills and English communication.

The movies and television shows might help you learn to speak, but comprehending what someone else is saying and responding accordingly requires consistent practice.

The best way to upgrade your communication skills is by working with a conversation partner or hiring a coach.

Pursue Higher Education

Although you can give ESL private tutoring lesson plans after simply acquiring your High School Diploma, a bachelor's degree is a must-have if you want to work with an agency.

That is because irrespective of your efficiency in the English language, most companies and agencies in the United States and North America would not deem you eligible without a bachelor’s.

Fortunately, there is no hard and fast rule for your degree. So, irrespective of your chosen field, most agencies will consider hiring you as an ESL tutor as long you present a bachelor’s degree and exhibit proficiency in the English language.

Develop A Good Teaching Experience

As an ESL teacher, you are expected to have adequate teaching skills. However, that does not necessarily mean that you are required to have worked as a teacher in a formal classroom.

The companies require experience simply to make sure that you are a candidate who is comfortable being in the spotlight and helping others.

Hence, your teaching experience could be anything, being summer camp counseling, voluntary mentoring, or even private tutoring.

Get Necessary Certifications

As a high schooler determined to opt for ESL teaching as a profession, you should start looking for teaching positions that provide you with certifications.

Given the flexibility and money offered by the teaching profession, many students wish to become ESL teachers. Hence it would be best if you were prepared to confront stiff competition.

If you notice that ESL at your location demands some credentials, make sure you acquire them. Furthermore, do thorough research on any criterion that needs to be met.

Writing practice by a prospective ESL teacher
Since becoming an ESL teacher requires you to possess strong English writing skills, consistent writing practice is a must for anyone who aims to become an ESL teacher. Writing practice is also essential to form a good ESL lesson plan (Source: Unsplash)

Decide The Level Of English Language You Would Teach

Although it is not stressed enough, as an ESL teacher, you need to decide the level of English you will be teaching.

That is because, unlike teaching other languages, you won’t be preparing your students for high school or AP exams.

Instead, you would primarily be teaching to help your students clear IELTS. To make it easy, you should break your teaching methodology into the following levels:

1. Beginners

The Beginners include all the students that have just moved from the non-English speaking country and settled in the States.

These people usually have little to no grasp of English, so they need to be taught right from scratch.

2. Recreational Or Intermediate Learners

As the name suggests, students at the intermediate level are usually those individuals who have a fair knowledge of the language.

However, they have trouble communicating their message across, and so it hampers their personal development.

3. Advanced Or Business Professionals

Some tutees wish to further their English language speaking and learning skills because of their studies or careers. Such students fall into the advanced learning category.

As expected, these students already have an adequate command of the English language. So all they need is a push and a good learning atmosphere.

The beginner level demands are the most challenging of all three. However, when it comes to generating income, the intermediate and advanced levels are proved to be most lucrative.

Therefore, if you genuinely wonder how to become an ESL instructor who earns good, try to equip yourself with a solid grasp of corporate terminology and advanced learning structure.

What Skills Do You Need To Become ESL Teacher?

Although academic certification, credentials, and professional experience prove that you are an eligible candidate, you also need to showcase your skills for the profession.

In addition, to general teaching and leadership skills, you are required to have a sturdy grip over:

  • Reading
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Listening

Even if you are a native speaker with an excellent education, you ought to make sure you have an exceptional grip over the aforementioned skills.

Moreover, you need to master different teaching to impart these skills over to your pupils and tutees. Therefore, to further elucidate the point, we have broken down the skills for your convenience:

Flexible Teaching Style

As an ESL tutor, you will be teaching students from myriads of ethnic backgrounds. Therefore, if you choose ESL teaching as a profession, you should familiarize yourself with different cultures.

Moreover, it would be best to equip yourself with a flexible communication style that people of various ages and abilities can grasp.

For instance, if you are a visual learner, you should design your teaching style that focuses on presentation.

Ability To Teach In The Groups

There is a difference between teaching your students individually and teaching them in groups. Whether you aim to become an ESL private tutor or wish to affiliate yourself with an agency, you should be able to teach in groups and give lessons on a one-to-one basis.

For individual students, you need to direct your teaching skill to a single individual and devote your attention to them for the entirety of the lesson.

However, if you are teaching in a group, it is best to expand to ensure that everyone follows the lesson and no one feels left behind.

Adequate Business Knowledge

With time, most ESL tutors atomically become business owners. That is because, whether you affiliate yourself with a company or do solo trading, you will be required to deal with situations that require business insights.

Therefore, to become an efficient ESL tutor, you should enlighten yourself regarding the business sector and gain insights regarding sales, marketing, and tax distribution.

Fortunately, there are loads of services curated to help you in matters like local council business and accountants.

How To Find ESL Teaching Jobs?

Students will gradually seek you out once you have acquired the required credentials and certificates and set the marketing plan.

However, it is always best to connect yourself with a reputed organization like Superprof.

Thus it is time to stop wondering “How to become an ESL instructor?” and sign yourself up as an ESL teacher.

Being a community of top-class teachers, mentors, and trainers, Superprof is the best platform to give wings to your ESL teaching profession.

Furthermore, it is also quite simple to use. All you have to do is make an account, search for your preferences, and find yourself a tutor who shares the same goals and aspirations as you.

You never know; you may even find a tutor offering a free first lesson.

An ESL student taking online ESL classes
Although it is best to teach students in person, not every student has the resources and budget to afford real-time courses. Thanks to internet technology, now anyone can get ESL private tutoring lesson plans from the comfort of their homes. (Source: Unsplash)
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