The qualifications needed to teach the second language (ESL) language will depend who want to teach and where you want to teach. For example, would you like to teach primary school children, adults, new immigrants, business professionals? Do you want to teach at a university, a community dormitory, a private language school, a public adult school, a nonprofit organization? Want to privatize students at home?

If someone asks you how to start ESL teaching, ask them to consider the options above and refine your question. First you need to know what the ESL teaches them. Once the potential teacher or instructor has specified exactly what you want, you can narrow down the necessary requirements to reach the goal. For example, what better qualifications are needed to teach elementary school pupils in public education? Or what are the requirements of teaching English as a Second Language to Adults of Immigrant Nonprofit Organizations?

The answer to these more sophisticated questions is different, as each setting has different requirements. You may also be a volunteer teacher or instructor who does not have very little or no qualifications at all. If you want to continue teaching English as a career, you will have to meet some of the minimum qualifications. These may include English language proficiency, TESOL or CELTA certificate, TEFL certificate (not taught in English), and / or teaching credentials. Again, the necessary requirements depend on where you want to teach. Incidentally, the use of a language other than English can be useful at times, but this is not an absolute requirement for ESL teaching work.

Usually, the highest paid ESL teaching opportunities are at universities. Most of these positions require at least one Master's degree in English; perhaps the best MATESOL – a master's degree in English language teaching for speakers of other languages. In state schools, teaching from primary schools to public adult schools usually requires a basic education (not necessarily English) and a state education certificate.

Private-language schools are another place for teaching ESL. They usually require a certificate in TESOL or a CELTA (Study in English for adults). They do not always require a university degree if they have these certificates and meet other school-specific requirements.

Another option is to become a private ESL instructor. There are no requirements for private education, although there may be certain state licensing requirements. You should consider this when you start your own tutorial. As for the ESL student, if you are willing to pay for teaching English unless you have a special ESL teacher qualification, this is between you and your students. Most adult students, however, want English teachers to have at least a minimum educational qualification and most young ESL students almost certainly want their child's instructor to have certain qualifications.

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