Questions on Language Teacher Credentialing

General Questions

What skills do I need in order to become a credentialed language teacher in the U.S.?

  • Your academic background is very important. In most states you will need a bachelor’s degree (or U.S. equivalent). Teaching experience and/or training through and approved teacher education program is often required. Most importantly, you must submit proof of proficiency in English and the content language you wish to teach.
  • Skills in public speaking, lesson planning, educational methods, American classroom management and technology can be quite helpful in today’s classroom, but these can be learned through a traditional or alternative teacher program and/or online courses.

How much will it cost me to get a language teacher credential?

  • The total cost to obtain a language teacher credential in the US can vary by state and teacher program. Typical costs may include fees for transcript evaluation (if applicable), exams (basic skills, English proficiency, pedagogy and content language), teacher education program application, tuition/course fees, books, student teaching or internship placement, fingerprinting/background check, application for credential, etc. Check your state and teacher education program for specific fees.

Choose My Background

I do not have a BA or credential

I do not have a BA

P1 If you do not have a BA and you want a credential, you will most likely have to complete an undergraduate teacher preparation program that will lead to a BA + Credential.

All states have programs like this; however, they are not common for less commonly taught languages.

Please click here to search for a state route to certification.

I have a BA and no credential

I have a BA and I am interested in Certification

 P2 If you already have a BA and you want a credential, you can participate in a traditional, university-based teacher preparation program. After completing all the program coursework, you will student teach in a local school.

Additionally, some of the teacher education courses may count toward a master’s degree in education.

University tuition is charged for coursework.

Please click here to search for a state route to certification.

I have a  BA and I am interested in Alternative Certification

 P3 If you already have a BA and you want a credential, you may be eligible to participate in an alternative certification program. Typically, these are non-university based programs (district programs or private entities) that allow you to teach while completing your preparation program.These courses will not count toward a master’s degree but are approved for teacher credentialing.

Fees are charged for coursework, but are typically much less expensive than university tuition.

Please click here to search for a state route to certification.

I have an Out of State Credential

I am certified in another state and want to transfer my credential

 P4 If you already have a BA and a valid credential from another state within the US, you may be able to transfer that credential to a new state.

Most states have reciprocity agreements that allow relatively easy transfer of credentials, as long as the credential is comparable.

The state will review your educational background, teacher preparation, exams, and teaching experience to determine eligibility. Any deficiencies will need to be addressed and you may or may not be given a temporary credential to teach while completing those requirements.

Please click here to search for a state route to certification.

I have an Out of Country Credential

I am certified in another country and want to become certified in the US

 P5 If you already have a BA and a valid credential from another country, you may be able to transfer that credential to the US.

Your first step is to have your educational record evaluated to determine equivalency to a US BA. Check the state where you wish to be certified for a list of approved agencies and requirements.

Most states require OOC applicants to demonstrate English language proficiency (TOEFL or equivalent), basic skills, content language proficiency, and pedagocal training and exams. Any deficiencies will need to be addressed and you may or may not be given a temporary credential to teach while completing those requirements.

Please click here to search for a state route to certification.