More and more teachers are seeing second-language learners in their classrooms. The responsibility falls on these teachers to develop strategies to teach these students, but many educators lack the training they need to manage such diverse classrooms effectively. To solve this problem, more and more districts are now requiring teachers — especially Integrated Language Arts teachers — to have an ESL certification in Texas.
Adding an ESL Certification in Texas
The ESL certification is not part of the standard certification test; it is an additional test teachers take that expands their standard certifications to also include ESL education, so educators must already be certified as teachers to take the ESL certification in Texas test. To take the test, you must register for it through an appropriate testing company — a list is available through the TEA website. However, there is another way to add an ESL certification in Texas: earning a master’s degree with an emphasis in literacy.
Master’s degree programs are available to teachers who want to further their education and improve their teaching toolboxes. The University of Texas at Arlington, for example, offers a master’s degree with an emphasis in literacy online program that includes ESL certification classes. These classes teach you how to work with ESL students, and they help with preparation for the state test through various classroom techniques, including reading, writing and oral language development. An ESL certification in Texas can require as few as 12 hours of graduate work.
A growing number of families are moving to Texas, and for many, English is not the primary language they use at home. However, ESL students can find themselves in traditional classrooms on their very first days of school. This can be overwhelming not only for the students but also for teachers who lack the training to teach students who do not speak English or speak only limited English. To alleviate this problem, many schools have now built in ESL support, including ESL classes in lieu of English-only classes as well as support in English-speaking classrooms. These students stand to benefit from English immersion from Day One, which can accelerate the learning process and develop bilingualism. Teachers with the right tools at their disposal can feel more confident managing these classrooms and helping second-language learners succeed in their new environments.
Second-language learners are a part of most classrooms. This can be beneficial because these students bring new cultures to classrooms, which fosters an appreciation for diversity. However, teachers can feel intimidated trying to teach these students while also managing a traditional classroom. To alleviate this problem, districts are beginning to require ESL certification in Texas. If you want more tools to help these students in your classroom, earning a master’s degree with an emphasis in literacy can be the solution you need.
Learn more about the UT Arlington online M.Ed. in literacy studies.
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