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Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL programs)
If I were to receive an ESL certificate for the state of PA, would it do my any good if I decided to teach abroad? Also, what if I move out of state one day...do I have to get certified for that state?

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Asked by Tiffyo2 Friday Jan 18th 2008 in Career Planning
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It depends on where you move to. So far, 23 states in the U.S. have an established certification process for ESL teachers; the rest don't. In some states with certification programs, like PA, you can teach ESL with an out-of-state certification as long as the state reviews the program you enrolled in to get your certification and deems it equivalent to the standards held by that state. If it's not equivalent, the state may require you to take extra classes.

As for teaching abroad, again it depends on the type of program. Teaching is strictly regulated everywhere, and every country has different requirements. Your American ESL certification should qualify you for teaching jobs within an American organization that brings teachers overseas. It may be more difficult if you want to teach directly in another country's school system, as they may require you to pursue certification or a degree in their country first.

Here are some links that can give you more information:

ERIC Digest on ESL teacher certification:
http://www.ericdigests.org/pre-924/esl.htm

USNEI on teaching abroad:
http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/international/edlite-teachoverseas-geninfo.html

International Center on teaching abroad:
http://www.internationalcenter.umich.edu/swt/work/options/

Best of luck!

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