So, you want to be a certified teacher. Welcome! I can only speak to the process for American teachers based in the United States. In the U.S., each state has its own certification rules. This means you need to choose a state in which you want to teach.
I completed my certification in Massachusetts, so this page is geared towards becoming a certified teacher in Massachusetts. To become a state certified teacher in MA, you must pass the MTEL.
What is the MTEL? The MTELis the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL).
How to become a state certified ESL teacher in Massachusetts without an MA in Education
Follow these Step-by-step instructions for how to Get a Provisional Teaching License
Get a Provisional Teaching License
The entry level Provisional License is valid for five years and is non-renewable. It is issued to a person who holds a bachelor’s or master’s degree and has passed the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL).
- Submission of a completed Application for Adult Basic Education License.
- Submission of an official transcript verifying a bachelor’s or a master’s degree.
- Passing score on the ABE subject matter test
What to do – Step By Step
Step 1. Obtain your MEPID
- First, go to https://gateway.edu.state.ma.us/elar
- Then, the Department’s Educator Licensure and Renewal system (ELAR) will pop up
- There, complete the steps to obtain your Massachusetts Education Personnel ID (MEPID)
Step 2. Pay for and Schedule your MTEL tests
- First, go to https://www.doe.mass.edu/mtel/
- Next, you can read the information for this option: Teacher Licenses Sought: English as a Second Language ESL (PreK-6)
- Then, scroll through to the bottom of the site. Go to the heading About The MTEL> “Online Test Registration” , which should lead you to this link.
- Then, input your MEPID (which you attained from Step 1). Follow the steps to choose the test “English as a Second Language (54)” for Teacher Licenses Sought: English as a Second Language ESL (PreK-6).
- Finally, pay. It is a lot of money. Breathe. Your career is an investment and you are worth it.
Congratulations. Now you are committed. You can do this. You just dropped a lot of money on registering for these tests (or maybe just for the first one). Now, it is time to study and take the test. See below.
Step 3. Take the MTEL
Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL).
Choose this option: Teacher Licenses Sought: English as a Second Language ESL (PreK-6)
The Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure® (MTEL®) program includes tests of communication and literacy skills as well as tests of subject matter knowledge. The tests are designed to ensure that Massachusetts educators can communicate adequately with students, parents/guardians, and other educators and that they are knowledgeable in the subject matter of the license sought. In this case, the MTEL test that a teacher of ESL will need to pass is the English as a Second Language (54).
Resources to Study for the MTEL
How to pass the English as a Second Language with fantastic scores
Step-by-step guide to succeeding at the MTEL test
- Know what you are staying towards: Go to https://www.doe.mass.edu/mtel/ and find the TEST OBJECTIVES for your test
- You might want to peruse a post I wrote about studying for the MTEL for ESL
Beating Them All! Thirty Days to a Magic Score on Any Elementary Literacy Instruction Exam for Teacher Certification by Chris Nicholas Boosalis (available commercially or at Lesley-Sherrill Library)
Scan across prep material and study guides for the MTEL