What Do You Need To Become An English Teacher?

As an English teacher, you can share your love for language and literature with your students. Having a bachelor's degree in English language and instructional and communication skills can qualify you for an English teaching position.

This article discusses how to become an English teacher and the skills you should possess.

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How Can You Become An English Teacher?

Before qualifying for an English teaching position, you have to satisfy the requirements including;

Obtaining An English Or Education Degree

It is essential that you obtain a bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college to qualify for an English teaching position. For elementary school, a bachelor's degree in elementary education is necessary while for middle or high school, a bachelor's degree in secondary education. To qualify as an English teacher for K-12 non-native English speaking students, a bachelor's degree in English as a second language is necessary while for college or university, you’ll need a Masters or Ph.D. in English.

Education degrees have teacher training programs that equip prospective English teachers with skills in classroom management, techniques in student progress assessment, English teaching strategies, and instruction strategies that can help all students learn.

Completing A Student Teaching Internship

A student teaching internship will help develop your teaching skills. The internship should focus on English, literature, and reading comprehension. Fortunately, most universities and colleges have programs that secure teaching internships for their graduates.

Earning A Teacher Certification

After completing a degree and student teaching internship, the next step is to take a teaching certification exam in your state. Although the certification exams vary from state to state, they all test your knowledge and professional skills with questions covering topics including literature, reading comprehension, oral communication, and media literacy.

Preparing Your Resume

Your resume should be professional and well-organized. Also, it should highlight your educational achievements, applicable skills, relevant experience, and certification. When writing your resume, it is advisable to include the keywords in the job listing to align your qualifications with the job requirements

Applying To Schools

When applying to English teaching roles, use your resume to apply. Always review the desired qualifications on a job listing to ensure you are a good fit for the role. Also, attach a customized cover letter to your application, highlighting reasons why you are a good candidate for the position.

What Skills Should An English Teacher Possess?

Apart from your degree in English and acquired training, you need various skills to succeed as an English teacher. Some of these skills include;

Written and verbal communication skills

English teachers need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills. These skills are helpful when delivering lessons, creating assignments and examinations. Teachers with good vocabulary can help their students learn several words and their correct usage.

Use of English

English teachers need to understand the technical parts of English including sentence structure, grammar, and pronunciation

Critical thinking

Critical thinking skills help teachers analyze media reports, literature, and English works, helping their students do the same


With creativity skills, you can devise exciting lessons that are engaging for students and to also achieve exceptional learning outcomes


Students are different and they all have their learning paces. Flexible teachers are able to change their lessons to suit the needs of their students


With patience, English teachers can stay calm and focused regardless of students behavior or learning speed

Problem solving

English teachers with problem solving skills can find the best way to tailor their lessons to individual students, helping them achieve the best learning outcomes.


English teachers share their love for language with their students. You need a bachelor's degree, training, and certification to qualify as an English teacher. Furthermore, it is essential to have problem solving, creativity, critical thinking, and written and communication skills.