Nearly 20% of Nevada’s public school students participated in programs for English language learners (ELL) during the 2011-12 school year according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Ninety-three percent of Nevada’s ELL were concentrated in two counties during this time. The Nevada Department of Education reported that more than three quarters of these students were in Clark County, while 15% were in Washoe County.
You will need to qualify for a TESL (teaching English as a second language) endorsement to become an ESL teacher in Nevada. Here are the steps you need to take to obtain this endorsement:
|Earn a TESOL Degree Through a Teacher Prep Program|
|Pass Your Praxis Exams and Apply for Your Nevada Teacher’s License with ESL Endorsement|
|Fulfill Your Professional Development Requirements to Renew Your License|
Step 1. Earn a TESOL Degree Through a Teacher Prep Program
You need to earn a bachelor’s degree at minimum to qualify for a teaching license in Nevada. Many of the state’s teachers get a degree in education from an approved teacher preparation school. However, you can also get a teaching license if you have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution so long as you complete the required pedagogy coursework.
The Nevada Department of Education requires that you take 12 semester credits of specific coursework to get an ESL endorsement. You must take three credits from each of these areas:
- Theories for the acquisition of a second language
- Methods and materials for teaching English as a second language
- Developing a curriculum for pupils studying English as a second language
- Testing and evaluation of pupils studying English as a second language
Your teaching license and ESL endorsement will be specific to one of three grade ranges:
- Elementary school
- Middle school/ junior high school
- Secondary school
You have several ways to obtain this education from the 11 approved teacher education programs in Nevada. One is to obtain an ESL endorsement while you get your undergraduate teaching degree:
Bachelor’s TESL Degrees
You have your choice of one of two B.A. degrees specific to TESL. One is in Elementary Education, while the other is in Secondary Education. The first provides you with a TESL K-8 endorsement, while you can get a TESL 7-12 endorsement in the second.
Graduate TESL Endorsement for Licensed Teachers
Two programs in Nevada offer you the chance to take ESL coursework and get a graduate certificate that qualifies you for your endorsement. One is a post-baccalaureate program that takes eight months to complete. The other is a 15-credit program that provides a GC-TESOL.
Master’s TESL Degrees
If you are a certified teacher, you have several opportunities to get your ESL endorsement by earbubg a TESL master’s degree. You will study linguistic theory more intensively than at the undergraduate level.
Your coursework will involve applied theory, TESL, and applied leadership. In addition to being able to obtain Nevada’s TESL endorsement, you will also meet the INTASC (Interstate Teacher Assessment & Support Consortium) standards.
You can also earn a Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in TESL (K-12) or a Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction with a K-12 TESL concentration. Each of these degrees requires that you take a course on research methods. For the MS degree, you also have to take a course in statistics and perform research.
Step 2. Pass Your Praxis Exams and Apply for Your Nevada Teacher’s License with ESL Endorsement
Although you do not have to take a standardized ESL exam in Nevada, you will have to take two Praxis exams. You may already have taken these as part of your teacher education program. They include:
- Praxis CORE test
- Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT)
Initial ESL Teacher Certification
You have to go through two steps to apply for your initial ESL teacher’s license:
- Submit your fingerprints to be checked by the FBI and the state of Nevada
- Obtain you application from the Nevada Department of Education’s Educator Licensure website and submit it along with your official transcripts
Adding an ESL Endorsement to an Existing License
You will need to submit an Additional Endorsement Application form to add an ESL endorsement to your existing license. You should be prepared to submit official transcripts of all of your ESL coursework. These transcripts must be signed by the Registrar and have a raised seal, but they do not have to be in a sealed envelope.
If you fulfilled your student teaching requirement as part of a practicum or as field experience, you will need written verification from your Dean. You will need to specify those courses on your application form.
Step 3. Fulfill Your Professional Development Requirements to Renew Your Nevada License
TESOL Professional Organization for Nevada
Once you have become a Nevada ESL teacher, you may want to join the state’s professional TESOL organization. CATESOL is an ESL teacher’s organization with members throughout Nevada and California. They provide a large number of resources for ESL teachers in addition to a jobs board.
Legal Knowledge Requirements to Renew Your License
You will need to meet several requirements to renew your teacher’s license after you have taught for three years. You will need to demonstrate that you mastered the following areas:
- Nevada School Law
- The Nevada Constitution
- The U.S. Constitution
You can do this through approved coursework or by getting a score of 70% on the state’s exams.
Professional Development Requirements to Renew Your License
You will need to show evidence of professional development by proving that you completed six credits. They can range from taking coursework related to your license to taking part in an approved program that leads to an advanced degree. This includes getting a master’s degree. This will help you to advance your career and will give you options to teach ESL abroad at the university level.
You must get these credits before your license expires, and you can submit your renewal application up to nine months before the expiration date. You can also fulfill this requirement by obtaining a master’s degree. If you have an advanced degree such as an Ed.D., Ed.S., or Ph.D., you can fulfill this requirement by submitting Evidence of Professional Growth:
- Teaching at the college level
- Attending workshops or seminars
- Completing the requirements for National Board Certification
Nevada ESL Endorsement Salary Bonus Incentives
People who think about Nevada as the gambling capital of the country might be surprised to learn how culturally and linguistically diverse it is. According to the Migration Policy Institute, Nevada is one of the 22 U.S. states with the highest number of ELL (English Language Learners). During the 2007-08 school year there were over 134,000 ELL students in Nevada schools, representing more than 31 percent of the Silver State’s school population and emphasizing a critical need for ESL teachers.
The U.S. Department of Education lists Nevada as one of the states with a shortage of ESL K-12 classroom teachers, materials developers and program directors.
The requirements for becoming a licensed ESL teacher in Nevada are:
- Bachelor’s degree or higher
- Valid Nevada teacher’s license
- 12 semester hours ESL courses to include Methodology, Language Acquisition, Curriculum Development and Assessment/Evaluation
- There are no special testing requirements
The National Center for Educational Statistics lists the average salary for Nevada ESL teachers as $42,000. The starting salary of non-ESL teachers is $35,449 with a career average of $53,023.
Teacher salaries vary according to location:
Clark County (Las Vegas)
- Bachelor’s degree: $34,684 – $40,482
- Master’s degree: $40,276 – $51,890
Washoe County (Reno)
- Bachelor’s degree: $33,912 – $44,578
- Master’s degree: $38,777 – $57,058
Annual salaries of those with special endorsements (like ESL) earn about $2,000 more.
The table below provides 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) salary information for Adult, Basic and Secondary Education and Literacy Teachers (ESL teachers are included in this broader category).