The booming Las Vegas area is just one of the reasons why Nevada is home to a strong and growing immigrant community. According to the American Immigration Council, about one-fifth of Nevada’s residents are immigrants. This translates into a strong immigrant population that is key to the vitality of the state economy. In fact, in the state’s thriving arts, entertainment, and recreation industry, foreign-born residents make up about a third of all employees.
With these kinds of numbers, it’s no surprise that Nevada’s English language learners (ELLs) accounted for 15.1% of the total public school enrollment in 2018, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) – one of the highest percentages in the nation.
These steps will show you exactly how to earn TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification and become an ESL teacher in Nevada:
Step 1. Earn a Degree in English Language Acquisition and Development (ELAD) and Become an ESL Teacher in Nevada
Nevada offers an English Language Acquisition and Development (ELAD) endorsement, which can be added to any valid elementary, secondary, or special education license, or a valid license to teach middle or junior high school education.
If you’re new to the field of education and don’t yet hold a bachelor’s degree, learning how to become an ESL teacher in Nevada involves completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree within an approved teacher preparation program.
To earn the ELAD endorsement, you must complete at least 3 semester hours in the following:
- Language acquisition theory and English language development practices
- Methods and curriculum for teaching English learners
- Assessment and evaluation of English learners
You can accomplish this by choosing a minor, track, or concentration in ELAD as part of your initial teacher preparation program.
For example, Sierra Nevada University offers ELAD courses that can be added to any major.
Already a Nevada certified educator and want to add an ELAD endorsement?
If you already hold a Nevada teaching license, you can complete the required coursework needed to earn an ELAD endorsement by completing an undergraduate certificate, graduate certificate, or a master’s in ESL.
For example, the University of Nevada, Reno offers a graduate certificate in TESOL that requires the following courses:
- Culturally & Linguistically Sustaining Mentorship & Practice (3 units)
- Language Learning and Identity in Educational Contexts (3 units)
- Multicultural Concerns in Diverse Educational Settings (3 units)
- Methods and Materials for Teaching ESL to Adults (pedagogy)
You may also pursue a program like Sierra Nevada University’s MEd in ELAD, which features about 30 credits and a fully online course delivery for working teachers.
Already have a bachelor’s degree in another field?
With a bachelor’s degree in another field, you may qualify to enroll in a master’s degree leading to an initial teaching license in Nevada. Many schools that offer bachelor’s level teaching certificate programs also offer master’s options that include all of the coursework and practical experiences necessary to become certified as a Nevada teacher with an ELAD endorsement.
Step 2. Pass Your Praxis Exams and Apply for Your Nevada Teacher’s License
You won’t need to take any standardized ESL exam in Nevada to earn your ELAD endorsement. However, you will need to take and pass two Praxis exams as part of your teacher education program. They include:
- Praxis CORE test
- Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT)
Once you have passed the required Praxis exams, you’ll qualify for your initial teaching certificate in Nevada, which involves setting up an account profile with, and applying through, OPAL – the Nevada Department of Education’s online portal.
Adding the ELAD Endorsement to an Existing License
You’ll apply to add the ELAD endorsement to your Nevada teaching certificate through OPAL and provide proof of completing all required courses by providing original transcripts to the Department of Education. The cost of adding the ELAD endorsement is $50.
Step 3. Consider Fulfilling Professional Development Requirements to Renew Your Nevada License by Earning a Master’s in ESL
You will need to renew your teacher’s license after you have taught for three years, which includes satisfying professional development requirements by providing proof of the completion of least 15 renewal hours per year. They can range from taking coursework related to your license to taking part in an approved program that leads to an advanced degree.
Earning a master’s degree in ESL is a tried and tested way to complete all the professional development hours you need, while helping you take your career and your ability to serve ESL students to the next level.
Step 4. Learn More About ESL Teacher Salary Expectations for Jobs in Nevada
As of May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the following salaries for educators in Nevada:
Early Career (25th percentile): $46,630
Experienced (90th percentile): $79,280
Early Career (25th percentile): $48,970
Experienced (90th percentile): $81,840
Early Career (25th percentile): $47,430
Experienced (90th percentile): $80,560
BLS stats also reveal what ESL teachers are earning in Nevada’s largest metropolitan area of Las Vegas, as of May 2020:
Las Vegas (Elementary School)
Early Career (25th percentile): $46,720
Experienced (90th percentile): $79,190
Las Vegas (High School)
Early Career (25th percentile): $47,590
Experienced (90th percentile): $80,860
You may find ESL grant, scholarship, and job opportunities by becoming a member of CATESOL, the state’s professional TESOL organization.
May 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and job market trends for elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, and secondary school teachers. Figures represent state data, not school specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed August 2021.
National Center for Education Statistics, English language learner (ELL) students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, fall 2000 through fall 2018. Data accessed August 2021.