Potential Avg. Salary

$68,200 Based on the latest government data.* See the Best Ways to get there →

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With a bachelor of arts in teaching English as a second language (ESL), you’ll be prepared to work as a teacher either in the US or internationally. You’ll study the pedagogy of teaching English to non-native speakers, which will qualify you to work in elementary, middle, and high schools. You may also teach English to adult immigrants or visa-holders in colleges or non-profit education organizations.

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What is a Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language


With a bachelor’s degree in ESL, you can enjoy a career as an educator both nationally and abroad. By studying the English language, linguistics, and pedagogy, you’ll learn how best to communicate with non-native speakers and teach them how to speak and write English fluently. You many find work at elementary, middle, and high schools, teaching children how to use English for success in school and into the future, or you may educate adults in colleges or for non-profit educational organizations.

Many ELS majors also choose to double-major in another language of interest. By studying Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, Russian, or French languages and developing fluency, ESL teachers can better communicate with their students who speak those languages natively. They can also understand the differences between the languages that cause issues in translation or confusion for new learners. ESL teachers may also provide English education abroad with the Peace Corps or another non-profit organization.

What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Teaching English as a Second Language?

  • Principles of Linguistics
  • Teaching the English Language
  • Language Acquisition
  • Structure of English
  • Reading and Writing in the ESL Classroom
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Cultural Issues in the ESL Classroom
  • Teaching Grammar

How hard is it to get a Job with a Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language

There is always demand for effective ESL teachers. ESL teachers help immigrant students adapt and thrive in English-speaking classrooms, and they help adult immigrants and visa-holders learn the language so that they can communicate effectively and understand signs, directions, and communications in the US. ESL teachers are also commonly hired to work in schools abroad for countries with programs designed to teach students English as a second language.

How Long does it take to Get

A bachelors in Teaching English as a Second Language will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at OnlineDegree.com that could transfer to universities in the US.

*All salary and growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at BLS.gov for an English Second Language Professor (ESL)

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What Will a bachelors Cost?

The cost of a bachelors degree in Teaching English as a Second Language will vary depending on what school you decide to attend, whether you live in-state or out of state, if the program is online, and what scholarships are available.

University Online? In-State Out-of-State Requirements Tuition
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Things That Can Affect Cost

  • If You Live In-State or Out-of-State from the University
  • The University You Choose
  • Online Courses vs. Traditional Classroom
  • Taking Courses That Could Earn Credit Towards Your University to Save Money
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How to save time and money

Would you pay 50k a year in tuition and assume student debt to your eyeballs if you didn't need to? Of course not. Do you need to take off work for 4 to 5 years to get the degree you need? Probably not. Huge amounts of student debt can be a heavy burden many years after graduating. Below are some things you can do to speed up the time frame and save money, while maintaining your current job or lifestyle.

Take Free Courses At OnlineDegree.com

This could save you a bundle on tuition and time…all from home on your computer! When you take free courses at OnlineDegree.com, you could complete your entire freshman year of college tuition free and be that much closer towards your degree. No applications, no entrance exams, no interviews. Register in 60 seconds, and start taking classes today! Learn How →

Opt For Online Courses

By choosing an online university program you can potentially save a ton of money. The schedules are usually more flexible so you can keep your current job and lifestyle. Plus, you don't have to move to a new place and assume the additional student housing and living expenses.

Get Scholarships and Discounts

We’ve organized discounts and scholarships at accredited universities across the country. These could make you instantly eligible to save thousands of dollars by registering for free at OnlineDegree.com, and get you the best tuition possible for a major in Teaching English as a Second Language or related Education & Teaching degree.

Look for a Combined Programs

To teach ESL in the US, you’ll need a teaching license to teach in elementary, middle, and high schools, and you’ll need a master’s degree to teach in colleges. For this reason, you can save time and money by finding a program that combines all of the degrees/licenses you need to achieve your career goals. If you only earn a bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to enroll in a one-year transition to teaching program to earn a license, or you’ll need to complete another two years of coursework to earn a master’s degree.

Best Careers for Teaching English as a Second Language Degrees

Individuals with degrees in teaching English as a second language can find work as educators in a variety of institutions. They can teach ESL in elementary, middle, and high schools, or they can work in colleges or other adult education organizations. Many also find work internationally in schools abroad, and some enter the Peace Corps where they teach English and provide aid to individuals abroad.

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Can I get accepted for a Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language?

Yes! There’s A Right Fit For Everyone. We’ll Help You Find It.

Every university has different requirements for admittance, but there are certain things that can help determine your chances to get that Bachelors. No matter what though, there is a right fit for everyone!

  • Universities will have different acceptance rates based on various factors. Try our acceptance calculator to estimate where you might get accepted
  • At many universities, transfer students have higher rates of acceptance vs freshman enrolling out of high school. That means earning units at a community college or through OnlineDegree.com can potentially increase your odds of getting into the school you want.


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Can Help, But Not Required

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