Teacher Preparation

National Board Certification for Teachers of ELLs

By Mary Ann Zehr — March 30, 2009 1 min read

Over the last year, more than 130 teachers received national-board certification in a category called teaching “English as a New Language,” according to a press release from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. That brings the number of teachers in this country with that credential to more than 900.

You can learn more about what the certification entails here and here.

A study published by the National Research Council last June concluded that teachers with certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards are more effective than teachers without the credential, but it also said that there isn’t enough evidence to conclude that the actual process of getting the credential leads to better-quality teaching. Other studies about board-certified teachers have had mixed results.

Some states provide financial incentives for teachers to earn the credential. They may pay for the $2,500 testing fee or give bonuses to those who are successful in attaining the certification, or do both.

States with the highest number of teachers who achieved the English-as-a-new-language certification in 2008 were North Carolina, 27; California, 16; Washington, 14; Florida, 13; and Illinois and Maryland, 10 each.

Readers, if you’ve been through the process of getting the credential for teachers of English as a new language, tell us what it’s like and whether you think it’s made you a better teacher of English-language learners.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.