How to Qualify for Texas Teachers

You’ve decided to take the next step towards earning a teaching certificate in Texas. Congratulations! If you’re coming from abroad, there’s going to be some extra steps you need to take before getting fully certified. One important step you need to complete is taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL is required by all non-U.S. candidates and covers all facets of English proficiency, including a test of spoken English. In this blog post, we’ll be breaking down exactly what is the TOEFL, how to sign up for it, how to prepare for it, and the minimum scores you’ll need for admittance into the program.


What Is the TOEFL?

The TOEFL is a test to measure fluency of the English language for those who are coming from a country abroad that does not have English as an official language. The TOEFL iBT (internet-based test) is the online exam that is accepted and preferred by Texas Teachers. There are four portions: Speaking, Reading, Listening, and Writing. Each of these portions is timed and will bring the exam to about four and a half hours long in total.


How to Sign Up and Prepare

There are different locations to take the TOEFL iBT exam both in Texas and around the world. You’ll need to create an ETS account and then view different testing centers and dates to register. If there are no open test centers in your area, you might have the option to take the TOEFL iBT Home Edition. This means you’ll be able to take the exam from the comfort of your own home with online proctors. The at-home version is available 24 hours a day, four days a week, and it’s identical in content and format. If you’re interested in this format, make sure you select it when you’re registering for the exam! During the registration process, please request the results go to Institution Code B239. This ensures that your scores get sent to us directly.

There are lots of online resources available to help you prepare for this exam! ETS has different kinds of official test prep and test prep courses that are available for purchase, however, some are completely free. They also offer free practice exams and more extensive practice exams ranging from full tests, half tests, or Speaking only. You should be aware that each Authorization Code you purchase is valid to take the practice test only once. There are other companies, such as, that offer test prep for the TOEFL iBT, so be sure to explore all of your options!


To Qualify for Texas Teachers

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires non-U.S. educator candidates to pass the TOEFL iBT with a minimum score per portion. The minimum scores are a 24 on Speaking, a 22 on Listening, a 22 on Reading, and a 21 on Writing.

After we receive your scores, you will need to have your transcripts evaluated. If you graduated from a U.S. college or university, you can skip this step. The Evaluation must be “course by course” and must be equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor’s Degree. It must include the month and year you completed your degree, your final GPA, and the U.S. equivalency of your degree. We have multiple approved transcript evaluation service providers, such as SpanTran, that will be able to help you throughout this step. The TEA also has a full list of foreign credential evaluator providers that you can view here. The TEA does not approve or accredit credential evaluation services.


Sponsorship and Legal Aid

If you don’t have a U.S. Social Security Number, we’ll issue you a temporary PIN number through the state (TEA). You’ll need this PIN to register for things like your content exams and to apply for the intern certificate. You’ll use this PIN number until you receive an official U.S. Social Security Number. Once you’ve received a Social Security Number, please notify us immediately.

Getting your visa sponsored seems like an intimidating task, but we’re here to tell you it’s completely possible! Sponsorship is normally limited to high-need certification areas and non-U.S. candidates are highly encouraged to contact numerous districts, charter schools, and private schools to get information on sponsorship opportunities. To view a full list of school districts that will sponsor a work visa, please click here.

It’s important that you fully understand and manage your situation in obtaining your visa. We recommend you start this process as soon as possible so that the process can go quickly and smoothly. You’ll be responsible for hiring a lawyer to help you. Don’t know where to start? We have a list of immigration attorneys that have worked with Texas Teachers in the past! Click here to view that list.


Start Teaching Now!

Starting a new career in a new country is an exciting process! Texas Teachers is committed to making sure your journey to certification in Texas is a smooth one. We have plenty of resources to help you every step of the way. Ready to get certified? Apply today and become a teacher of tomorrow!

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