English as a Second Language Certification

Image Caption

ESU University is an approved provider for the Pennsylvania Program Specialist: ESL Certificate Preparation Program. This certificate is an endorsement for teachers with a valid Pennsylvania Instructional I or II certificate or an equivalent out of state teaching certificate that are currently working with or plan to work with ESL students in public schools in Pennsylvania.

The ESL student population has been increasing dramatically across Pennsylvania. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education reported a 114.5% increase in the ESL population in Pennsylvania public schools over the past ten years. This growth has led to an increased need for trained ESL teachers. The ESL Specialist Certificate is required for individuals that wish to become ESL teachers. Due to the increase in the ELL population in Pennsylvania schools, PDE set forth ELL competencies that all teachers should be trained in. The ESL Program Specialist Program could be one of ESU’s Master’s in Education concentrations.

In response to the significant need for well-trained ESL and mainstream teachers, ESU’s ESL Specialist Program offers a set of six courses that prepare teachers to work effectively with ESL students. All courses include fieldwork that will provide students with frequent opportunities to observe assist and teach ESL students throughout the Program. Courses are taught by ESU faculty to ensure students are guided by experts in the field and receive a high-quality education.

Prospective graduate students should have an Instructional I or II certificate that is valid in Pennsylvania or an equivalent out of state certificate.

Required Courses

Because the program is designed to serve practicing teachers and professionals, all classes meet in the evenings: 4:00 - 6:45 PM. Courses are listed below in the required order.

  • ELED 506 Second Language Acquisition and Development (fall semester - online)
  • ELED 507 Developing Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity (fall semester)
  • ELED 508 Linguistics for ESL Teachers (spring semester)
  • ELED 509 Methods, Materials and Assessment spring semester)
  • ELED 510 Family and Community Matters (summer)
  • ELED 511 State and Federal Issues Regarding ELL Students (summer)

For detailed course descriptions, see the Graduate School Bulletin/Course Listings.

Admissions Requirements

  • Complete graduate school application.
  • Copies of a Pennsylvania level I or level II teaching certificate or an equivalent out of state certificate.
  • Two letters of recommendation, one from a professor and one from a professional supervisor.
  • Copies of all undergraduate transcripts.
  • Foreign students must submit a copy of their ACTFL scores as well. Minimum Score: Advanced Mid.

Admission Requirements for Current ESU Students

Current Graduate Students

If you are currently a graduate student enrolled in an ESU University College of Education program, please submit the following:

  • Copies of a Pennsylvania level I or level II teaching certificate or an equivalent out of state certificate.
  • Two letters of recommendation, one from a professor and one from a professional supervisor.
  • A one – two page statement of interest in teaching ELLs.

Current Undergraduate Students

Current undergraduate seniors, enrolled in an ESU University College of Education program, are eligible to take up to six graduate credits in the ESL Program Specialist Certificate Preparation Program.

To apply please submit the following:

  • A one-two page statement of interest in teaching ELLs.
  • A recommendation letter from a professor.
  • A letter from Dr. Kramer granting permission to take courses.