English as a Second Language and Bilingual Approval

The English as a second language (ESL) and bilingual approval program prepares certified teachers to design and deliver effective instruction for culturally and linguistically diverse students. The six-course sequence focuses on teaching the English language arts (reading, writing, speaking and listening) across content areas to children who are second-language learners and on effective teaching in bilingual programs. Each course is 3 credit hours, resulting in a total of 18 credit hours for the program.  Candidates may choose to continue the coursework toward the master of arts degree by completing the core courses and additional coursework approved by the advisor and program chair.

The state of Illinois requires that ESL and/or bilingual clinical experience equal 100 clock hours, or three months teaching experience with ESL and/or bilingual students. This clinical component is met within the six-course sequence. It may be possible to complete field experience hours for a bilingual/ESL course while concurrently completing field experience hours for other professional education courses in a licensure program if the field experience goals of each of the two concurrent courses can be fulfilled simultaneously in the same field setting. Teacher candidates must obtain approval from their course instructors in order to fulfill field experience requirements in the same field setting for concurrent courses. Individuals who are granted an ESL and/or bilingual approval may teach in this capacity only at the grade levels for which their regular certificate is valid.

Program Requirements (18 credit hours)

The state of Illinois issues a letter of approval for ESL upon successful completion of this program. No additional testing is required for ESL approval; however, passage of a language proficiency examination in the target language is required for a bilingual approval.