Designed for Teachers Seeking ELL or ESL Certification to Change the Lives of Diverse Learners
Are you a licensed teacher who is interested in helping English language learners succeed in the classroom? If so, this online certification program for ELL and ESL certification is your direct path to becoming a critical asset at your school and throughout your community. You'll graduate with the content knowledge, teaching skills, cultural background, and field experience you'll need to become an in-demand ELL/ESL specialist.
In this ELL or ESL certificate program, you will gain a valuable education endorsement and become highly qualified in ELL or ESL, expand your career opportunities, earn re-licensure points, and possibly become eligible for lane changes leading to increased salary.
This program is nationally recognized by the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) International Association.
Note: The specific grade levels you will be eligible to teach depend on your state’s licenses and certificate programs.
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COURSES & COMPETENCIES
English Language Learning Courses
Curriculum that ensures you’ve mastered the things ELL students need you to know.
This online endorsement preparation program prepares licensed teachers to gain the additional certification and licensure required to teach in ELL or ESL settings and to develop significant skills in curriculum development, design, and evaluation.
This program is made up of the following courses, which you will typically complete one at a time as you make your way through your program, working with your Program Mentor each term to build your personalized Degree Plan. You’ll work through each course as quickly as you can study and learn the material. As soon as you’re ready, you’ll pass the assessment, complete the course, and move on. This means that you can finish as many courses as you're able in a term at no additional cost.
WGU's online Endorsement Preparation Program in ELL was designed (and is regularly updated) with input from the experts on our Education Program Council. These respected authorities know exactly what it takes for a graduate to earn a credential and succeed at teaching English language learners who range in age from pre-K through grade 12.
FIELD EXPERIENCE: In addition to your online courses, you are required to complete a minimum of 15 hours of video observations at both the elementary and secondary levels. Additionally, a supervised face-to-face teaching experience with English language learners is required. (Minimum times vary by state.)
Assessment Theory and Practice focuses on issues central to assessment in the ELL environment, including high-stakes testing, standardized tests, placement and exit assessment, formative and summative assessments, and making adaptations in assessments to meet the needs of ELL students.
Focuses on the nature and role of culture and the importance of cultural groups and cultural identity.
Subject Specific Pedagogy: ELL integrates aspects of pedagogy, assessment, and professionalism in English Language Learning (ELL). A student develops and assesses aspects of language curriculum development including second language instruction, methods of second language assessment, and legal policy issues.
Field Experience for ELL is the field experience component of the English Language Learning program. In this experience, students are required to complete a minimum of 15 hours of video observations for both elementary and secondary levels. Additionally, a supervised teaching experience that is face-to-face with English language learners (ELL) according to the minimum time requirements of the student's state is required. The purpose of this course is to assess the ability of students, including their engagement in field experience activities, ability to reflect on and then plan standards-based instruction in ELL, and their ability to locate and effectively use resources for teaching ELL to meet the needs of their individual learners.
Language Production, Theory and Acquisition focuses on describing and understanding language and the development of language. It includes the study of acquisition theory, error correction strategies, and applied phonology.
The Professional Role of the ELL Teacher focuses on issues of professionalism for the English Language Learning teacher and leader. This includes program development, ethics, engagement in professional organizations, serving as a resource, and ELL advocacy.
Planning, Implementing, Managing Instruction focuses on a variety of philosophies and grade levels of English Language Learner (ELL) instruction. It includes the study of ELL listening and speaking, ELL reading and writing, specially designed academic instruction in English (SDAIE), and specific issues for various grade level instruction.
Theories of Second Language Learning Acquisition and Grammar covers content material in applied linguistics, including morphology, syntax, semantics, and grammar. Students will explore the role of dialect in the classroom, the connections between language and culture, and the theories of first and second language acquisition.
At WGU, we design our curriculum to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to ensure your degree is proof you really know your stuff.
Endorsement or Licensure
This program can lead to an endorsement in ELL or ESL, but only in those states that have such endorsements. If your state offers an ELL endorsement and you wish to pursue that endorsement, you will need to complete your practicum at the K–12 level that aligns with your state endorsement requirements and the WGU ELL PreK–12 program. Students who complete their practicum in any other setting other than a K–12 setting should be prepared NOT to be recommended for licensure. Each student should be aware of the requirements of their particular state for K–12 educators.
You Aren't On Your Own
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Flexibility You Need
Students choose WGU for their online degree program because of its flexibility. Whether you already have a full-time job, have responsibilities as a parent, or just have a busy schedule, WGU can work for you.
Strong Alumni Network
When you enroll in the ESL endorsement prep program at WGU, you join an impressive network of education professionals. Over 13,000 students graduated from the Teachers College in 2021 alone, taking their skills and impacting the educational system all around the United States.
One important measure of a degree’s value is the reputation of the university where it was earned. When employers, industry leaders, and academic experts hold your alma mater in high esteem, you reap the benefits of that respect. WGU is a pioneer in reinventing higher education for the 21st century, and our quality has been recognized.
A Certificate Program Is Within Reach
There is help available to make paying for school possible for you:
A Different Way to Learn: Endorsement Programs Designed to Fit Your Life—and All the Demands on Your Time
No rigid class schedules. Just a solid, career-focused teaching program that meshes with your current lifestyle. You'll be challenged. You'll work hard. But if you commit yourself and put in the hours needed, WGU makes it possible for you to earn a highly respected degree as a busy working adult.
WGU's ELL endorsement-prep program is designed for licensed teachers who want to add an endorsement to their license qualifying them to teach English-language learners in pre-K through 12th-grade settings.
This program is specifically designed for working adult students, so you can honor your current work and family responsibilities while completing your coursework.
In this ESL Program You'll be Prepared to Help English Learners Thrive in the Classroom
Instilling students with the confidence to learn and achieve is one of the greatest perks of teaching. Providing that kind of support and guidance for students with the added challenge of trying to learn in a foreign language can be even more satisfying. As an ELL teacher, you will change lives.
Some 5 million American students speak a language other than English in their homes. For these students, the language barriers they face can stand in the way of their ability to learn and succeed in the classroom—but they don’t have to. Choose to inspire, empower, and enable those students to achieve their goals. This program is for:
- Licensed teachers with bachelor’s degrees who are interested in ELL or ESL certification.
- District instructional personnel and curricula leaders.
- "Emergency credentialed" ELL or ESL teachers who need a certificate program to be considered highly qualified.
Return on Your Investment
WGU Alumni Teach in Schools Across the Country
Graduates of WGU's online Teachers College have found meaningful, rewarding education careers at:
- Inclusionary K–12 classrooms
- Middle/junior high schools
- High schools
- Private and charter schools
Impressive Class of Graduates
Graduates of the WGU Teachers College include recipients of many professional honors, including:
- Gates Millennium Scholars
- Intel Grant for Mathematics and Technology
- Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Award
- Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award
- Association of Public Charter Schools Educator of the Year Award
Focused on Equity and Accessibility
The WGU Teachers College is in the top 1% for granting degrees for Black and Hispanic/Latinx educators at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. It is second in the nation for combined graduate and undergraduate degrees and credentials for students of color, according to the federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
Endorsement Preparation Program in ESL/ELL Admission Requirements
If you enroll in a program that also includes a special endorsement and you plan to eventually apply for the endorsement, the following is required of you:
- A copy of a valid teaching license.
- Official transcripts that demonstrate you have earned a bachelor’s degree from a recognized accredited university.
An Enrollment Counselor will instruct you as to when and how to submit your teaching license prior to starting your program. You do not need to submit a copy of your license if you are not seeking the endorsement.
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More About the ELL Endorsement Prep Program
- More About This Program
- More About Paying for School
A graduate certificate in ELL can help increase your marketability and stability in a teaching career. In many states a teacher shortage is continuing to make education professionals valuable, and educators who have ELL training can take on additional courses and may see higher pay as a result.
Earning an ELL certificate can prepare you for many careers, including:
- Teaching in an ELL environment
- Consulting on ELL classrooms and strategies
- Curriculum design
Each state has unique requirements for becoming ESL certified, so you'll need to see what your state board of education requirements are. An ESL certificate program is an important first step in most states. Other steps may include a background check, exam, and licensing application.
ESL certification programs typically take two years or more, depending on the program. The WGU ESL certification program takes just 18 months for most students. This is because students can accelerate coursework and move at their pace.
The best ESL certification will depend on what your career goals are. Some of the most popular include:
In most states you will not be eligible to become a teacher without a teaching degree and license. Some teachers are able to teach in ESL classrooms without specific certification on their path to becoming licensed, but they will need a degree to be a licensed teacher.
Scholarships are available for new WGU students and returning graduates. This video shows more about scholarship opportunities and how they can help you pay for school. Get information on:
- How to apply
- Eligibility requirements
- Examples of scholarships
- What happens after you apply
- Other financial aid options
WGU's tuition is a flat rate that is charged every six months. You can take as many courses as you are able in that six-month term—with no extra cost. You simply pay for the term and do as much work as you can or want to during that time. This means that finishing faster helps you save money—a major benefit you won't find at other schools.
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