Skip to content Skip to Live Chat

Endorsement Preparation Program

English Language Learning Endorsement Preparation
ELL/ESL Certification



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 certification, 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 through certification, 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.

62% of graduates finish within

13 Months*

WGU lets you move more quickly through material you already know and advance as soon as you're ready. The result: You may finish faster.

*WGU Internal Data

Tuition per six-month term is


Tuition charged per term—rather than per credit—helps you control the ultimate cost of your degree. Finish faster, pay less!


Average salary increase


 Graduates of the School of Education report an average salary increase of $11,241 after completing their WGU degree.

*WGU Internal Data

Ready to Start Your WGU Journey?

Next Start Date: {{startdate}}

Start Dates the 1st of Every Month


English Language Learning Courses

Curriculum that ensures you’ve mastered the things ELL students need you to know.

At WGU, we design our curriculum to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to help you show that you know your stuff.

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.)

English Language Learning

8 Courses

Program consists of 8 courses

At WGU, we design our curriculum to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to help you show that you know your stuff.

Endorsement or Licensure

Teacher candidates at the PreK-12 level may enroll in the WGU MAELL program. However, program completion may be considered for a K-12 only endorsement in ELL or ESL. If your state offers an ELL endorsement and you wish to pursue that endorsement, you must complete the practicum portion of the program at the K–12 level. PreK will not be allowed for the practicum.

Disclosure: Each student should refer to the endorsement requirements of their state.

Skills For Your Résumé

As part of this program, you will develop a range of valuable skills that employers are looking for. 

  • Research: Researched current subject area content knowledge, ensuring up-to-date and accurate information is integrated into instructional planning.
  • Leadership: Successfully promoted oneself as a valuable resource for students and their families, fostering a positive and supportive learning environment.
  • Lesson Planning: Developed instruction to meet language demands in a diverse learning environment, catering to the needs of various learners.
  • Teaching: Developed comprehensive and effective lesson plans based on a deep knowledge of the subject matter, ensuring the delivery of engaging and relevant content to students.
  • Educational Assessment: Implemented formative and summative assessments, employing strategies to minimize bias and aligning assessments with learning goals, objectives, and standards.
  • Educational Assessment: Assessed educational needs and progress using formative and summative assessment data, facilitating data-driven decision-making for continuous improvement.

“WGU was fantastic for me. Mentors and teachers had one goal: to launch me forward through any challenge OR obstacle. I loved their 'can do' attitude, it was contagious.”

—Kassie Ann
Endorsement Preparation Program, English Language Learning

Why WGU?

You Aren't On Your Own

WGU has Program Mentors who work with you from the day you start, all the way through graduation. They help you chart your courses, answer your questions, and ensure you can go through your program. You're not alone when you choose an online program at WGU.

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.

Accredited, Respected,

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.


When We Say Affordable We Mean It

By charging per six-month term rather than per credit—and empowering students to accelerate through material they know well or learn quickly—WGU helps students control the ultimate cost of their degrees. The faster you complete your program, the less you pay for your degree.

Tuition Calculator
Pay less by completing your program faster

A Certificate Program Is Within Reach

There is help available to make paying for school possible for you:

The average student loan debt of WGU graduates in 2022 (among those who borrowed) was less than half* the national average.

Most WGU students qualify for financial aid, and WGU is approved for federal financial aid and U.S. veterans benefits. 

Many scholarship opportunities are available. Find out what you might be eligible for.

*WGU undergraduate students have approximately half the debt at graduation compared to the national average, according to the Institute for College Access and Success (2022).


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.

"I have loved my experience at WGU. It feels like this program was made for me. I love the affordability and the opportunity to go at your own pace.”

—Amanda Nyamutora
Endorsement Preparation Program, English Language Learning


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

On average, WGU graduates see an increase in income post-graduation

Average income increase from all degrees in annual salary vs. pre-enrollment salary. Source: 2023 Harris Poll Survey of 1,655 WGU graduates.

Survey was sent to a representative sample of WGU graduates from all colleges. Respondents received at least one WGU degree since 2017.


At least one in four schools with vacancies in ESL, foreign languages, or special education have found them very difficult or impossible to fill.

—National Center for Education Statistics

WGU Has Alumni Teaching in Schools Across the Country

Graduates of WGU's online Teachers College have found meaningful, rewarding teaching careers in classrooms 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


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. 

Get Your Enrollment Checklist

Download your step-by-step guide to enrollment.

Get Your Questions Answered

Talk to an WGU Enrollment Counselor.

More About the ELL Endorsement Prep Program

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: 

  • TEFL
  • ESL
  • EFL
  • DELTA 

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.

WGU is approved to offer federal student aid. You will need to apply using the FAFSA, which is used to determine your eligibility for aid. WGU’s FAFSA school code is 033394.

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
  • FAQs
  • 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 most other schools. 

Ready to Start Your WGU Journey?