Wilkes University

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages with Pennsylvania ESL Specialist Letter of Endorsement Option

Dr. Kimberly Niezgoda, Program Coordinator

The Master of Science in Education with a major in Teaching English to speakers of Other Languages will qualify individuals to instruct populations whose first language is not English.

Program Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will demonstrate understanding of the principles of first and second language acquisition, the differences between first and second language acquisition, and the methodologies of second language teaching by writing a comprehensive personal educational philosophy and by creating and designing instructional materials for English Learners (ELs).

  • Students will describe and apply the principles of phonology (the sound system of English), grammar (the morphology and syntax of English) and semantics, pragmatics and discourse (language meaning and language use in context) to the creation of English as a Second Language lesson plans.

  • Students will be able to ascertain what L2 learners know and are prepared to do, and demonstrate appropriate (a) interpretation and (b) use of data to support L2 students.

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the influence of current second language trends on learning processes through assessments of (1) reading, (2) writing, (3) listening, and (4) speaking.

  • Students will demonstrate the skills necessary to aid in ESL program assessment and development.

  • Students will develop the skills necessary to address the educational needs of ELs in their learning process.

  • Students will demonstrate leadership skills necessary to educate colleagues and administrators in best practices for effectively teaching and working with EL students.

Program Requirements:

The requirements for this 30-credit degree are:

  • ESL 501* Approaches to Teaching Second Languages (3 credits; prerequisite course)
  • ESL 503* Second Language Assessment (prerequisite course) (3 credits; 15 hours field experience)
    • ESL 501 and 503 are prerequisite courses. They may be taken together or separately in either order, but must be completed prior to enrolling in other ESL courses.
  • ESL 502* Language Concepts for Second Language Learning and Teaching (3 credits)
  • ESL 506* Teaching the Four Skills: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking (3 credits; 15 hours field experience)
  • ESL 508* Second Language Program Development (3 credits; 30 hours Field Experience)
  • ESL 504 Intercultural Communication for Language Teachers (3 credits)
  • ESL 505 Second Language Acquisition (3 credits)
  • ESL 507 Sociolinguistics and Second Language Acquisition (3 credits)
  • ESL 509 Computer-Assisted Language Learning (3 credits)
  • ESL 512 ESL Teaching and Evaluation Theory (3 credits)

(* Required for ESL Specialist Letter of Endorsement)

Certificate Only option (Non degree seeking)
Pennsylvania teachers with an instructional certificate may obtain the ESL Program Specialist designation by completing the first five courses of the master's program, and 60 hours of field experience. Field experiences are structured by the course instructor and allow full time working teachers to easily meet the necessary requirements. All field experiences take place live. ESL Program Specialist certification is not a stand-alone instructional certificate in Pennsylvania, therefore you must have a Bachelor's degree in Education and be a fully certified teacher in the State of PA to obtain this certification. Upon successful completion of the first five courses, whether or not you continue to pursue the master's degree, you may request the specialist designation from the PDE by applying through the TIMS system.

PA ESL Program Specialist Courses - after completing these courses, students possessing Instructional Level 1 or 2 certification may apply for ESL Program specialist certification through the TIMS website.

PA certification and endorsement candidates will be recommended for certification upon successful completion of the required certification coursework, fieldwork, and internship. Candidates must self-register and pass the certification test, if required. Some certifications require verification of experience. In those cases, the candidate will need to have input from their school district verifying that they have satisfactory met professional school experience required. Application for certification and Endorsement is made by the candidate through the PDE Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) found on the PDE portal.