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English as a Second Language (ESL) Certification Program

English as a Second Language (ESL) Certificate

Kutztown University's Department of Secondary Education has been accredited by the PA Department of Education to provide the Program Specialist Certificate-English as a Second Language (ESL).

This program is designed to provide students seeking the ESL teaching certificate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to address the needs of English Language Learners (ELLs) in a comprehensive EL program.  This certification is for certificate holders in all kindergarten through grade 12 programs to be conferred upon completion of or possession of an initial teaching certificate.


Requirements for Admission

• Official transcripts from previous colleges or universities (non-KU)

• A 3.0 undergraduate GPA is required for admission into the program

One of the following:

- Praxis II (or PECT)

- Instructional I or II teaching certificate (by completion)

- GRE scores

Three letters of recommendation

For Admission information, contact Graduate Studies Admissions


Program Requirements

18 credits of class work

Students must have a valid PA Instructional I or II Certificate to complete the program

Course of Study - 18 Credits

ENG 334: Introduction to English Linguistics

This course offers a comprehensive study of American English grammar, comprised of two aspects: (1) A brief, critical review of traditional Latinized grammar; (2) A comprehensive introduction to phonology, morphology, and the grammars - generative and transformational.  (Recommended to precede EDU/MLS 435)

EDU/MLS 434: Instructional Methods, Materials, and Assessments for ELL/ESL Populations

This course offers research-based information relative to the design and implementation of an ESL program; methods, strategies, and resources for ESL programs; the use of audio/visual media for ELLs; the adaptation of instructional strategies and materials to address the specific needs, talents, and interests of ELLs; the integration of multicultural information for ELLs through various curricula; the development, implementation, and evaluation of varied curricular and instructional activities for ELLs; metacognitive awareness and strategic planning of ELLs to assist them in regular classrooms; and the acculturation process regarding reading, writing, speaking, listening and culture.

EDU/MLS 435: English Language Acquisition and Awareness for ELL/ESL Populations

This course offers an overview of the English Language, including grammar, pronounciation, lexical, morphological, syntax, and phonological components, for use in the ESL classroom.  Students will learn about first and second language acquisition and the process of literacy development.  Additional focus will be placed on non-verbal communication in English-speaking communities.  Students will learn appropriate assessment methods for evaluating the effectiveness of instruction.

EDU/MLS 428: Cultural Awareness/Sensitivity for ESL/ELL Program Specialists

This course is designed to prepare English as a Second Language (ESL) program specialists to facilitate the integration of English Language Learners (ELLs) and their families into the host school and community.  As well, the course facilitates school staff members' understanding of multi-cultural and multi-language learners' needs and support strategies, so as to maximize the educational experience.  Participants in the course will undertake a comparative approach to similarities and differences between the U.S. culture and other cultures with the goal of developing cultural understanding and sensitivity of ELL/ESL students and families living in the U.S. culture.

EDU 427: Policies, Protocols, and Practices for PA ESL Programs

This course provides English as a Second Language (ESL) certification, candidates specific knowledge about federal and state policies, protocols, and practices for working with English Language Learners (ELLs) in Pennsylvania's public schools. Title Three of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the Pennsylvania School Code, and federal regulations relative to educating students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and English Language Learners (ELLs) are the core elements of this course.

EDU 429: Instructional and Assessment Design for PA ESL Certification

This course provides English as a Second Language (ESL) certification, candidates specific knowledge and skills in formal and informal assessment for entry, placement, program design, lesson design, existing criteria and the post-program monitoring of English Language Learners (ELLs).  These components of professional practice are based on the Pennsylvania Department of Education testing and program requirements, as well as those provided by PA-endorsed World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA).  Ultimately, certification candidates will learn to use multiple and appropriate formative and summative formal and informal assessment measures for the purpose of student placement, and program/lesson design.  Program and lesson design will follow the principles of the Quality Teaching for English Learners (QTEL) guidelines.


Courses taught on campus and online