Teaching English as a Second Language Certification Only (18 credits)
Director: Carmen E. Lamas, Ph.D.
Using a schedule that accommodates those already employed as teachers, as well as aspiring new teachers, this program is designed to be responsive to requirements promulgated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (Division of Teacher Education—Bureau of Teacher Certification and Preparation) requiring that teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) be certified according to specific competencies set forth in the regulations.
Candidates for ESL certification will undergo a predetermined curriculum consisting of five core courses. These courses will address in depth the areas of expertise that are required by the regulations:
- English Usage and the Development of Linguistic Awareness, including instruction on the process of first- and second-language acquisition, the process of literacy development for second-language learners, and the required strategies that will assist English Language Learners (ELLs) in the different stages of second-language acquisition.
- English as a Second Language (Instructional Materials and Development), which includes the design and implementation of ESL programs to assist ELLs in the acquisition of English and cognitive academic language skills. The student will be required to learn and be aware of various methods, strategies, research findings, and resources that address the educational need of ELLs in their learning process, including the use of computer technology. The acquisition of very specific knowledge concerning currently accepted/research-based ESL instructional methods and strategies designed to meet the instructional needs of ELLs will be required.
- Support Services for English Language Learners (ELLs), which provides extensive exposure to knowledge concerning effective assessment, including appropriate tools and practices, for identifying levels of language proficiency, acquisition, and content learning, as well as the means to monitor student progress. The student will be required to obtain extensive knowledge concerning the availability of school support services and the promotion of parental/family involvement in the accomplishment and educational needs of ELLs, as well as a complete familiarity with educational programs and instructional activity adaptation for ELLs that require specially designed instruction pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
- Development of Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity, where students will be required to become thoroughly informed of behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes of multicultural learners and families. Classroom and research activities will include the incorporation of knowledge of current methods and techniques for teaching English as a Second Language within a culturally/linguistically diverse student/family environment. Further, the student will become aware of techniques that may be employed to promote school staff’s understanding and sensitivity toward cultures and languages other than the dominant culture/language in the United States.