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Certificate of Specialization

Bilingual & English as a Second Language Certificate

The Bilingual and English as a Second Language (ESL) Endorsements provide educators with a better understanding of key teaching strategies that can help support multilingual students in their classrooms. Students in the courses will learn how to create more engaging learning environments by integrating new media technologies for all students, regardless of language. Students will learn research-based curricular and instructional strategies, including the effective use of new digital media to teach students for whom English is a Second Language. The Bilingual and ESL Endorsement course sequences are designed for Illinois educators who wish to add an endorsement to their Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL). The endorsements may be completed alone as a non-degree student or in conjunction with any degree program.The ESL and Bilingual Endorsements each require a minimum of 18 hours of content in specific areas of study, 100 clock-hours, or three months teaching experience in an appropriate setting. The bilingual endorsement also requires passage of the appropriate content test.

Typical Plan of Study (18-20 hours)

Bilingual/Bi-cultural Concentration Courses

20 hours

If completing a Bilingual or ESL endorsement, 18 hours are required. More information on the endorsements can be found here.  

Clinical Experience Clock Hours´╗┐

100 clock hours in a bilingual clinical setting, or three months teaching experience in bilingual programs would count toward the clock hours for both the bilingual endorsement and the ESL endorsement. 

100 clock hours in an ESL clinical setting, or three months teaching experience in ESL programs would count toward the clock hours for the ESL endorsement only

  • The school professional you work with, where the hours are conducted, will need to write a detailed letter documenting the nature of activities, age group of individuals in program, number of days/hours per day worked, etc.
  • Letter must be sent to Council on Teacher Education at cote-teachercertification@illinois.edu

Content Test Requirement

The bilingual endorsement also requires successful completion of a Language Proficiency Test for an Education License with Stipulations Endorsed in Transitional Bilingual in the non-English language to be taught. See Illinois Licensure Testing System for specific testing information.

  • For students already holding a Professional Educator License (PEL): Upon completion of the coursework, clinical hours, and testing (if applicable), contact the Council on Teacher Education (cote-teachercertification@illinois.edu) to have the endorsement added to the PEL.

Program Cost 

To determine program cost, use the Cost Calculator.  Please note that online students should reference the tuition cost only, there are not additional fees for online. 

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