Advance Your Teaching Career in 1 Year and Earn Your ESL Endorsement Online
Prepare for continued success as an educator in ESL classrooms and beyond with Illinois College’s online English as a Second Language endorsement. This credential delivers the specialized knowledge and skill sets you need to make a positive impact on English language learners lives. Learn in a flexible format and complete your program in just 1 year.
Illinois College is a small, private, liberal arts college where students benefit from personal attention. Designed by our expert faculty, the ESL endorsement program meets the needs of each individual student so that they can serve English language learners in their own communities.
The ESL Endorsement is designed to be added to an existing Professional Educator License (PEL). According to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the ESL endorsement may be added to early childhood, elementary, middle-grade, high school and special certificates (Pre-K to grade 12).
Courses explore essential ESL teaching topics like linguistics for English language learners, second language acquisition, assessment, evaluation and curriculum design. In addition, required clinical hours are built into the curriculum for hands-on learning opportunities. Our faculty are subject matter experts and current practitioners, so you benefit from their professional and academic expertise.
Because this program meets all ISBE ESL Endorsement requirements, you can be confident you’ll Graduate READY to work as an effective ESL educator, advocate and change agent in the education field. No exam is required to earn the ESL endorsement, so you will automatically qualify after completing your program.
ESL teachers work with English language learners who require focused instruction and assess students to determine their needs and strengths.
Illinois educators with an ESL endorsement are qualified to effectively work with ESL students in the grade range of their Professional Educator License. The program also prepares teachers to advocate for ESL children, educators, administrators, families and communities inside and outside the PreK–12 education system.
When you finish the program, you will be able to:
- Understand and explain the theories and models of ESL education.
- Demonstrate the ability to facilitate ESL curriculum development and implementation.
- Demonstrate the ability to evaluate principles and tools in assessing language proficiency.
- Demonstrate the ability to develop remedial ESL instruction, materials, and support.
- Continuously cultivate and analyze current issues and trends in ESL education.
The ESL Endorsement Online Program Is Designed For:
- Licensed teachers ready for advancement opportunities within their schools or districts.
- Licensed teachers seeking opportunities for continuing professional development.
- Students currently pursuing their bachelor’s degree in education and licensure who want to specialize their skills.
The online ESL Endorsement program is offered in a flexible format ideal for working teachers and students with busy schedules. Courses are delivered completely online, are asynchronous and can be taken from anywhere.
Dr. Yan Yan
Dr. Yan Yan completed her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Teacher Education, focusing on Bilingual/ESL teacher preparation at the University of Houston in 2020. She has 11 years of experience teaching college-level undergraduate and graduate-level students and three years of experience in teaching ELL students in EC-12 schools. As an English Language Learner herself, Dr. Yan brings a unique perspective to the course offerings.
Courses and Admissions
Learn to Lead
The online ESL endorsement program is designed to strengthen your teaching expertise by preparing you to work with ESL learners in a range of contexts. As a student, you will complete 18 semester hours and 100 field hours in your community. Our curriculum is ISBE-approved and meets requirements for ESL endorsement in the state of Illinois.
Course Description Credits ED 450This course will examine and analyze the fundamental concepts of linguistics and connect this information to routine work in the ESL classroom. Students will study linguistics including phonology, orthography, morphology and syntax, as well as the implications of all of these topics for teaching all students, including ESL learners. Over the course of the semester, students will be provided with readings, videos and podcasts that complement the information in the textbook and assist students in developing a solid understanding of the intricacies of studying and teaching language. Through engagement in online whole-class discussions, group work and individual assignments, students will be able to use their understanding of essential linguistic principles to inform instruction and assessment at all levels. 3 (15 clinical clock hours) ED 451This course will give students of all levels an understanding of the main linguistic theories; first and second acquisition; cognitive, affective and cultural factors in teaching ESL learners. This course will discuss how theoretical foundations of second language acquisition can be applied to their work in the ESL classroom. Major discussion topics in this course include language acquisition theories, language policy, and models of ESL education, as well as information regarding the teaching of academic language to native English speakers and English language learners. 3 (10 clinical clock hours) ED 452This course will focus on the assessment of ESL learners with an emphasis on alternative assessments. The course will examine key concepts and issues of assessment, principles of language assessment including reliability, validity, authenticity, etc.; different purposes of assessment such as English learner identification, placement, diagnostic and reclassification; different types of assessment (standards-based assessment, classroom-based assessment, standardized testing including norm-referenced and criterion-referenced standardized testing, alternative assessment such as dynamic assessment); steps in designing classroom-based or standardized language assessments; assessment of oral language (listening, speaking) and literacy (reading, writing) and language of content areas; use of technology in assessment; assessment of special populations such as young dual language learners and children with learning disabilities, analysis, interpretation and reporting of assessment results. 3 (30 clinical clock hours) ED 453This course will provide methodologies and techniques for teaching ESL learners, evaluation of ESL materials for various levels and instructional goals. This course will discuss second language methodology theoretical bases, approaches, strategies, materials and techniques needed for effective teaching in ESL classrooms. Students will explore different pedagogical issues that relate to various ESL teaching strategies. They will have the opportunity to understand how language learning impacts content area learning and vice versa. Students will also have opportunities to reflect on teaching practices and how they impact ESL learners. Accordingly, students will learn to develop lessons and materials to put ESL theory and methods into practice, tailored to meet the needs of individual English language learners. 3 (30 clinical clock hours) ED 454This course prepares ESL teacher candidates to engage in culturally and linguistically responsive, research-based practices to support diverse learners in PreK–12 classrooms. This course examines the relationships between language, culture and cultural awareness in the learning and teaching of ESL. This course also explores many ways in which school teachers may build the capacities for cultural and linguistic diversity in the classroom. Emphasizes readiness for mutually accommodative professional practices with culturally and linguistically diverse learners and families. 3 (15 clinical clock hours) ED 474This course focuses on writing as a method of communication and a resource for learning in K-12 classrooms. Through readings, activities, and assignments, the course will develop teachers’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions about writing processes, writing genres, the reading-writing connection, and students’ writing development in the content areas. This course will also focus on the relationships between research, theory, and practice in teaching writing for all students. 3
To qualify for admission to the online ESL endorsement program, applicants must:
- Have a current teaching license or be enrolled in an approved teacher preparation program
- Have either in-service or pre-service teaching experience at PreK–12 levels
How to Apply
Candidates must submit:
- An online application
Apply for free at admission.ic.edu/apply
- Official transcripts of all high school and/or college work completed
- Proof of current teaching license or enrollment in a Teacher Preparation Program
At Illinois College, we feature a high-quality education at a price you can afford. See how your past academic credentials can help you make the most of your college education.
|Tuition (20 credit hours)||$375 per credit hour||$7,500|
|Fees (2 terms)||$25 per term||$50|
|Total with Transfer Credits||$7,550|
* Tuition and fees are subject to change.
Why Illinois College?
Fast-track your studies.
The ESL endorsement online program is designed to be completed in 1 year.
Open doors to new opportunities.
Focused ESL courses will prepare you for the next step in your teaching career as an expert educator with specialized skills.
Get a comprehensive education.
Our curriculum combines theory, practical field experience and research to deliver a well-rounded academic experience.
Whether it’s increasing your paycheck or advancing your career, an online degree can help you go further.View Benefits
Frequently Asked Questions
ESL refers to "English as a second language." In the education field, ESL focuses on helping students whose primary language isn't English to learn the fundamentals of English speaking, reading and writing. ESL teachers determine students' language development needs and create a curriculum based on building competency in these areas.