English as Second Language Endorsement

Program Details

Next Start Date
July 5
Est. Program Length
1 Year
Major Credit Hours
Course Length
8 weeks
Cost per Credit
Credits Accepted

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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.

After Graduation

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.

Faculty Spotlight

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

6 Total core courses in program

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.


Admission Requirements

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
  • 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.

Curriculum ComponentCostTotal*
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.

  • Financial Aid

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  • Military Students

    Illinois College Online is a proud veteran-friendly school. We offer service members and their dependents assistance through our participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program, the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill, the Veterans Educational Assistance Program and more.

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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.

Benefits of
Learning Online

Whether it’s increasing your paycheck or advancing your career, an online degree can help you go further.

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Frequently Asked Questions