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Frequently Asked Questions

I’m already a licensed teacher in PA. How can I obtain an ESL certificate?

In order to be an ESL teacher in Pennsylvania, you must have an add-on endorsement. The 15 credits and 60 hours of field experience through the C & I department will fulfill these requirements. 

Can I teach Language Arts or English with this certificate?

No. This certificate is only for teaching English as a Second Language. You would not be able to teach in PA public schools with only the ESL certificate.

Do I need to take a Praxis exam for this certificate?

Pennsylvania does not currently require a Praxis exam to be certified to teach ESL. 

When I have completed the program, how do I apply for my certificate?

When you apply for your Instructional 1 certificate from the PA Department of Education, you will also apply for the add-on certificate. Please note that certification is provided through the PA Department of Education, not through PSU. 

Can any of these courses be taken online?

At this time, none of the required courses for the Teaching ESL program at Penn State are offered online, except WLED 400. 

I want to teach English in another country. Is this program appropriate for me?

This certificate program provides students with an add-on endorsement for teaching ESL in k-12 PA public schools. If you are interested in teaching English as a Foreign Language in another country, please look at the MATESOL program in the Department of Applied Linguistics.