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It should come as no surprise that one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse places in the country would also have multitudes of graduate programs for ESL, EFL, bilingual, and sheltered English educators. New York City stands out for its variety of courses of study, including campus-based, online, low-residency, internship teaching, and dual master’s and teaching certificate programs.
ESL Teacher Certification
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) indicates that candidates can receive an initial certificate to teach ESL in grades K-12 if they complete a state-approved program in English to Speakers of Other Languages. This pathway also entails receiving an institutional recommendation, passing the New York State Teacher Certification Exam Liberal Arts & Science Test (LAST) and the Secondary Assessment of Teaching Skills (ATS-W), and passing the Content Specialty Test (CST) – ESOL. Every ESL teacher receives the same general certificate, the English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) PreK-12 license.
These titles and endorsements signify that the teacher has completed state-required coursework and/or testing in linguistics, sociolinguistics, content-area teaching with language-teaching support, methods of teaching a second language, multicultural education, and the foundations of bilingual education. All New York ESOL teachers holding these minimum qualifications are licensed to teach grades K-12.
Alternative Certification Options
The benefit of studying for a TESOL master’s degree or equivalent in New York City is that you complete your student teaching or fieldwork in an active job market that provides various pathways to certification. Among the options are:
- Individual Evaluation – Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree but not have completed an approved teacher preparation program.
- Individual Evaluation for Additional Teaching Certificate – Holders of valid teaching certificates can complete coursework or exams that qualify them for an additional license.
- Interstate Reciprocity – Candidates holding valid, equivalent licenses may qualify for reciprocity in their subject areas.
Master’s in ESL Programs
Ranking consistently in the top five graduate education schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report (latest in 2013), Columbia University‘s program has a few different degree options: Master of Arts in TESOL, Master of Arts in TESOL with K-12 Teaching Certification, and Ed.M. in TESOL. Long Island University – Brooklyn is one of the largest and most comprehensive private universities in the country and is known for its excellent academics, renowned faculty, comprehensive career services, and small class sizes. It offers an M.S. ED. In Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL, K-12). The Washington Monthly’s Best Bang for the Buck Rankings in 2013 rate Queens College, CUNY as the second best deal for the quality and price in the entire country. It offers a Master of Science in Education with a TESOL focus and a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics.