North Dakota cannot compete with highly populated states and their graduate school offerings. Yet, it manages to hold its own with the few programs there, including both graduate TESOL and applied linguistics programs. In addition, the state offers both traditional on-campus classes, as well as completely online courses of study that result in a master’s degree. The state also boasts an interesting summer residency program that involves concentrated study in linguistics. Educators seeking a bilingual or ELL endorsement will find what they need in North Dakota’s institutions, some of which tailor their programs to encompass teaching techniques for Native American populations and rural schools.
ESL Teacher Certification
The North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB) is an independent body charged with issuing certificates and endorsements for state educators.
The ESPB’s English Language Learner Endorsement is awarded to teachers already certified in another area and entails completing 16 semester hours of coursework covering:
- Multicultural Education
- Foundations of Second Language Acquisition
- TESOL Methods
- Assessment and Testing of Culturally Diverse Students
- ESL or Bilingual Field Teaching Experience
The Bilingual Language Endorsement requires classes in:
- Multicultural Education
- Foundations of Second Language Instruction
- Bilingual Education Teaching Methods
- ESL or Bilingual Education Field Experience
- Foreign Language/Native American Language classes or proven proficiency
Alternative Certification Options
EPSB issues a one-year Alternate License for candidates hired to work in a critical shortage area. This equates with diverse opportunities because, as of 2013, EPSB made a Critical Shortage Area Declaration that named every subject area and grade level a critical shortage area, with the exception of elementary education and physical education. Candidates can meet minimum criteria for alternative licensure by demonstrating major equivalency.
Master’s in ESL Programs
University of North Dakota offers a Master of Education in English Language Learner (ELL) Education. This program has an optional focus in rural ESL/ELL education.It also offers a Master of Arts in Linguistics. This summer-intensive program is administered by the University and the Summer Institute of Linguistics. Valley City State University offers a Master of Education With A Concentration In Teaching English Language Learners. This institution is in the top 25 national online graduate programs, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2013.