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Graduate students seeking flexibility find many options in Pennsylvania. In addition to on-campus graduate programs, the state’s universities operate online master’s degrees in TESOL and Applied Linguistics; hybrid programs combining onsite courses and fieldwork with online classes; as well as courses of study that award a master’s degree concurrent with K-12 teacher certification.
ESL Teacher Certification
If you seek licensure for Pennsylvania public schools, confirm that your course of study complies with the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) latest (2013, at this writing) requirements for the Program Specialist Certificate in English as a Second Language. Qualified candidates must hold this certificate in addition to a valid Pennsylvania teaching license. This certificate allows the holder to teach in K-12 ESL classrooms at public schools in Pennsylvania.
Alternative Certification Options
Candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree in the academic area in which they want to teach can enter a Pennsylvania Teacher Intern Certification Program. They must complete any coursework, exam, and fieldwork requirements within three years to earn an Instruction I Certificate.
Master’s in TESOL Programs
Arcadia University offers a Master of Education with Concentrations in TESOL and Reading. For students who prefer a language structure, research, or international focus, Pennsylvania State University‘s Master of Arts in TESL program offers a core course of study as well as electives in diverse areas of specialization. Students can opt to work at the on-campus Intensive English Communication Program. Considered a noteworthy school and ranked in the top ten by U.S. News & World Report, The University of Pennsylvania offers a Master of Science in Education, TESOL Specialization program that has a solid foundation in pedagogical theory and teaching practice. Students do observation and fieldwork in Philadelphia classrooms and language institutes, including the in-house ESL program PEDAL@GSE (Practical English for Daily Living). The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has placed seven Pennsylvania universities on its Honor Roll of strong teacher training programs. Of these universities, one offers a graduate degree in TESOL or Applied Linguistics.