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The state of Washington has numerous programs that award a Master of Arts in TESOL and related areas such as TESL, ELL curriculum, bilingual education, ESL, and English with a specialization in ESL. While most classes take place on campus and fieldwork takes place in classrooms and language institutes, there is some flexibility in terms of weekend, evening, and low-residency delivery options.
ESL Teacher Certification
All policies and practices regarding state licensure are overseen by the State of Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Its Certification Web page lists the types of licenses issued to teachers, including:
- Residency Certificate
- Professional Certificate
- Limited Teaching Certificates
The OSPI Adding an Endorsement guide states that certificated teachers can meet ESL and Bilingual endorsement criteria by taking state-approved courses, completing a relevant internship, passing any content area tests required, or holding a National Board certificate with ESL specialization.
The Professional Educator Standards Board maintains a guide to Pathways to Add an Endorsement in Washington.
Alternative Certification Options
Washington’s Professional Educator Standards Board maintains a guide to its four different Alternative Routes to Certification and the state universities and colleges that offer them. Different guidelines apply to classified staff seeking teaching posts, people who already hold conditional certificates, and recent graduates and career-changers who have bachelor’s degrees and demonstrate subject matter expertise.
Master’s in TESOL Programs
University of Washington offers an intensive, interdisciplinary Master of Arts for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages program consisting of TESOL, linguistics, English, and elective courses. UW earns a spot in the top 20 of Washington Monthly’s 2013 Best Bang for the Buck Rankings, a list that singles out the U.S. schools that provide quality for a reasonable cost. Washington State University is the only Washington institution to earn a place on the National Council of Teacher Quality’s 2013 Honor Roll. Students can opt for a Master of Arts without a thesis or for one emphasizing education research. The program is the Master of Arts in English Language Learners Education. Seattle Pacific University has paired up with the School of Teaching ESL to offer an online Master of Arts in TESOL, as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching TESOL. The partnership between these two groups provides students with several choices regarding professional development in teaching English.