The Department of Education at Washington University in St. Louis offers a Missouri DESE-approved teacher certification program in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) for grades K-12. The ESOL certification program, offered through University College, provides a foundation in the theory and practice of English language teaching and learning. Overall, the certification program offers core knowledge of the field to support teachers in enhancing professional practice and careers in serving the needs of English language learners (ELLs). The course work supplies teachers with the current research and theory on language acquisition so that they can make informed decisions for the classroom.

Students successfully completing this program will be qualified to apply to DESE for ESOL (K-12) certification in Missouri. As categorized by DESE, ESOL is an add-on certification; students planning to be state-certified ESOL teachers must already have their initial teacher certification or be concurrently enrolled in an initial certification program. Many courses within this program are available and may be of interest to students who are not specifically seeking certification. Please contact the education department if you are interested in the course work but not necessarily state certification.

Students may consider approaching the ESOL program in one of three ways:

  • A non-degree, add-on certification program for initially certified teachers
  • A strand in the UCollege-based Master of Arts in Education for current teachers
  • Professional development course work for those interested in education and ESOL

The program courses will prepare our students to teach English as a second language (ESL) in the United States or English as a foreign language (EFL) in countries abroad, to learners at all levels of instruction. Upon completion of the certification or strand in ESOL, students may apply for employment in diverse learning environments, such as elementary, middle and high schools, independent or charter schools, international education programs, intensive English language programs, adult schools, community colleges and corporations, in the USA and abroad. A strong desire to work in a multicultural environment is essential for working as an ESL instructor, and the courses and experiences from our program will help professionals sharpen these skills. Some employers, especially public schools, may require teachers to have state certification, rather than just course work.

The following faculty in the Department of Education offer course work appropriate for ESOL certification:

Cindy Brantmeier, ESOL Program Director and Professor
John Baugh, Professor
Michelle Augustin, Adjunct Instructor
Nancy Rathjen, Adjunct Instructor

Other course work is offered by faculty who cross-list courses in the Department of Education.

Contact:Dr. Ron Banfield

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Minimum requirement of twenty-one (21) semester hours that includes all areas and corresponding courses noted below:

  • L12 Educ 4111 Linguistics and Language Learning (3 units)
  • Language and Culture or Sociolinguistics (3 credits; choose one course from below)
Anthro 3386Language, Culture and Society (L48)3
Ling 339Introduction to Sociolinguistics (L44)3
Ling 341Linguistic Diversity in the United States (L44)3
  • U91 Ling 466 Second Language Acquisition (3 units)
  • Methods of Teaching Second Language Students (3 credits): instructor TBA
  • U08 Educ 4023 Second Language Acquisition & Technology (3 units)
  • ESOL practicum (3 credits): instructor TBA
  • Elective course work (choose at least one 3-credit course; possible courses below, but elective courses are not limited to the following):
Educ 4692Second Language Reading and Writing: Theory, Research and Practice (L12)3
Span 467Grammar and Vocabulary Acquisition (U27)3

Students may choose elective course work from such areas as English language, reading, composition, bilingual education or advanced second language methods according to the needs of their teaching situation.

Students seeking Missouri ESOL certification (K-12) must have the following in order to be qualified for a teaching certificate. These requirements may have been completed during the student's initial certification program, but we offer courses to fulfill these if needed.

  • A valid Missouri permanent or professional certificate of license to teach
  • Psychology and/or Education of the Exceptional Child (2 credits)
  • Basic Reading Techniques for Secondary Teachers (2 credits)