Virginia offers a decent array of graduate programs related to TESOL, such as studies in applied linguistics, ESL K-12, education with an emphasis in TESOL, bilingual education, multicultural education, and educational leadership. Program formats are typically campus-based, but there is a notable online Master of Arts program. Virginia Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (VATESOL) maintains a Web page with links to ESL Programs in Virginia organized by offerings for students and opportunities for teachers.
ESL Teacher Certification
A candidate seeking an ESL endorsement for either PK-12 or Adult Education must first hold a valid teaching license recognized by the state of Virginia. With that requirement satisfied, he or she can complete the coursework necessary for the ESL endorsement, which entails 24 semester units in:
- Reading Instruction (either primary or secondary)
- Cross-Cultural or Multicultural Education
- Foreign Language (for certain candidates)
- Second Language Acquisition
- ESL Curriculum and Instruction
VDOE issues the following types of teaching licenses:
- Collegiate Professional
- Postgraduate Professional
- Technical Professional
- International Educator
Among the relevant endorsements TESOL educators can earn are:
- ESL PreK-12
- Adult ESL
- Foreign Language PreK-12
Alternative Certification Options
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) oversees policies regarding traditional and nontraditional pathways to state licensure in public schools. Its Routes to Licensure in Virginia guide states that a candidate can receive a three-year nonrenewable license providing the candidate is qualified and holds a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. During the three years, the candidate must fulfill the criteria for the VDOE’s five-year renewable license through coursework, experiential learning, or by satisfying requirements for a particular endorsement area.
Master’s in TESOL Programs
Longwood University has earned a spot on the National Council on Teacher Quality’s 2013 list of institutions offering multiple strong programs in education and teacher preparation. As of 2013, the Department of English and Modern Languages offers a unique Master of Arts in English that allows students to concurrently pursue Spanish or ESL PreK-12 Initial Licensure. Marymount University offers an M.Ed. in English as a Second Language with teaching licensure for grades PK-12.