Studying TESOL in Arkansas at a graduate level does not provide you with a wealth of options. The National Council on Teacher Quality has named two Arkansas institutions as having notable teacher preparation programs, but most do not offer endorsement along with a master’s degree. However, Arkansas does offer additional options for students seeking a master’s degree in TESOL without certification, or already-licensed teachers seeking to add an ESL endorsement while pursuing a master’s degree.
ESL Teacher Certification
ADE’s Educator Licensure Unit oversees all policies regarding licensure for its public school system. It issues the following teaching certificates:
- Standard Arkansas Teaching License
- Provisional Arkansas Teaching License
- Lifetime License
- Non-Traditional License
According to the English as a Second Language Academy, a program co-sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) and Henderson State University, teachers must already hold a valid license in another curricular area to apply for the add-on ESL endorsement. Obtaining the add-on requires teachers to take classes in the following areas:
- English Language Acquisition
- TESL Theory, Curriculum, and Instruction
- Cross-Cultural Education
- ESL Evaluation
Alternative Certification Options
The Teach Arkansas website summarizes various routes to Arkansas teacher preparation and certification, including:
- The Arkansas Department of Education Non-Traditional Licensure Program, a program that places participants in paid positions in high-need schools and awards them provisional licenses while they pursue the requirements for full licensure.
- Troops to Teachers, a state affiliate of the national organization that supports eligible military personnel in the transition to teaching careers in Arkansas public schools.
See the list Alternative-Route Master’s Degree Programs for Teacher Licensure Arkansas Colleges and Universities for state-approved programs.
Master’s in TESOL Programs
Arkansas Tech offers the sole Master of Arts in TESOL program to earn a spot on the National Council for Teacher Quality, the Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Henderson State University has several certification, endorsements, undergraduate, and graduate programs for would-be educators and people already working in public school classrooms, and offers an MSE in Advanced Instructional Studies. This program requires that students choose a content specialization, which can include ESL. University of Arkansas at Little Rock offers a Master of Arts in Second Languages. This program allows students to pursue coursework for teaching foreign languages or English as a Second Language.