California offers a plethora of graduate programs in TESOL, both online and on campus. Some programs have hybrid formats in which students attend onsite classes part-time and complete requirements online. The graduate degrees awarded go by many names, including MATESOL, master’s in applied linguistics, master’s in curriculum and instruction, Master of Education – English as a Second Language, master’s in teaching – TESOL, master’s in education with a concentration in TESOL, master’s in TESL, and intensive English communications. Not all of these degrees are equivalent, so confirm that your degree has the necessary prerequisites for your career path, including licensure or endorsements to teach in California or abroad.
ESL Teacher Certification
Candidates who seek TESOL master’s degree programs in California that concurrently award licensure to teach should refer to CATESOL’s Minimum Qualifications for ESL Teachers in California and Nevada to ensure they meet the latest requirements. There are distinct requirements for educators in K-12, adult education, non-credit community college courses, credit community college courses, intensive English programs, and public and private universities. For K-12, the general requirements include coursework leading up to a multiple or single subject credential with a CLAD, BCLAD, or English Learner Authorization. According to its Teaching English Learners webpage, as of 2011, teachers of ELLs must hold certification that includes an endorsement or a focus specifically on working with English language development (ELD), specially designed academic instruction in English (SDAIE), bilingual education, or teaching content courses in students’ primary languages.
Types of Licensure Accepted in California
Among the official licenses, endorsements, and authorizations accepted by the CTC for ESL teachers in California are:
- CLAD Certificates – As of 2012, the Crosscultural, Language, and Academic Development (CLAD) Certificate authorizes teaching ELD and SDAIE classes.
- Bilingual Authorizations – The holder of this authorization, as of 2012, can teach ELD, Primary Language Development, SDAIE classes, and Primary Language Content.
- Serving English Learners – An EL authorization, as of 2010, allows teachers to instruct ELD, SDAIE, Primary Language Development, and Primary Language Content.
- Commission-approved CTEL Programs – The California Teachers of English Learners specialist credential/teaching certificate is offered through California state universities and the University of California system. As of 2013, the CTC recognizes it as equivalent to a CLAD Credential.
- The CTC also awards CTEL certificates, as of 2010, with a hybrid coursework and examination program.
Alternative Certification Options
The Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) lists all routes to educator licensure. Alternative pathways include current teachers taking staff development in Specially Designed Academic Instruction Delivered in English (SDAIE) and CTC-approved CTEL programs that combine coursework with examinations.
Master’s in TESOL Programs
The Monterey Institute of International Studies Master of Arts in TESOL, a well-regarded program, has a global emphasis. Areas of focus include Language Program Administration, Computer-Assisted Language Learning, Teaching Foreign Language, and International Education Management. The Peace Corps Master’s International is an optional program that students can fold into their master’s in TESOL course of study. Three California graduate programs in education rank in the top 20, as of 2013, according to the ratings calculated by U.S. News & World Report, but only two of them have areas of specialization that include TESOL: the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics, and the University of Southern California MAT TESOL (while this popular on-campus, hybrid, or online graduate program is flexible, it does require participants doing fieldwork in their communities).