Connecticut’s institutions of higher education have tailored their programs to meet the needs of all types of learners, from those who want accelerated licensure programs with paid classroom positions and TESOL experience to those who wish to pursue advanced degrees to research applied linguistics. In between, there are hybrid and online formats awarding master’s degrees with or without credentials or bilingual or ESL endorsement.
ESL Teacher Certification
CSDE’s Types of Certificates Web page lists the following licenses:
- Initial Educator Certificate
- Interim Educator Certificate (Non-Renewable Initial/Provisional Interim)
- Interim Educator Certificate (Interim Initial/Provisional Educator Certificate)
- Provisional Educator Certificate
- Professional Educator Certificate
All policies regarding teacher preparation and licensure are overseen by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE). Its Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Fact Sheet states that educators can earn a TESOL endorsement if they meet one of the following criteria:
- They have completed an undergraduate degree with a major in TESOL (as well as meeting general education requirements).
- They have taken 30 semester hours of TESOL and 9 hours of bilingual education, with coursework in language, language theory, cross-cultural relations, and linguistics (and have met general education requirements).
- They pursue TESOL as an added endorsement and take 30 semester hours in English syntax, language theory, cross-cultural relationships, TESOL assessment, ESL curriculum and instruction.
- They have professional TESOL experience approved by CSDE and they take classes in TESOL methods, cross-cultural education, and/or linguistics.
For a complete list of options for obtaining the TESOL endorsement on a Connecticut teaching license, see CSDE’s Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Fact Sheet.
Alternative Certification Options
The Certification Information page on the SDE website lists three main options for would-be educators who want to pursue a nontraditional route to K-12 licensure in Connecticut public schools:
- Connecticut Alternate Route to Teacher Certification (ARC) Program
- Teach for America Program
- Charter Oak State College ECE ARC Program
Master’s in TESOL Programs
Fairfield University‘s program offers initial certification with a Master of Arts in TESOL, along with bilingual endorsement concurrently: Master of Arts in Education with Initial Certification. This track includes an option for cross-endorsements in bilingual education (Elementary and Secondary). Southern Connecticut State University is the only Connecticut institution to earn a place on the National Council on Teacher Quality 2013 Honor Roll. They offer a Master of Science Degree in Bilingual, Multicultural Education & TESOL. This degree has two additional options for areas of focus: Bilingual Education and TESOL.