In 2008, Delaware only contained 6,800 ESL students in its K-12 schools, as reported by the Migration Policy Institute. While that number might not seem high, it is higher than the nearby states of New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, and the state’s immigrant population grew at a rapid clip during the prior decade, at a rate of nearly 250 percent. Perhaps the diversification of Delaware’s home languages contributes to its TESOL program offerings, which include online dual-endorsement programs in Reading and ESOL, on-campus studies in Applied Linguistics, and a unique five-year program that awards a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Arts concurrently while certifying and endorsing ESL educators for work in Delaware public schools.
ESL Teacher Certification
The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) regulates licensure through its Delaware Educator Data System (DEEDS). The DEEDS guide to Certification lists the following types of licenses issued to Delaware public school teachers:
- Initial License
- Continuing License
- Advanced License
- Standard Certificate
- Emergency Certificate
Alternative Certification Options
Candidates who have relevant undergraduate or graduate degrees but who have not completed a student teaching component can qualify for one of the options listed by the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) on its Alternative Routes to Certification Web page:
- Candidates enroll in Alternative Route to Certification (ARTC) programs while working in critical teacher shortage areas.
- Pre-service educators participate in three-week intensive trainings and then work at secondary schools while earning certification through the Delaware Transition to Teaching Partnership (DT3P).
- Current para-educators earn master’s degrees to work in special education.
- Recent college graduates undergo training and mentorship through Teach for America while working at public schools in low-income communities.
- Substitutes with one year of experience apply their teaching hours to the state student teaching requirement as part of the Ninety-one Days in Lieu of Student Teaching arrangement.
TESOL Master’s Degree Programs
University of Delaware offers a Master of Arts in Linguistics and Cognitive Science. Students can opt for a track specializing in Applied Linguistics and ESL. There’s also a Master of Arts-TESL program and a Teaching English as a Second Language 4 + 1 Program. Wilmington University offers a Master of Education in ESOL Literacy and a Master of Education in Reading/ESOL Literacy.