Compared to Texas, its neighbor to the west, Louisiana has only one program for students pursuing graduate level TESOL education. However, the University of Louisiana System has extensive online degree options, as well as many professional development, graduate certificate, and ESL/Bilingual endorsement programs for educators.
ESL Teacher Certification
The Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) and its Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) indicate that teachers can earn an ESL endorsement if they already hold valid Louisiana licenses in other curricular areas. They must complete 12 semester hours in the following classes, as indicated in the Teach Louisiana guide to receiving the English as a Second Language endorsement:
- ESL Teaching Methods
- Language and Culture
- Structure of English Language
- Curriculum Design for Multicultural Education
Alternative Certification Options
Teach Louisiana’s guide to Alternate Teacher Preparation describes several ways to meet LDE criteria to earn a certificate and work in state public schools. Options include:
- The Practitioner Teacher Program, an accelerated preparation program that participants complete while working in paid positions in Louisiana classrooms.
- The Master’s Degree Program, for people holding bachelor’s degrees who want a graduate degree as well as state certification.
- The Certification-Only Program, allowing qualified individuals to pursue alternative certification without graduate degrees.
Master’s in ESL Degrees
As of 2013, only a couple of schools in the state of Louisiana offer graduate degrees in TESOL. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers a M.A. in English with a concentration in TESOL, as well as graduate certificate programs in related areas of focus. Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers a Graduate Certificate in TESOL and a Master of Arts in English with a concentration in TESOL, both of which are offered online.