PA Department of Education ESL Program Specialist Guidelines
The professional education program provides evidence that the English as a Second language program specialist candidates complete a program of study that meets state ESL program specialist criteria/competencies. The program requires candidates to demonstrate their knowledge of and competence in teaching English as a Second Language students (K-12) including:
I. A. DEVELOPING CULTURAL AWARENESS/SENSITIVITY
- Knowledge of behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes of multicultural/multilingual learners and families.
- Knowledge of current methods and techniques, based on recognized principles of teaching ESL in working with culturally and linguistically diverse students/families
- Knowledge of how to facilitate the English Language Learners and their families in understanding and collaborating with ESL and other school staff.
- Knowledge of how to promote school staff's understanding and sensitivity toward cultures other than American and languages other than English.
- Knowledge of how other cultures compare/related to the American culture in areas as communities, businesses, languages, education, and systems in other countries.
I.B. DEVELOPING LINGUISTIC AWARENESS AND ENGLISH USAGE
- Knowledge of the process of first and second language acquisition
- Knowledge of the structure of the English language/grammar and pronunciation, including lexical, morphological, syntax and phonological components.
- Knowledge of the process of literacy development for second language learners and strategies to assist ELLs in the different stages of second language acquisition.
- Knowledge to assist ELLS to communicate using verbal and nonverbal language.
I.C. ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS (ELLs) LANGUAGE AND SUPPORT SERVICES KNOWLEDGE
- Knowledge of effective assessment tools/practices to identify levels of language proficiency, acquisition and content learning as well as monitor student progress.
- Knowledge of available all school support services that can assist the ELLs in language acquisition and content learning.
- Knowledge of multiple assessment model to document ELL's progress in various curricular and instructional activities.
- Knowledge and use of evaluation techniques to assess the various curricular and instructional activities used for the English language learners/students.
- Knowledge to promote parental/family involvement and participation regarding their children's accomplishments and educational needs and to assist in the development of ELLs projected services.
- Knowledge of formal/informal assessment tools, and an Individualized Education Plan, to use with ELLs who have been identified as special education students.
I.D. ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE- INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS DEVELOPMENT
- Knowledge to design and implement ESL program to assist Ells in the process of acquiring English and cognitive academic language skills.
- Knowledge of methods, strategies, research and resources that address the educational needs of ELLs in their learning process, including the use of computer technology.
- Knowledge to select and design teaching resources for ELLs according to their language proficiency, native language development and literacy development.
- Knowledge and application of a variety of currently accepted, research based ESL instructional methods and strategies to meet specific instructional needs of ELLs.
- Knowledge to develop, implement, and evaluate a variety of curricular and instructional activities for diverse ELLs.
- Knowledge of instructional adaptations/modifications to assist ELLs in the regular classroom.
The ESL education program provides evidence of the candidates' participation in sequential and developmental coursework, under the supervision of college personnel who are well trained, have interpersonal skills and demonstrated competence in ESL teaching. The program also provides evidence that the criteria and competencies for exit from the ESL program specialist certification program are assessed in coursework, field experiences, etc. as per the approved program and require candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and competence. Each ESL course in the program includes a field-based component. The field-based components are designed to provide teachers with an opportunity to document the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for successful classroom implementation of ESL research-based best practices, PDE ESL Program Specialist Guidelines/Competencies & NCATE/TESOL Competencies.
NCATE/TESOL Program Guidelines
The Masters in English as a Second Language is also based on and supports the principles prescribed by the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and include these five standards:
- Describing language
- Language acquisition and development
- Nature and role of culture
- Cultural groups and identity
- Planning for student-based ESL and content instruction
- Managing and implementing standards-based ESL and content instruction
- Using resources effectively in ESL and content instruction
- Issues of assessment for ESL
- Language proficiency assessment
- Classroom-based assessment for ESL
- ESL research and history
- Partnership and advocacy
- Professional development and collaboration
Domain 1: Language
Domain 2: Culture
Domain 3: Planning, Implementation, and Managing Instruction
Domain 4: Assessment
Domain 5: Professionalism
Education Department Philosophy
This program emphasizes a Constructivist teaching philosophy that takes into consideration the prior knowledge and background of individual learners. The program is based on best practices, is performance-based, and engages learners in research-based practices that will prepare professionals to work with K-12 English Language Learners and provide support for colleagues.