ESOL/Bilingual Endorsement - Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the ESOL/Bilingual Endorsement?
It is a specialty area endorsement added to a K-12 teaching license that provides evidence of proficiency working with English language learners.
- What are the basic requirements for earning an ESOL/Bilingual Endorsement at Portland State University?
Teachers must be formally admitted to PSU, successfully complete the program of study, a supervised practicum, pass the ESOL ORELA exam, and have a valid Oregon teaching license.
- I don’t speak another language. Can I get this endorsement?
Yes. Bilingual ability is not required for the ESOL endorsement. You may have the bilingual designation added to the endorsement if you are fluently bilingual.
Click on Admissions for more information.
- I’m not yet admitted to the program. Can I still take courses?
Yes, but you must be formally admitted to PSU before requesting a practicum.
- When are your courses held?
Courses are scheduled on campus in the evening during the academic year and during the day, evenings and weekends in Summer Session.
- How quickly can I complete the ESOL endorsement program at Portland State?
Typically, students do the coursework and practicum within 2 years of applying to the program. You have up to 7 years to complete the program.
- Can I get my endorsement at the same time as my initial teaching license?
If you are a student in Portland State's Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP), you may choose to do additional coursework and earn the ESOL endorsement at the same time as your initial license. Contact the GTEP program for more information.
- I looked for the courses in the Portland State Bulletin/Schedule of Classes, but I can’t find them. Where and how do I find out when they are offered?
You can search the PSU Class Schedule under Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership or Special Education in the pull down menu.
- Is your program available online?
No. However some courses are offered partially online (hybrid).
- I took some similar courses at another university. Do I have to take all the courses and the practicum?
That depends. Because so much variance exists in how institutions structure their programs and courses, we cannot guarantee that your previous coursework will count towards the ESOL endorsement. However, you may submit a substitution form to PSU’s ESOL program advisor, (Dr. Anita Bright) for her review. Attach a syllabus or detailed course description with the request.
Yes, but please complete your admission within the first term of taking courses.
All of our courses are held either evenings or weekends during fall, winter, and spring terms. Evening classes meet once each week, beginning at 5:30pm or later and ending around 9:15pm. Weekend classes meet Fridays 5 to 8:30pm and Saturdays 8:30am to 4pm. Three credit courses meet for three weekends; two-credit courses meet for two weekends. Summer term courses are offered in a one-week accelerated format with classes held Monday-Friday, 8:30am to 4pm, and final assignments are submitted to the instructor approximately two to three weeks after class meetings conclude. Some courses are offered partially online, reducing the amount of time spent in class meetings. Portland State uses a web-based course management system called Blackboard for online instruction. For more information click on Access to Blackboard.
That depends on how many courses you are willing or able to fit in your schedule and around other life activities. Each program course is offered twice during fall, winter, and spring terms, as well as in the summer, with the exception of the final practicum which is not available during summer. Completing the program within one year is realistic but might not always be possible depending on when classes are scheduled and other time commitments you have. Please keep in mind that it is important to attend all class meetings, especially for weekend classes. Missing a full weekend of class means you are missing one-third of the course content. If you know in advance that you have a conflict for a weekend class meeting, please plan to take that course in another term.
No, because the endorsement must be added to an existing teaching license. If you are a student in Portland States’s GTEP program or another college/university program leading to initial licensure, you can begin taking ESL/Bilingual Endorsement courses concurrently. We strongly recommend that you first complete at least two terms of GTEP (or your basic teaching methods courses if you are at another institution) before starting endorsement program courses. You cannot do your final ESL/Bilingual Endorsement practicum until after meeting all requirements for initial licensure.
While there is no requirement that they be taken in a certain order, we strongly recommend taking EPFA 466/566 Impact of Language and Culture in the Classroom as the first course in the series. Click on Program Courses to see the suggested sequence. All courses must be completed before doing the final practicum.
ESL/Bilingual Endorsement Program courses are offered through Continuing Education (CEED) in the Graduate School of Education. CEED publishes a separate and free course catalog for each term in both print and web formats. The web catalog is most current. ESL Endorsement courses can be accessed through this website by clicking on Current Courses or at www.ceed.pdx.edu, then clicking on “course catalog” and selecting the program from the drop-down window. We also publish quarterly schedule brochures or postcards for the ESL/Bilingual Endorsement Program. These are available approximately six weeks before the beginning of the term. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-725-8279 to be added to the mailing list to receive ESL schedule brochures. Be sure to provide your current mailing address, phone contact, and email.
Find the course(s) as described above. Click on the title of the course for which you want to register. Note the 5-digit course number for graduate or undergraduate credit, then follow the link to register online. If you are a first-time Portland State student or need assistance with registration, call 503-725-4832 or 1-800-547-8887 ext. 5-4832.
No. Many courses in the program are offered partially online, which reduces the amount of time required to spend on campus. However, our faculty believes strongly that for the best learning to occur, a majority of the content needs to be delivered face-to-face.
That depends. Because so much variance exists in how institutions structure their programs and courses, we do not evaluate transcripts and generally do not accept other institutions’ courses as directly equivalent to ours. We do, however, offer a waiver option through a flexible portfolio approach that can take into consideration knowledge and skills gained in a variety of ways and including prior K-12 ESL teaching experience, similar coursework taken elsewhere, background and experience in TESOL or Applied Linguistics, significant experience living or working in another country and culture, or some combination of all of these. In order to submit portfolio documentation to request course or practicum waiver, you must first attend a two-hour, non-credit Portfolio Waiver Workshop that is offered twice a year, during fall and spring terms. The workshop covers waiver requirements and procedures for preparing and submitting portfolio documentation. The fee of $99 (2007) covers the workshop and up to three individual consultations with the instructor who will review portfolio materials for completeness prior to submission for committee review.
Yes. Please refer to this chart of course equivalencies. You have to take at least two ESL endorsement program courses for which no equivalencies exist through the TESL/TESOL programs. These are EPFA 465/565 ELL School-Community Relations and SPED 455/555 Working with LEP Children Who Have Special Needs. In addition, if none or only a portion of your TESOL Methods practice teaching was done at the level of your K-12 teaching license, you have to complete the final 90-hour ESL practicum.
- Which test do I have to pass for this endorsement?
You need to take the ESOL ORELA test. A passing score on the ESOL Praxis test will continue to be accepted by TSPC if the test was taken prior to Sept. 1, 2009.
- What evidence of second language fluency is required for the bilingual designation on the endorsement?
You must either hold a K-12 license to teach another language, or you must take the ORELA subject area test. If your bilingual fluency is in a language other than Spanish, German, or French, we typically work with PSU’s Dept. of World Languages and Literatures to find someone qualified to assess your speaking, reading, and writing abilities, and provide written verification of fluency.
You must either hold a K-12 license to teach another language, or you must take two additional Praxis language tests covering content knowledge and productive language skills: French (test #s 0171 and 0173), German (test #s 0181 and 0182), and Spanish (test #s 0191 and 0192). If your bilingual fluency is in a language other than these, we typically work with PSU’s Dept. of Foreign Languages and Literatures to find someone qualified to assess your speaking, reading, and writing abilities, and provide written verification of fluency.
- What is involved in doing the ESOL practicum?
General practicum requirements include spending at least 90 contact hours teaching at the level of your current authorization with six or more ELL students over the course of a 10-week Portland State school term (fall, winter or spring). The syllabus will provide a more comprehensive overview.
- How and when do I let you know I want to do my practicum?
Submit a practicum request by the following deadlines. We do not offer the practicum during Summer Session.
- May 15: For fall term practicum beginning late-September
- October 15: For winter term practicum beginning early January
- January 15: For spring term practicum beginning late-March/early April
- I’m a full-time teacher. Will I have to take time off to do my practicum?
You can do your practicum in your own classroom as long as you have at least 6 ELL's and a cooperating teacher in your school with an ESOL endorsement.
- TSPC told me all I have to do to get my ESOL endorsement is to pass the ORELA test and do a 90-hour practicum. Can I do the practicum through Portland State?
No. We do not accept teachers for practicum unless they have completed our ESOL endorsement coursework.
Please allow 2-3 weeks for Portland State to complete all required steps and submit our recommendation to TSPC for the endorsement to be added to your license. We understand TSPC can take up to two months or longer to send out your updated license document showing the endorsement has been added. If you need evidence of the endorsement prior to that time, for your school district or for hiring purposes, it might appear through a license inquiry at the TSPC website, www.tspc.state.or.us.
- Does this program qualify for financial aid?
Taking courses in this program could allow you to qualify for financial aid if you are in a PSU master’s program. Contact Portland State’s Office of Financial Aid for more information.
- I want to teach ESOL with adults or to teach English overseas. Will this program help?
No. Teaching ESOL with adults requires a certificate or master’s degree in TESOL—Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, which are offered through Portland State’s Department of Applied Linguistics.
ESL/Bilingual Endorsement Program courses are not eligible for financial aid unless you are admitted and taking courses in this program in conjunction with a master’s degree program such as the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP with MEd) or the MA/MS in curriculum and instruction. If maintaining financial aid eligibility is important for you, we recommend that you wait until you have completed all ESL/Bilingual Endorsement Program requirements before applying for graduation. Contact PSU’s Office of Financial Aid for more information, at 503-725-3461 or www.pdx.edu/finaid.
While costs are likely to increase over time, currently a 3-credit graduate course costs approximately $960; undergraduate about $430. A 2-credit graduate course is about $660; undergraduate is about $300. The program consists of five 3-credit courses, two 2-credit courses, and a final 3-credit practicum that is only available for graduate credit. Program admission and completion fees are approximately $250-300. Books and materials average about $75-100 per course.
Yes, except the final practicum, which is graduate-level only. However, two important reasons to choose graduate credit are: if you intend to use the courses to meet graduate elective requirements or if graduate credits could place you at a higher level on a school district salary scale.
Probably not. Teaching ESL with adults requires a certificate or master’s degree in TESOL—Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, which are offered through Portland State’s Department of Applied Linguistics, 503-725-4088, www.ling.pdx.edu. That department can also offer guidance in preparing to teach English overseas.