New York State is home to a rapidly growing population of English language learners (ELLs), where nearly one-third of students in the state are immigrant children learning English as an additional language. As student demographics are rapidly changing, the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education is leading a new charge to champion the needs of nearly 6,000 ELLs in the Greater Rochester Area and support them in meeting high academic standards.
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Learn about Warner's Scholarship Program for Certification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
The Warner School’s teacher education program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) prepares individuals for entry-level teaching positions and advanced teacher certification. Graduates of our program become teachers who understand and champion the needs of students who are learning English as a second language.
Each year, more and more students whose first language is not English are putting down roots in urban, suburban, and rural schools across the country. By 2050, the English language learner population is expected to double, and most, if not all, teachers will need to be prepared to teach this growing population. Our TESOL program equips both pre-service and in-service teachers with the knowledge, tools, and skills to work effectively with English language learners in K-12 schools.
As a TESOL teacher, you see a microcosm of the world in one single classroom. At Warner, we prepare teachers who find innovative ways to make learning English fun, meaningful, authentic, and relevant to students from every background. They understand where immigrant and refugee students come from and capitalize on the diverse histories, traditions, and educational experiences that they bring to the classroom. And, as strong advocates for their students, they are committed to creating socially just schools and leading changes needed for increased academic achievement of all English language learners.
Through coursework and field experiences, our graduate students deepen their understanding of the English language, linguistics, and language acquisition while learning innovative and effective ways to teach this growing population. Our program aims to prepare teachers who understand that learning English includes communicative competence, cultural expertise, and mastery of the structural complexities of the English language. Students become TESOL teachers who know how to create and adapt curricula and classroom instruction around authentic materials, contexts, and purposes that engage students in the English language.
TESOL teachers are constantly learning from students, their families and communities, and the curriculum they develop around their students. By bridging planning and instructional strategies with theory and research that supports them, our graduates know how to develop curriculum and teaching practices that are learner centered—where they start from what English language learners already know and build on that to link to their students’ home and community lives. And, they seek out and develop habits of a reflective practitioner and collaborate with other professionals to improve learning opportunities and meet the diverse needs of all students. These powerful classroom practices and experiences give their students, who are learning English, an equal opportunity to succeed both in and out of the classroom and in a life beyond high school.
Programs preparing entry-level TESOL teachers (leading to NYS Initial and Professional Certification for grades K-12 plus possible enhancements for incusion, urban settings, and teaching a foreign language):
Programs for current teachers seeking additional certification in TESOL:
Programs for holders of initial certification in TESOL seeking professional certification:
Programs for teaching English to speakers of other languages outside U.S. k-12 schools
New York State Teaching Certifications
To become a TESOL teacher in New York State, you need to obtain NYS Initial Teaching Certification in TESOL for grades K-12. Professional Certification and a master’s degree are also eventually required. Our Warner TESOL teacher preparation program will provide you with all the coursework needed to apply for both NYS certifications as part of a master’s degree. Provided you have the necessary content background, our program also allows you to pursue more than one certification at the same time and with minimal additional credits.
New Graduate Entrance Exam Requirement for Teacher Applicants
New York State has approved and enacted a law that requires all colleges and universities with graduate-level teacher and educational leadership programs to require candidates to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Miller's Analogy Test (MAT) or a substantially equivalent admission assessment, effective July 1, 2016. Teacher candidates may submit the Academic Literacy Skills Test(ALST), which is also a requirement for certification. See the full announcement to understand what is now required and how that impacts students starting in Summer and Fall 2016 and beyond.
New York State Certification Exams
The New York State Department of Education (NYSED) requires initial teaching certification candidates to pass the following examinations before they will be eligible for certification:
Any program leading to NYS certification requires the GRE exam or the Miller Analogies exam and a 3.0 GPA, effective fall 2016. Prerequisites for entry-level teachers teaching English to speakers of other languages include a bachelor’s degree with a major in a liberal art or science and a total of at least 12 credits of coursework (at either the undergraduate or graduate level) in a language other than English (or demonstrated proficiency in a language other than English. If you have questions about whether you have the prerequisites to enter the program, please contact the Admissions Office. Please check the detailed program of study for the program you are considering for specific prerequisites and other requirements for certification.
We expect students entering our teacher preparation programs to have already fulfilled these prerequisites. If this is not the case, you may still be allowed to enter our programs at the discretion of your advisor; you will, however, have to take the needed coursework before the end of the program in order to be recommended for certification to the New York State Education Department. Some subject matter courses taken at the graduate level can be used as electives in a master's program, provided that they are taken at the graduate level and have been approved by your advisor as part of your program of study.