There is an ever increasing demand for ESL-certified teachers. The US population of non-native English speakers has nearly tripled since 1993, and currently one in five children lives in a home where English is not the primary language. Most second language learners come in with anxieties and go through phases of cultural adjustments. Without the necessary support, it is hard for them to transition smoothly and be able to learn English quickly.
RMU’s program in English as a Second Language is a collaboration with the Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit. It prepares teachers to promote the academic success of English language learners, and prepares candidates for the ESL Program Specialist certificate awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
The 18-credit curriculum is offered fully online, and explores culture, instructional planning, language benchmarks, assessment, and professionalism. It helps teachers to be more effective addressing their students' needs through working with families and communities to establish appropriate learning goals and assessment measures. It also teaches how to conduct research on the structure and nature of language with the purpose of assisting English learners in academic and non-academic settings.
Applicants must provide the following evidence to apply for the ESL Program Specialist Program:
Showing the interconnectedness of culture and cognition, the curriculum provides historical exploration of immigration, cultural perspectives, and teaching practices.
All six courses are three credits, and each course progresses from introductory to higher level and known to unknown in complexity:
The English as a Second Language Specialist Certification Program, like all RMU programs, focuses on practical education with a professional focus, with real-world applications. Candidates for ESL Certification complete a planned sequence of field experiences, of which at least one is in a public school setting, and which are aligned with competencies in the coursework.