Teaching English Language Learners (TELL)

ESL : Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Why should I get an ESL endorsement through BYU?
    • Increase in teaching opportunities
    • Theoretically sound, comprehensive program
    • Video interviews with important scholars
    • Representation of all stakeholders providing multiple perspectives
    • Systematic pedagogy throughout all courses
    • Emphasis on reflective practitice
    • Enhancement of teaching skills
    • Completion of national TESOL K-12 standards
  2. How can I get an ESL endorsement?
    • Take six courses plus a practicum, offered through BYU on campus or at a participating school district: Alpine, Jordan, Nebo, North/South Sanpete, Wasatch, Salt Lake, Evanston.
    • Contact the McKay School of Education on campus.
    • Contact the ESL or ALS office of your school district.
  3. How does the TESOL K-12 minor relate to an ESL endorsement?
    • The TESOL K-12 minor, which is available to undergraduates in the Teacher Education Department, consists of one more course than the State of Utah requires for an ESL endorsement.
    • The 29-credit minor is offered through the McKay School of Education.
  4. How long does it take to complete the program?
    • The 19 credits can be completed in two semesters or by two terms on campus followed by a practicum experience.
    • The school districts provide a two-year program of completion.
  5. What is the recommended sequence of courses?
    • Ling 230, Language, Mind, and the World (for TESOL K-12 minor)
    • TELL 400, Foundations of Bilingual Education
    • TELL 410, Understanding Language Acquisition
    • TELL 420, Assessment for Linguistically Diverse Students
    • TELL 430, Developing Second-Language Literacy
    • TELL 440, Integrating Content and Language Instruction
    • TELL 450, Family, School, and Community Partnerships
    • TELL 477R, ESL Practicum
  6. Do I have to be enrolled as a student at BYU?
    • The ESL endorsement courses are offered as evening classes, so students do not have to be accepted into the BYU day school in order to enroll.  See ce.byu.edu/ev/.
    • A clearance form is required to register.
    • Students should take an add card to the first class.
    • Participants must pay graduate tuition if they already have a bachelor’s degree.
  7. Is there a language requirement?
    • There is not a language requirement for an ESL endorsement.
  8. Do I need to take the PRAXIS for ESL?
    • Although the State of Utah does not require the PRAXIS in ESL for elementary education majors, other states may require it. 
    • Recommendations vary for secondary teachers, depending on their major. 
    • Students should check with the relevant state office of education.
  9. What can I do with my ESL endorsement?
    • It must attach to a teaching license.
    • It enables you to work with second language learners in your mainstream classroom.
    • It also enables you to work with second language learners in a self-contained setting.  (No Child Left Behind requires that all students have a teacher highly qualified in a content area if they are to receive credit for having taken a course.)
    • You are prepared for openings in school districts now requiring ESL endorsements.
  10. What do all those acronyms mean?
    • ESL: English as a second language
    • ELL: English language learner
    • EFL: English as a foreign language
    • ESOL:English to speakers of other languages
    • ALS:  Alternative language services
    • TESL:Teaching English as a second language
    • TEFL: Teaching English as a foreign language
    • TESOL:Teaching English to speakers of other languages