ESL: FAQ

1. Why should I get an ESL endorsement through BYU?

  • It adds ESL endorsement to state teaching license.
  • It increases teaching opportunities.
  • It offers a theoretically sound, comprehensive program.
  • It includes video interviews with important scholars.
  • It represents all stakeholders, providing multiple perspectives.
  • It presents systematic pedagogy consistent through all courses.
  • It emphasizes reflective practitice.
  • It enhances teaching skills.
  • It enables completion of national TESOL K-12 standards.

2. How can I get an ESL endorsement?

  • Complete six courses, plus a student teaching experience offered through BYU either on campus or at a participating school district: Alpine, 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 through the BYU Teacher Education Department, provides the coursework required by the state to earn an ESL endorsement.

4. How long does it take to complete the program?

  • The TESOL K-12 minor is embedded in the elementary education, early childhood education, and special education (mild/moderate) majors. Completing one of these majors and the required TESOL K-12 courses, in the sequence recommended on the graduation plan set by ESS, completes the TESOL K-12 minor. Students majoring in secondary education and special education (severe) can only take two courses per semester; they should intersperse this course work across their programs.

Course equivalencies chart

5.  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/.
  • Participants must pay graduate tuition if they already have a bachelor-s degree.

6.  Is there a language requirement?

  • There is not a language requirement for an ESL endorsement.

7. Do I need to take the PRAXIS for ESL?

  • Although 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 state office of education in the state where they plan to teach.

8. What can I do with my ESL endorsement?

  • It better qualifies 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.  
  • You are eligible for openings in school districts requiring ESL endorsements.

9. What do all those acronyms mean?

  • ALS: Alternative Language Services
  • EBL: Emergent Bilingual Learner
  • EFL: English as a Foreign Language
  • EL: English Learner
  • ELL: English Language Learner
  • ESL: English as a Second Language
  • ESOL: English for Speakers of Other Languages
  • TEFL: Teaching English as a Foreign Language
  • TESOL: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages