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ESL certification will be offered to teachers on-line.
English as a Second Language certification gets OK
Program offers strategies to support English learners
Leah Jackson

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s College of Education and Human Development received approval to offer a post-baccalaureate certificate in English as a second language (ESL). The add-on program is an endorsement to a Louisiana teaching certificate and will consist of 15 credit hours of graduate coursework restricted to individuals who have attained an initial teacher education credential. Program completers will be awarded a post-baccalaureate certificate and certified by the Louisiana Department of Education.

“Louisiana is host to a growing number of English language learners,” said Dr. Vickie Gentry, dean of the College of Education and Human Development. “We regularly receive requests from certified teachers who are placed in English as a second language classrooms without adequate preparation. In response to the growing number of limited English speaking students who are subject to Louisiana’s accountability system, we developed courses that will prepare teachers to work with these underserved students.”

The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System approved the proposal last month.

Faculty from Northwestern State’s College of Education and Department of Language and Communication worked with ESL certified teachers in Rapides Parish to develop coursework for the program, which will be offered online, Gentry said.

Teachers who complete this program will be provided effective instructional and assessment strategies that will support English language learners.

“Students can complete the program without visiting the campus for face-to-face classes, a convenient option for teachers employed full-time and working in all parts of the state,” Gentry said. “The instructional design format for all courses promotes faculty-student interaction, student-content interaction and student-student interaction via the Internet. Distance learning technologies, such as podcasting and video, will be embedded in the courses.”

For more information on the English as a second language certification program, contact Gentry at (318) 357-6288 or e-mail