Project ENLACE
Stephen F. Austin State University
Department of Secondary Education



Why should I get ESL Certification?

State law requires teachers assigned to teach in a bilingual or ESL program in Texas to have appropriate bilingual or ESL certification.

While you may not be teaching ESL, you will very likely have students in your classroom whose first language is not English.

ESL certification helps you to be able to better serve those students in your classroom.

Also, many school districts offer stipends and incentive pay for teachers who hold ESL certification. Obtaining ESL certification could give you an edge in the teaching job market.


Who can get ESL Certification?

The ESL Supplemental certification can be added to a valid teaching certificate. Once you are certified in your content area, you can take the TExES ESL Supplemental exam (#154). Once you pass, you can add the ESL certification to your initial certification.

If you are currently admitted to teacher education, you can get information from your advisor.

If you are not currently admitted into teacher education and are interested in becoming a teacher, you can find information here: Educator Certification


What do I need to be ESL certified when I graduate?

Once you graduate and are certified in your initial certification area, you can register for and take the TExES English as a Second Language Supplemental (ESL). This is exam #154 with ETS.

The coursework you complete once you have been admitted into teacher education at James I. Perkins College of Education has been infused with Texas’ ESL standards. You will be prepared to take and pass the ESL certification exam. Review sessions for preservice teachers will be offered beginning Spring 2010.

You can register for this exam here:

Once you take and pass the ESL (#154) exam, you can add the ESL endorsement to your teaching certificate with SBEC. You can add certifications (once you have your initial certification) here: SBEC


What can I do now to prepare myself to teach English Language Learners when I am in my own classroom?

Coursework in the James I. Perkins College of Education will be infused with Texas ESL Standards. Beginning in Fall 2008, all students who were admitted to teacher education and who were taking courses were prepared with the knowledge and skills to effectively teach English Language Learners and to take and pass the ESL Supplemental certification exam.

To prepare to teach English Language Learners, take advantage of the lessons your professors prepare for you. Also take advantages during your internship and student teaching to observe classrooms with high English Language Learner populations. Speak with the ESL teachers and the bilingual teachers.

Information about language acquisition, culturally relevant teaching, differentiation, and preparing lesson plans which incorporate English Language Learners’ needs will help to prepare you for teaching students in your classroom.


These websites have general information about types of ESL and bilingual programs as well as ideas to incorporate into your classroom.



© 2009 Project ENLACE, All Rights Reserved. Website by Cynnamon Hines.