Delaware ESL Certification

Oct 29, 2018

English as a second language teachers (ESL) play a vital role in helping non-native English speakers learn the skills they need to succeed. Here, we describe the steps that need to be completed to achieve certification in this area.

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In recent years, the number of English language learners has been growing, and there is a great need for ESL teachers who can to equip students with English language skills. In Delaware, aspiring ESL teachers must earn initial licensure in the subject area or grade level they want to teach in addition to the teachers of English learners credential.

Average Salary for Teachers in Delaware (2017)* $60,600 (Elementary); $62,540 (Middle); $63,640 (Secondary); $62,180 (Adult)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field In teaching area
Testing Requirements Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Tests/PPAT, Praxis English to Speakers of Other Languages Test (5362)

Source: U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics*

Step 1: Earn a Degree

Prospective ESL teachers, known as teachers of English learners in Delaware, will first need to earn a bachelor's degree in the area in which they would like to earn their initial teaching license, such as elementary education or a secondary school subject like English language arts, from a state-approved institution of higher education. The degree program should incorporate a teacher preparation program. A traditional program such as this will take four years and consist of coursework, field placements and student teaching. Undergraduate ESL teacher candidates also typically complete at least 15 credits of ESL courses through a related minor or concentration. Classes can include the following topics:

  • Linguistics
  • Second language acquisition
  • Second language testing
  • Teaching ESL

Step 2: Pass the Required Tests

The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) requires teacher candidates in all licensure areas to pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Tests administered by ETS. Candidates must achieve the following minimum scores to pass:

  • Reading (test code: 5712) - 156
  • Writing (test code: 5722) - 162
  • Mathematics (test code: 5732) - 150

Alternatively, candidates can take the PPAT assessment and achieve a score of 38 or more. Or, they can get an exemption from the basic skills testing requirement altogether by submitting acceptable ACT or SAT scores.

In addition to passing general skills tests and a content area test in their primary teaching area, ESL candidates must take the Praxis English to Speakers of Other Languages Test (test code: 5362) and achieve a score of at least 149. The test consists of 120 selected-response questions spread across the six following content categories:

  • Foundations of Linguistics
  • Foundations of Language Learning
  • Planning and Implementing Instruction
  • Assessment and Evaluation
  • Culture
  • Professionalism and Advocacy

Step 3: Apply for Initial Teacher Certification in Delaware

When candidates have completed all of the education and testing requirements, they can apply for an initial teacher license and standard teaching certification. Applications can be made electronically using the DDOE's Delaware Educator Data System (DEEDS). Official transcripts from degree and teacher preparation programs (including evidence of student teaching) must be submitted with the application.

If the DDOE accepts a candidate's application, it will send the initial license and standard certificate via email.

Delaware ESL Teacher Certification Resources

The links below lead to resources that can provide help in preparing for the Praxis Core and ESL exams that are required for ESL teacher certification in Delaware:

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