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Home > Educators > Services/Programs > Certification > Application Procedures and Forms > Bilingual or ESL Teacher Approval Requirements

Bilingual or ESL Teacher Approvals and Endorsement Requirements

Certificate holders who are teaching in approved bilingual education programs may hold either a Transitional Bilingual Certificate or a valid Illinois teaching certificate and an approval or endorsement issued by the State Board of Education. A Transitional Bilingual Certificate is valid for only six years and may only be renewed for a single two-year period. While holding a Transitional Bilingual Certificate, one should be seeking full certification with either an approval or endorsement as a bilingual teacher or teacher of English as a Second Language.

Approvals and endorsements will only be issued to applicants who possess a regular teaching certificate and will be limited to the grade levels or subjects for which the teaching certificate is valid.

Bilingual Endorsement
A bilingual endorsement may be obtained by applying online at www.isbe.net/ECS. Log in to ECS. Click on the “Applications” link, then on the “Apply for Endorsements” link. Complete the process online. Be sure the State Board has official transcripts in a sealed, unopened envelope that contain all of the courses you believe will count toward the endorsement. The fee for an endorsement evaluation is $51.75, payable with a credit card when applying online.

If you qualify for the endorsement, it will be visible on ECS under the “My Credentials”, “Current Credentials” link. If you do not qualify for the endorsement, you will receive a deficiency letter in the mail.

OR

Apply through the Regional Office of Education on ISBE Form 73-52 (pdf)

Below you will find the Requirements. Click here for application procedures. [Link to application for Endorsements

"Application for Endorsement of Issued Certificate." A bilingual endorsement will be added to the certificate of individuals meeting the following requirements:

  1. A valid Illinois teacher certificate for the grade level(s) to be taught.

  2. Bilingual clinical experience totaling 100 clock hours or three months teaching experience in bilingual programs.

  3. Successful completion of a language examination in the non-English language to be taught, or having held an Illinois Transitional Bilingual certificate in the language(s) requested.

  4. *Credits totaling 18 semester hours** distributed among the following course areas:
    1. Foundations of Bilingual Education
    2. Assessment of Bilingual Students
    3. Methods and Materials for Teaching Limited-English-Proficient Students in Bilingual Programs
    4. Cross-Cultural Studies for Teaching Limited-English-Proficient Students
    5. Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language.

  5. **When applying for a middle school bilingual endorsement, applicants must have taken the two middle school courses (link to middle school page) as well as the 18 semester hours of bilingual coursework.
Bilingual Approval

Approval as a bilingual teacher may be obtained by making application through a Regional Office of Education using ISBE Form 73-49 (pdf), "Request for Approval as a Bilingual or ESL Teacher." A letter of approval will be issued to individuals meeting the following requirements:

  1. A valid Illinois teacher certificate for the grade level(s) to be taught.

  2. Bilingual clinical experience totaling 100 clock hours or three months teaching experience in bilingual programs.

  3. Successful completion of a language examination in the non-English language to be taught or having held an Illinois Transitional Bilingual certificate in the language(s) requested.

  4. *Credits totaling 18 semester hours distributed among the following course areas:

    1. Foundations of Bilingual Education
    2. Assessment of Bilingual Students
    3. Methods and Materials for Teaching Limited-English-Proficient Students in Bilingual Programs
    4. Cross-Cultural Studies for Teaching Limited-English-Proficient Students
    5. Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language.
English as a Second Language Endorsement

An endorsement to teach ESL in the context of a state-approved ESL education program may be obtained in one of two ways.

An ESL endorsement may be obtained by applying online at www.isbe.net/ECS. Log in to ECS. Click on the “Applications” link, then on the “Apply for Endorsements” link. Complete the process online. Be sure the State Board has official transcripts in a sealed, unopened envelope that contain all of the courses you believe will count toward the endorsement.

If you qualify for the endorsement, it will be visible on ECS under the “My Credentials”, “Current Credentials” link. If you do not qualify for the endorsement, you will receive a deficiency letter in the mail.

OR

Apply through a Regional Office of Education on ISBE Form 73-52 (pdf), "Application for Endorsement of Issued Certificate." The fee for this endorsement is $50, payable by personal check if applying through the mail, and personal check, cash or credit card if applying in person.

The requirements for obtaining this endorsement are as follows:

  1. A valid Illinois teaching certificate for the grade levels to be taught.

  2. ESL clinical experience equal to 100 clock hours or three months teaching experience with ESL students.

  3. *Credits totaling 18 semester hours** distributed among the following course areas.
    1. Linguistics
    2. Theoretical Foundations of Teaching ESL
    3. Assessment of the Bilingual Student
    4. Methods and Materials for Teaching ESL
    5. Cross-cultural Studies for Teaching Limited-English-Proficient Students

  4. **When applying for a middle school ESL endorsement, applicants must have taken the two middle school courses (link to middle school page) as well as the 18 semester hours of ESL coursework.
English as a Second Language Approval

Approval to teach ESL in the context of a state-approved ESL education program may be obtained by making application through a Regional Office of Education on ISBE Form 73-49 (pdf), "Request for Approval as a Bilingual or ESL Teacher." There is no fee for an approval for ESL. The requirements for obtaining this approval are as follows:

  1. A valid Illinois teaching certificate for the grade levels to be taught.

  2. ESL clinical experience equal to 100 clock hours or three months teaching experience with ESL students.

  3. *Credits totaling 18 semester hours** distributed among the following course areas.
    1. Linguistics
    2. Theoretical Foundations of Teaching ESL
    3. Assessment of the Bilingual Student
    4. Methods and Materials for Teaching ESL
    5. Cross-cultural Studies for Teaching Limited-English-Proficient Students
Individuals who obtain an ESL approval may teach in this capacity only at the grade level for which their regular certificate is valid.

Individuals who hold an elementary certificate and who qualify for bilingual approval or endorsement may teach ESL in grades K-6, as well as all other subject areas of a bilingual education program in the language for which they have approval.

*Credit is verified with official transcripts. *To be official, transcripts must be submitted in the sealed envelope from the college or university or be sent directly by the institution. Transcripts received that are not in a sealed envelope from the university or sent directly from the university will be considered unofficial and cannot be used for evaluation purposes.