In our progressively globalized existence, school administrators and their districts are increasingly facing the challenge of language barriers in their classrooms. This problem is particularly relevant for Michigan schools, some of which must grapple with aligning student speakers of myriad languages into a unified English-language curriculum. As a result, Michigan school administrators are working diligently to bring more English as a Second Language (ESL)-endorsed teachers into their district, but at present the demand is outpacing the supply. This article looks to why this ESL endorsement is so crucial for today’s educational landscape and how Spring Arbor University’s Online Master of Arts in TESOL with its ESL endorsement can help passionate educators bridge the communication gap.
The Numbers of Language
A look to the data reveals the exponential growth of the ESL student population in recent years. In Michigan alone, the number of English language learners now tops 90,000, which is 45% larger in number than just five years ago. According to the Migration Policy Institute, this means that slightly more than 5% of all Michigan students are English language learners, a percentage that is not atypical but rather is near the average to other states across the country. What this means is that Michigan is not the exception but rather the norm, which helps to explain why there is such a shortage in qualified teachers. Districts around the country are calling for teachers with this ESL credential, making the pursuit of Spring Arbor University’s Online TESOL MA particularly timely.
ESL Endorsement Requirement in Michigan and other states
While teaching ESL outside of a school district – for example, as part of a community organization – can be achieved without an ESL endorsement, Michigan state, as well as many other states in the country, mandates that those who seek a career in the K-12 classroom must hold this endorsement as one of their credentials. The ESL endorsement is essential because it indicates that the holder has trained specifically to aid English language learners. In other words, achieving the ESL endorsement means that the student has garnered the skills and methods to help the English language learner both acquire the language and keep up with their regular academic work.
Spring Arbor University’s Online TESOL MA offers this ESL endorsement integrated within its curricular offerings for those specializing for a career in K-12 education. Having this endorsement means that Spring Arbor University students can more easily progress to a professional role in K-12 education following graduation as there is no need for additional credit hours nor supplemental credentials required before one can apply for the state teaching license.
The Spring Arbor University TESOL MA with ESL Endorsement
Spring Arbor University is proud to offer its Online TESOL MA with ESL endorsement not only because it meets Michigan state teaching requirements but also because it adds to the richness of the Spring Arbor University educational experience. Spring Arbor University aims in its TESOL MA curriculum to inspire its students with both the compassion of faith and the competencies in literacy and linguistics to encourage and educate English language learners. From the basic principles instilled in “Linguistics for Teachers of English” (TSL500) to the international nuances relayed in “Cross-Culture Competencies”(TSL5010), the Spring Arbor University Online TESOL MA prepares tomorrow’s educators with research, theory, and effective practices to succeed in ensuring, in turn, the success of English language learners. What is more, Spring Arbor University TESOL MA students are afforded the opportunity to implement these skills through capstone projects and practicums that further prepare these future educators to put the methods of the classroom into professional practice.
For those considering a career in K-12 ESL education, now is the time to take the plunge into the Spring Arbor University’s Online TESOL MA program. Its curriculum is designed for the motivated and multitasking student, with 100% online courses and relatively low tuition rates. The program also offers the flexibility to choose between the K-12 concentration or a specialization in Adolescent and Adult Education, meaning that graduates can carry their credentials to teaching at different levels or in various countries. Consider the Spring Arbor Online TESOL MA and know that it can be both a streamlined and significant step toward your professional goals.
Dustin Dwyer, “Wanted: Trained teachers for Michigan’s growing number of English language
learner students.” Transcript from “State of Opportunity” from Michigan Radio. Accessed 4 January 2018 from: http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/wanted-trained-teachers-michigans-growing-number-english-language-learner-students
Ali Harb, “Dearborn Schools leading the way in accommodating immigrants.” Detroit Journalism
Cooperative/The Arab American News. Accessed 4 January 2018 from: https://www.detroitjournalism.org/2016/09/19/dearborn-schools-leading-the-way-in-accommodating-immigrants/
“Introduction to the Standards for the Preparation of Teachers of English as a Second Language.”
Michigan Department of Education, approved 17 February 2017. Accessed 4 January 2018 from: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/ESL_Standards_551924_7.PDF
Claudio Sanchez, “English Learners: How Your State is Doing.” National Public Radio Education,
23 February 2017. Accessed 4 January 2018 from: https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/02/23/512451228/5-million-english-language-learners-a-vast-pool-of-talent-at-risk