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​CSPG 68 - English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Specialist PK-12

​Program Specialist Code 4499
Modified: July 1, 2023

English as a Second Language (ESL) refers to the use or study of the English language by non-native speakers in an English-speaking environment.  ESL includes specialized approaches to language teaching designed for those whose primary language is not English. 

English Language Development  instruction is the systematic teaching of the linguistic features of English to non-native speakers.

Grade-Level Scope of Certificate

An educator holding both a Pennsylvania ESL Program Specialist PK-12 certificate and any Pennsylvania Instructional I or II certificate is qualified to provide ESL instruction to students in grade levels PK-12.  If teaching content is reserved for Instructional certificate holders, the educator must hold the appropriate grade-level Instructional content certificate.

Certification Assignment

An ESL Program Specialist PK-12 may:

  • Provide English Language Development instruction;
  • Select and design teaching resources for English Learners;
  • Provide instructional adaptations/modifications to assist English Learners;
  • Conduct effective assessments to identify levels of language proficiency, acquisition, and content learning;
  • Monitor academic achievement of reclassified former English Learners;
  • Participate in individualized education plan (IEP) preparation for English Learners receiving special education assistance/services;
  • Provide English Language Development support to other other educators in positions requiring Instructional  certification
  • Provide school staff with resources/professional activities to promote understanding and sensitivity toward all cultures; and
  • Provide appropriate information and services to the English Learner's family.

Certificate Clarification

An educator holding a valid out-of-state ESL certificate earned by completing an out-of-state full instructional ESL certification program including student teaching who is issued the Pennsylvania ESL Program Specialist PK-12 certificate is qualified to provide ESL services to students in PK-12 without holding an additional Pennsylvania Instructional certificate. 

See English as a Second Language Program Specialist for more information.

Special Considerations

An ESL Program Specialist PK-12 may:

  • Provide professional development in their area of collegial studies; and
  • Serve in the role of mentor/advisor.

References

22 PA Code: Chapter 49:   §49.11

This revision supersedes all earlier CSPGs carrying this number and/or addressing this subject.  Previous printing dates on this subject:  3/75, 1/87, 7/04, 5/17, 9/17, 6/18. 

​Date of Revisions
​Major Changes to CSPG #68
​7/1/2023

​Clarified that to teach ESL in a Pennsylvania public school the educator must hold a Pennsylvania Instructional Level I or II certificate, in addition to the ESL Program Specialist certificate, unless the educator also holds a valid out-of-state ESL certificate earned by completing an out-of-state full instructional ESL certification program including student teaching.

​8/1/2018
​Adjusted section titled, Certificate Clarifications.
​6/1/2018
  • Defined ESL and ELD.
  • Updated and clarified staffing information.
​9/1/2017​Updated the ESL staffing information.
​5/1/2017
  • Removed statements from updated CSPG: Effective with the school year 2004-2005, all individuals providing ESL educational assistance/services were required to hold the Program Specialist ESL certificate.
  • HQT staffing requirements are remove for the 2016-17 school year and adjusted. ESSA requirements added to the updated CSPG.
​7/2004​The Program Specialist certificate was only issued for ESL and
required for teaching this program.
​12/1990​CSPG #108 Staffing ESL and Bilingual Education Classes and
Programs – Described program types.
​10/1990
  • CSPG #80 – ESL (English credit) and Bilingual Education were staffed by any Level I or II (Instructional).
  • CSPG #80 A – Discontinued the Program Specialist certificate.