PPST and Praxis II
Students applying for K-12 ESL license will also need to have taken two sets of tests: PPST or Praxis I and Praxis II.
PPST or Praxis I
The first test, the PPST or Praxis I, should be taken at the beginning of a teacher education. This test has three subsections: reading, writing and arithmetic. Essentially, the test determines is a potential teacher has the reading, writing and math skills of a high school graduate in the state of Minnesota. For individuals beginning a teacher education program, they would need to take this test as early as possible in their degree program, as some courses may require that the test be taken. Students should note that you do not have to pass the test to continue taking courses in a teacher education program, but that you would need to pass the test before you can receive a teaching license. Previously licensed teachers seeking a second license are not required to take or to retake PPST or Praxis I.
The second set of tests is called Praxis II. Generally, two tests are taken for individuals receiving their first license: 1) Principles of learning, and 2) a content area test or tests, ESOL for K-12 ESL license students. For the Principles of learning test, teacher candidates have three options: 1) K-6, 2) 7-12 or 3) K-12. Even though the ESL license is a K-12 license, the Department of Teacher Development at SCSU recommends that SCSU student in K-12 licenses take the 7-12 test, as the secondary education sequence at SCSU is a 7-12 program and not a K-12 program of study. Please note that teacher candidates may take any one of these three tests and the results will count if passing scores are met. At SCSU, 100% of all K-12 ESL license teacher candidates have passed these tests.
The Praxis II ESOL test have the following components: 1) analysis of student language production, 2) linguistic theory, 3) teaching methods and techniques, 4) assessment techniques and cultural issues, and 5) professional issues. At SCSU, 94% of all teacher candidates for the K-12 ESL license have passed this course.
For licensed teachers who seek the K-12 ESL license as a second license, they do not need to take or to retake the Principles of Learning test, but they do need to take the ESOL content test.
Praxis II tests are generally taken at the end of a teacher candidate’s academic program: perhaps in the last semester of course work or in the semester of student teaching. Please note that the last Praxis II test dates of the academic year are typically in June. Generally, it is a good idea to take these tests in February through April so that the results are available when the teacher candidate is ready to apply for his or her teaching license.
Relevant web sites for those interested in more information about these tests include:
SCSU Praxis Center:
SCSU Testing Center:
Praxis web site:
The Praxis Series™: Teacher Licensure and Certification
For more information email the TESL Director, Jim Robinson at: firstname.lastname@example.org.