Student Teaching for the K-12 ESL licensure

TESL Master's Program

For the K-12 ESL license at SCSU, all students receiving this license are required to complete student teaching requirements.  Normally, students are required to enroll in 12 undergraduate or graduate credits for student teaching and to complete 16 full-time weeks or the equivalent of student teaching:  1)  eight full-time weeks at the K-6 level, and 2)  eight full-time weeks at the 7-12 level.  These student teaching assignments are assigned by the Office of Clinical Experiences,, at SCSU. Generally speaking, student teaching is completed in the last semester of course work.

Student teaching two licenses simultaneously

Student seeking the K-12 ESL license as well as another teaching license simultaneously may be required to student teach for an additional 6 credits of student teaching and an additional eight weeks of student teaching.  Normally, this requirement for student teaching two licenses would mean student teaching in two different semesters.  But, on an experimental basis, students seeking license in a world language, such as French, German or Spanish and in ESL, may be allowed to student teach for 18 credits in a Spring semester over at least 21 weeks of student teaching and based on the availability of student teaching sites in the licensure areas.

Student teaching a second license

If you have an initial teaching license and want to add the K-12 ESL license, the student teaching requirement will generally be reduced upon the request of the teacher candidate and with a review of previous academic and licensure documents.  Generally speaking, the reduction will cut in half the student teaching requirements for the level of the previous license.  For example, an elementary education licensed teacher would have his or her K-6 ESL student teaching reduced from 8 to 4 weeks, but still be required to student teach for eight weeks for the 7-12 level.  Or, a secondary math teacher would have half of the 7-12 ESL student teaching reduced from 8 to 4 weeks, but still be required to student teach for eight weeks for the K-6 level.  Or a K-12 Physical Education teacher would have both his or her K-6 and 7-12 ESL student teaching reduced from 8 to 4 weeks for a total of 8 full-time weeks of ESL student teaching.

Essential Equivalent Experience

If you have been hired as an ESL teacher by a school district even though you do not have a K-12 ESL teaching license, then you can use your ESL teaching experience to complete student teaching requirements through Essential Equivalent Experience.  For Essential Equivalent Experience, the teacher candidate needs to document quantitatively and qualitatively that student teaching requirements have been met.  Quantitatively, the teacher candidate needs a letter from the school principals or the school district Human Resources Office that document the number of hours of ESL for both K-6 and 7-12 students with as many as 240 hours of teaching at each level.  Qualitatively, the teacher candidate needs three observation reports or letters of recommendation based on observations for both K-6 ESL teaching and 7-12 ESL teaching.

All these documents would then be sent to the TESL Director who reviews them and prepares a letter of support.  The TESL Director then sends these documents with his letter of support to the Secondary Education Faculty in the Department of Teacher Development, where student teaching credits are listed.  A faculty member there either supports or rejects this application for Essential Equivalent Experience.  If accepted, the documents are forwarded to the Office of Clinical Experiences so that no further student teaching will be required, and then forwarded to the Records Office so that student teaching requirements can be recorded as fulfilled on the student’s K-12 ESL licensure program form.

International Student Teaching

Teacher candidates for the K-12 ESL license can also do half of their student teaching through an international teaching assignment.  This student teaching experience has to be at the K-6 or 7-12 level and so cannot be with adults.  If you are interested in student teaching internationally, you should contact the Office of Clinical Experiences directly to ask about the possibilities.

So far, we have had a small number of teacher candidates in the K-12 ESL license student teach internationally through a program at the University of Northern Iowa.  You can get an overview of their program at:  If you chose UNI for student teaching, you would enroll in their student teaching courses and then transfer them to SCSU, but again this process would be in cooperation with the Office of Clinical Experiences.

Additionally, students may count previous international EFL teaching for half of their student teaching requirement through Essential Equivalent Experience.  In the past, teacher candidates who had taught in K-12 classrooms in other countries as part of the Peace Corps or with the JET (Japanese Exchange Teacher) program in Japan have been able to reduce their student teaching requirement by as much as half if they provide the documentation required for Essential Equivalent Experience.

For more general information on student teaching, please consult the Department of Teacher Development web site:

Untitled Document