Fredonia launches new online TESOL program

Tuesday May 19, 2020Roger Coda
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The pool of bilingual (BLE) and English as a New Language (ENL) teachers available to serve in Western New York and elsewhere is expected to increase, thanks to a new online TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) program at Fredonia.

SUNY recently approved Fredonia’s online TESOL delivery format, which was previously approved by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It is the first alternative delivery method-distance education program accepted by Middle States at Fredonia, said Associate Provost for Graduate Studies Judith Horowitz.

“Because of this change in delivery format, TESOL at Fredonia will be able to reach more students from farther distances, consequently leading to increased enrollment and increased ENL and BLE teachers in Chautauqua County and Western New York.” - College of Education Associate Professor Kate Mahoney

“Because of this change in delivery format, TESOL at Fredonia will be able to reach more students from farther distances, consequently leading to increased enrollment and increased ENL and BLE teachers in Chautauqua County and Western New York,” said College of Education Associate Professor Kate Mahoney.

“Chautauqua County has teacher shortages in both Bilingual Education and ENL, and with the gradual addition of online courses, we are already seeing the new online format is helping to produce certified Bilingual and ENL teachers who are qualified to fill those critically important positions,” Dr. Mahoney said.

Fredonia’s TESOL programs provide four different pathways to New York State certification, and all but one can be completed in one year. Courses focus on understanding bilingual language acquisition and how to value the home language in instruction and across schools. TESOL courses also teach over 100 strategies to use in the classroom to provide meaningful instruction that leads to bilingualism and multiculturalism, Mahoney explained.

Demand for English language teachers is growing as more children who speak a language other than English enroll in schools.

TESOL professors Karen Lillie and Mahoney, program coordinator, have been adding online courses over the last several years.

Today, more than half of Fredonia’s TESOL programs are online; most individual courses are taught fully online and many more are hybrid, a mixture of online and face-to-face instruction.

Fredonia offers five TESOL programs, all housed in the College of Education at the graduate level, to meet the needs of local and broader communities, mostly by offering online programming that leads to New York State certification in ENL and BLE. Programs serve candidates who already have certification, those who are not certified and those who want to become bilingual teachers.

The programs are:

  • Advanced Certificate (AC): Bilingual Education, for candidates previously certified in another area who want to a become bilingual teacher, leading to New York State Bilingual (BLE) Extension certification;
  • Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.), option 2, for candidates not previously certified who want a master’s degree and to become an English as a New Language teacher, leading to New York State English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) certification, pre-K to 12;
  • Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.), option 1, for candidates previously certified who want a master’s degree and become an English as a New Language teacher, leading to New York State English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) certification, pre-K to 12;
  • Advanced Certificate (AC): TESOL, for candidates previously certified who want to be an English as a New Language teacher, leading to New York State English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) certification;
  • Master of Arts (M.A.): Language and Learning: TESOL, for candidates who want a master’s degree focusing on teaching English to speakers of other languages, that does not lead to certification.

All programs, except M.S.Ed., option 2, can be completed in one year.

A bachelor’s degree is required for admission to all TESOL programs.

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