A teaching certification in English as a Second Language (ESL) is for those who wish to teach English to non-native speakers. Students wishing to pursue a minor in ESL must be in the process of obtaining, or already have, a certification to teach at the Early Childhood, Early Childhood Through Adolescence, Middle Childhood Through Early Adolescence, or Early Adolescence Through Adolescence level.


Content Area
CURRINS 541Principles and Methods of Teaching ESL3
CURRINS 542History and Politics of Second Language Education3
CURRINS 543Developing Biliteracy3
CURRINS 546Language, Content, and Comprehensible Input3
CURRINS 655Applied Educational Linguistics3
Pre-Student Teaching and Student Teaching
CURRINS 350Field Seminar in Language Education1
CURRINS 443Pre-Student Teaching in English as a Second Language Education2
CURRINS 444Student Teaching in English as a Second Language Education3
CURRINS 445Seminar in Language Education3
Total Credits24

Students must complete paperwork in order to be assigned a student teaching placement. To be approved for placement, additional criteria must be met. See Benchmarks for details.

Additional Requirements for Certification

  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 in all professional education coursework. This includes any transfer coursework that is counted towards certification at UWM, as well as grades earned in student teaching or field experiences;
  • Undergraduate students must meet the graduation requirements for their primary certification; 
  • Program Portfolio completion - based on the 10 WI Teacher Standards; and
  • Completion of the Pedagogical Knowledge Assessment (PKA) (required for certification).


Student Teaching

Students must complete an application to request/be assigned a student teaching placement. Deadlines for submission are posted by the Office of Clinical Experiences.

To be approved, students must ALSO meet the following criteria:

  • Be admitted to the School of Education
  • Complete all required coursework. An exception to allow a student to take a course concurrently with student teaching requires approval by the student's faculty advisor.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 on all undergraduate coursework, including transfer courses.
  • Have a minimum 2.75 GPA in all content area and professional education courses.
  • Content Knowledge; Passing scores reflected on your transcript for the Praxis II exam: English to Speakers of Other Languages: Content Knowledge #5361; or minimum 3.0 GPA on content area courses.
  • Removal of all F and/or I (incomplete) grades.
  • TB test results submitted to the Office of Clinical Experiences (may take up to 6 weeks).
  • Criminal Background Check submitted to the Office of Clinical Experiences.

Undergraduate Advising

Our purpose is to provide collaborative, mentoring relationships which promote educational, career, and professional development. We value a student-centered, holistic, and ethical approach to advising based on strong partnerships with students, faculty and staff, and the larger campus community. We are committed to creating a respectful and supportive environment. We encourage students to be self-reliant through informed decisions and choices based upon dissemination of accurate information. We value our own continuous professional development to enhance the quality of the advising experience.

How to Prepare for an Advising Meeting

  • Review your Advisement Report in PAWS.
  • Come prepared with questions or topics for discussion.
  • Make a list of courses you think you should take.
  • Investigate opportunities to prepare for the job you want.
  • Keep a record of your academic progress.
  • Understand you are ultimately responsible for creating your educational, life, and career plans.
  • Maintain honest and open communication with your advisor.
  • Take responsibility for choices you make as a student and member of the UW-Milwaukee community.

Scheduling an Appointment

Office of Student Services
Enderis Hall, Room 209
(414) 229-4721

Graduate Advising

If you are a School of Education graduate student, you may schedule an appointment with your faculty advisor by contacting your faculty advisor directly. Faculty contact information can be found in the Directory. Your faculty advisor will be listed in your PAWS account.