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Stephen F. Austin State University

Bilingual

Bilingual Supplemental Certification

In addition to any program that you may be following, you may wish to obtain a supplemental certificate for teaching children whose native language is Spanish. You are required to be proficient in Spanish because you will be delivering content instruction in Spanish and in English.

English Language Learners (ELL) also referred to as children with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) have special needs. If instruction is in English-only from the very beginning, these children may fall behind and lose ground because initially they are totally confused. The bilingual certification courses are designed to aid these children in the content areas by using their native language for concept introduction and for clarification purposes. Bilingual courses provide the necessary information for modifications to the curriculum that ensure student success and provide a platform for developing a deep understanding of cultural realities that affect learning and everyday life. If you are working on a graduate degree, you may elect to add a supplemental certificate to teach in a bilingual setting. This certification requires fluent Spanish.

Undergraduate students CANNOT take these courses as electives. These course hours do not count toward hours needed for undergraduate students to graduate.

Graduate students may take these courses as electives if part of a master's degree plan. (Early Childhood, Standard, Professional Reading Specialist)

The courses required for this certification are offered online. The courses are ONLY offered during the summer sessions and they must be taken in sequence.

Bilingual Certification - Overlap or Graduate Level Only (12/13-Hour Requirement)

Must pass state proficiency test and TExES Bilingual

Important Note about the TOPT

The Texas Oral Proficiency Test (TOPT) has previously been required for candidates who are seeking certification to teach Spanish, or to teach Spanish in a bilingual setting.

TOPT Spanish has been replaced by the TExES Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test ( BTLPT) for those seeking certification to teach Spanish in a bilingual setting and the TExES Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Spanish EC-12 test for those seeking certification to teach Spanish as a Language Other Than English.

Bilingual Certification - Overlap or Graduate Level Only (13-Hour Requirement)

Must pass state proficiency test and TExES Bilingual

When all required department prerequisites for the TExES certification exams are met, staff helps with registration procedures and plans appropriate reviews for the certificate student. For more information about the TExES certification exams, please contact:

Office of Assessment-Elementary Education
Ms. Karla Hamilton - (936) 468-1821

Course Prerequisites

Admission to Teacher Education

Admission to teacher education requires a 2.5 GPA. You must be either admitted as an undergraduate (overlap student) OR as a graduate student to enroll in the Bilingual Supplemental Certification courses.

Overlap Program

Requirements for admission into the graduate school include having an overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale and a 2.8 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work, exclusive of freshman level courses.

Final Degree Plan

Two semesters before you intend to graduate, you need to apply for a Final Degree Plan. To begin this process, please visit the Rusk Building, Room 202. When you receive your Final Degree Plan, you must carefully examine this document to be sure that it is complete and correct. Now is the time to fix anything that does not seem right. It will list all of the courses remaining to be completed. Be sure to ask about anything you do not understand.

Be sure you are current with the latest Texas certification (TExES) information that might impact your program.

Consider courses you might take in the Senior Overlap Program. The Overlap Program permits qualified undergraduates to pursue a limited amount of graduate study (usually 12 credit hours or less) concurrently with undergraduate study. You must apply for this program and you must also apply for Graduate School.

To obtain a Senior Overlap Program application please visit the Elementary Education Office (ED 304) or stop by the Graduate Office in the Liberal Arts North Building LAN-423, or go online to the Graduate School website. There you will receive an application form to complete. The admission process takes up to one month, so it is important for you to start the procedures well in advance of the time you expect to register for these classes.

To be eligible for the Overlap Program, you must be enrolled at SFASU and must have achieved at least ninety-five (95) earned hours of undergraduate credit with a 2.5 GPA overall and a 2.8 GPA in the major field. A student with fewer than one hundred fifteen (115) undergraduate earned hours must present a 3.0 GPA both overall and in the major field. You must apply for this program and you must also apply for Graduate School. Applications may be found at the Graduate School website.

Overlap courses count only for graduate credit and will apply to a Master's Degree.

The Department of Elementary Education offers the following two Supplemental Certifications through the Overlap Program or at Graduate Level

All students seeking Bilingual Supplemental Certification must also complete the application process for the Bilingual courses. This paperwork is also located in the Elementary Education office on the second floor of the ECRC.

Seeking certification but not a graduate degree?

Overlap and graduate students not seeking a master's degree, need to do the following:

Apply for admission to the Graduate School as

For Bilingual Supplemental Certification: (12/13 hours)

Must pass state proficiency test and TExES Bilingual.

Bilingual Supplemental Certification FAQs

What is the difference between an ESL Supplemental Certificate and a Bilingual Supplemental Certificate?
The biggest differences between earning an ESL and Bilingual Supplemental Certificate is that the bilingual certification requires Spanish proficiency since the bilingual teacher speaks both English and Spanish as a means of content instruction. Therefore, the bilingual certification student will submit some assignments in Spanish and will evaluate several Spanish language web sites and share information gleaned with classmates.
Can the coursework required for the supplemental certificate be taken as electives by undergraduates?
Undergraduate students CANNOT take these courses as electives. These course hours do not count toward hours needed for undergraduate students to graduate. Overlap courses count only for graduate credit and will apply to a Master's Degree.
Are undergraduates eligible to take the ESL courses?
Undergraduates may apply for "overlap" status and pursue a limited amount of graduate study concurrently with undergraduate study. Certain requirements apply.
What are the benefits of earning an Bilingual Supplemental Certification?
You will become highly marketable throughout Texas and the rest of the nation when you earn the bilingual supplemental certification. Public schools are serving growing numbers of students whose primary language is Spanish. Many school districts provide tuition reimbursement or stipends to their employees who are bilingual certified.
What role does the Bilingual certified teacher serve in the classroom?
Public schools are serving growing numbers of students whose primary language is Spanish. The Bilingual certified teacher has the knowledge of methods and techniques for teaching that will aid English language learners in the content areas. The Bilingual certified teacher can limit confusion encountered in an English-speaking environment by introducing concepts and clarifying information in the child's native language.
How will SFA offer the Bilingual Supplemental Certification Program?

SFASU offers the Bilingual Certification Program during the summer semesters only. Two courses will be offered in Summer Semester I (ELE 515, ELE 505) and two courses in Summer Semester II (ELE 506, ELE 507). All courses are offered online.

Note: A capstone exam is given in ELE 507. You must make arrangements to take the exam on the SFA campus toward the end of summer semester II.

Contact the office of assessment in the department of elementary education.
Ms. Karla Hamilton - (936) 468-1821

What are the required courses?

All required courses are online and must be taken in sequence.

  • ELE 515 Language Acquisition for ESL/Bilingual
  • ELE 505 Foundations of ESL/Bilingual
  • ELE 506 ESL/Bilingual Assessment
  • ELE 507 ESL/Bilingual Teaching Methods

Must pass state proficiency test and TExES Bilingual

Are students seeking Bilingual supplemental certification required to work with English Language Learners (ELL) for required coursework?
Yes. Course work is designed to teach you techniques and procedures for teaching English language learners. You will be required to implement curriculum developed during the course with these children. Children must be age ten (10) or older and have some reading skills in the native language and/or English.
Is the Bilingual Supplemental Certificate program a Master's degree program?
No, but the Bilingual courses offered by SFASU can be applied toward a Master's degree program in Elementary Education. (Early Childhood, Standard, Professional Reading Specialist).
Who can I contact before registering for the bilingual courses?

Dr. Susan Casey
caseys1@sfasu.edu