Bilingual Certification Program

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers a course of study that leads to bilingual certification at a level corresponding to the candidate’s original (core) K-12 teaching license. Bilingual certification is an add-on to ESL certification, which means that candidates for bilingual certification must have earned an ESL certification first, then must acquire additional competencies in the areas of bilingualism and biliteracy. Bilingual certification students must complete an additional four-credit course with a fieldwork (or practicum) component that is offered weekly during teacher-friendly hours every spring semester. Additionally, proficiency in a non-English language is required (see below).

Students can take this course as a special student; see here. Students may also elect to have the bilingual certification course credits count toward an M.S. in Bilingual Education or in another area. Prospective students should first apply to the M.S. program. However, generally speaking, certain requirements of the Graduate School and of the department are waived for students who are not candidates for an advanced M.S. degree.

How to apply

Send the following information to Professor Mariana Pacheco:

  • Full name and contact information
  • Resume/CV
  • Two references (names and contact information only)
  • Transcript

Language proficiency requirement

Candidates are required to achieve “an advanced level of proficiency in the language of the students”; click here for more information from DPI.

Candidates are required to take a language proficiency exam through the Language Testing Institute through the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and demonstrate “advanced-low” level proficiency and fluency. ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and examples can be found here. Language proficiency exams can be taken as often as needed, at a cost to candidates. A list of available languages can be found here.

For Curriculum and Instruction research information: English as a Second Language/Bilingual Education

*Please note that the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UW–Madison no longer offers a stand-alone English as a Second Language certification at the graduate level. See options for ESL certification through the Elementary Education program and Secondary Education programs.