Why pursue an ELL endorsement?

English Language Learners (ELLs) comprise 10.5 percent of all K-12 learners in public schools in Washington State and represent 224 home languages (Migration Policy Institute, 2018; OSPI, 2015). It is estimated that one in four students will be initially classified as ELLs by 2025.

While the population of ELLs steadily increases, districts in Washington struggle to meet their academic needs. Although we know that teacher preparation strongly correlates with student achievement, there is a ratio of one ELL-endorsed teacher to every 3,252 ELLs in our state (OSPI, 2016). So this is a great time to add a bilingual or ELL endorsement to your teaching certificate!

Saint Martin's University ELL Endorsement Program

The English Language Learner (ELL) Endorsement Program at Saint Martin’s University is a five-course program designed primarily for pre-service and certified teachers who wish to obtain their ELL endorsement. However, enrollment is open to anyone interested in learning more about best practices for ELL teaching and learning. This program also helps to prepare candidates for success on the WEST-E ELL Test.

With an ELL endorsement, teachers are well qualified to work with English language learners in preschool through grade 12 and can assist fellow teachers in meeting the unique needs of ELLs. The ELL endorsement is added to an existing valid teaching certificate.

Courses for this program were designed with an overall social justice framework, and specific emphases were placed on the following areas of instruction: principles of second language acquisition, foundations of English as an Additional Language (EAL) instruction, effective teaching methods and assessments for ELLs, and legislation that affects these students’ education. 

Learn more about Saint Martin's ELL Endorsement Program

Program requirements (15 credit hours)

Required courses:

  • ED 423/ MED 523: English language learner practicum (3)
  • ED 425/ MED 525: Issues and trends in English language learner and bilingual education (3)
  • ED 426/ MED 526: Methods of teaching language acquisition (3)
  • ED 427/ MED 527: Sociolinguistics and language teaching: theory and practice (3)
  • ED 428/ MED 528: Reading instruction for English language learners (3)

The program’s five courses will prepare you with the following knowledge and skills:

  • the stages of second language acquisition
  • the history and legislation of bilingual education
  • designing and modifying literacy instruction using SDAIE (Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English) and the SIOP Model (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol)
  • teaching reading, writing, and grammar to speakers of other languages
  • integrating language and content across the curriculum

Candidates must pass the WEST-E in English Language Learners in order to apply for the add-on endorsement.

Enrollment options

In Washington State, an ELL endorsement must always supplement another endorsement on a teaching certificate, which means that this endorsement can be added to current endorsement(s) or achieved while completing a degree. Endorsement courses may be applied towards a Master’s degree with a specialization in English Language Learner Education.

ELL endorsement form



Dr. Marcela de Souza
ELL program coordinator