At GovState, we impact the lives of multilingual children through instruction focused on their language use level.

In the most recent academic year, multilingual children made up 10.7% of elementary and secondary students in the U.S. and the numbers are only going up. Also, in 2020 in Illinois, there was a 57.9% increase in multilingual students over the past 13 years while at the same time, there have been increased shortages in teachers with ESL (English as a second language) or BIL (Bilingual) endorsements, especially in Pre-K private schools (Méndez & Vonderlack-Navarro, 2020.

GovState's Post-BA Certificate in BIL and/or ESL gives you the required endorsement to instruct multilingual children through either ESL or bilingual instruction in domestic or international settings.

Through an endorsement in BIL or ESL, you can increase your cultural knowledge of multilingual children, develop skills to solve challenges in bilingual and ESL classrooms and take advantage of resume-enhancing opportunities. By relating theory to practice, the certification emphasizes your development as a reflective practitioner committed to lifelong learning and high standards for all your students.

Reach Your Career Goals

As a licensed professional educator, your commitment to students is clear. Obtaining a certificate in BIL or ESL Education increases the scope of your impact as you can now reach students in the pursuit of English language skills both in the U.S. and abroad. This certification will enable you to specialize in teaching English learners, empowering you to support students from diverse linguistic backgrounds effectively. With this certificate, you can pursue roles in various educational settings, including public and private schools, international education programs, and adult education centers. Additionally, it prepares you for leadership positions in curriculum development, program management, and educational policy implementation, enhancing your career prospects and professional influence in the field of bilingual and ESL education.

Why get a Certificate in Bilingual/English as a Second Language Education?

A recent study by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools(IARSS) found that BIL/ESL educator positions are among the most difficult to fill. Your certification will give you the skills and credentials necessary to apply for these highly sought-after positions.

Data collected in 2023 reflected the national median salary for elementary and secondary ESL teachers to be $60,560 with an average range of $39,710 to $97,980 (Bureau of Labor Statistics). According to, Chicago’s mean salary for ESL teachers is$64,507 as of April, 2024. but the range typically falls between $52,676 and $80,727. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on the city and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you have spent in your profession.

Delivery Format

Governors State’s Certificate in ESL (18 credit hours) is offered online (asynchronous or synchronous), hybrid, or face-to-face format (on-site with sufficient students to make a cohort)

ESL endorsement is 18 credit hours and 100 hours (or three months) of experience in an ESL setting:

Course Requirements for Sequence in ESL Endorsement (18 Hours)

  • BBED 6520 - Foundations of Bilingual and ESL Education (3)
  • BBED 6501 - Teaching English as a Second Language (3)
  • BBED 6525 - Assessment of Language Minority Students (3)
  • BBED 6530 - Methods and Materials for Teaching Bilingual Programs (3)
  • BBED 6538 - Cross Cultural Education (3)
  • BBED 7977 - Reading Strategies in the Bilingual and ESL Classroom (3)

Additional Course Requirements for BIL Endorsement (3 Hours)

  • BBED 8100 - Foundations of Bilingual and ESL Education (3)

To achieve the 21-credit hour BIL endorsement, which includes the 18 hours required for the ESL, you will also be required to complete the following:

  • 100 clock hours (or three months of teaching experience) in a bilingual setting
  • Appropriate Target Language Proficiency OR an Illinois State or Global Seal of Biliteracy in the target language at the appropriate level (working or professional fluency).


View the Complete Certificate Requirements in the Academic Catalog