FAQ - NIU - Foreign Language Educator Licensure

Educator Licensure

FAQs about Teacher Licensure in French, German or Spanish

  • I want to get a teaching license in French, German or Spanish. What should I do?

    To get a teaching license, you need a BA (or equivalent coursework) in your target language, plus a series of education courses, methods courses, and clinicals.  You should meet with the Director or Assistant Director of Teacher Licensure as early as possible to talk about the program.  To apply to the program, you will need to fill out the Preliminary Review Form.
  • What is the deadline to apply for teacher licensure?

    You can apply any time, but applications for the first clinical, ILAS 201, are due in October for the following spring or March for the following fall.  Thus, students who wish to complete a BA and teacher licensure at the same time should speak to the Director or Assistant Director as soon as possible, but at the very latest, before March of the sophomore year. 
  • How do I know if I am qualified to become a language teacher?

    The two most challenging hurdles are passing the Test of Academic Proficency (TAP, or substitution of an ACT+writing or SAT score), and the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI).  You must pass the TAP before you can start the second clinical, ILAS 301.  You must pass the OPI before you can student teach.  Most students who are able to pass these two tests will be able to pass the other required tests.  
  • What courses are required for admission?

    The admissions requirements can be found on the Preliminary Review Form.  
  • If I am accepted, how long will it take to complete the program?

    With careful planning, it is possible to complete a language BA and student teaching in four years (eight semesters).  Some students may need to take a few courses in the summer, or take a ninth or tenth semester for student teaching.  
    If you already have your BA in a language from NIU or another school and are returning to get your teaching license, you will probably need four semesters to complete the clinical sequence and student teaching-- the first three can be part-time, but the last semester will be full-time student teaching.  
  • What grade levels will I be licensed to teach?

    An advantage of our program is that you will be licensed to teach all grade levels, K-12.
  • What kinds of tests do I need to take?

    Currently, students are required to pass the Test of Academic Proficiency (or substitute an ACT+writing/SAT score) before applying for the second clinical (ILAS 301), the Foreign Language Content Area Test in your target language before student teaching, the Oral Proficiency Interview with a target score of Advanced Low before student teaching, and the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) during student teaching.  
  • What will my coursework be like?

    See our Forms and Resources page for the course checklist for your language.  You will need a BA (or equivalent coursework) in your target language (first page of checklist), plus a series of education courses, methods courses, and clinicals (second page of checklist). 
  • Are there any additional requirements?

    You will need to get a TB (tuberculosis) test once per year, complete an online safety tutorial, have a criminal background check each time you are placed in a new school district, and sign a FERPA release form.  
  • Can students select the schools in which they wish to complete their clinical experiences and student teaching?

    Placements for ILAS 201 and 301 are arranged by the placement coordinator of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Because of the large number of placements the coordinator must arrange, you will probably need to travel outside the DeKalb area to complete the clinicals. The FLMT 401 clinical is ordinarily completed during the semester prior to student teaching. You may request a particular geographic area and level (middle or secondary school), but may not specify particular schools or cooperating teachers. In addition, you may not request placement into schools that you attended. Clinical and student teaching placements are always arranged and supervised by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures. Transportation to and from schools is always your responsibility.
  • What is the duration of student teaching?

    Student teaching is 16 weeks in length, and it is ordinarily completed during the spring semester. Other requirements during the student teaching seminar are attendance at several on-campus seminars.
  • What about native speakers of French, German or Spanish who wish to obtain teacher licensure in their first language?

    Native speakers must satisfy the same requirements as other students, including coursework that is the equivalent of a BA in the language. Status as a native speaker of a language does not qualify you for teacher licensure in Illinois.
  • Can I teach in a different state with an Illinois license?

    Each state has different requirements for how to transfer an Illinois license to that state.  You may have to take an additional test or additional coursework in order to transfer your license out of state, but it will transfer.