ESOL Teacher Certification

Thank you for your interest in teaching ESOL in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). The No Child Left Behind federal legislation requires that teachers be licensed in the area(s) they teach.  The licensure requirements to teach ESL in Virginia include passing Virginia Communication and Language Assessment (VCLA) score effective January 1, 2006 and a license to teach ESL in Virginia or, as of April 2010, have all of the necessary coursework to qualify for an ESL teaching license.  You may qualify for a provisional Virginia ESL license if you have completed all 8 ESL endorsement courses and the passing ESL credits are listed on an official transcript from a regionally accredited college or university. The Virginia ESL endorsement coursework requirements are listed at the end of this message under 8VAC20-22-350. English as a second language preK-12.

The application process in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is a four-part process:

  1. Submit a resume at
  2. Complete automated on-line interview and a Teacher Insight interview. 
  3. Contact the ESOL central office (571) 423-4664 to set up an ESOL content interview. 
  4. Send resumes to schools with vacancies.  The vacancy list will be posted on

The Human Resources Office offers contract to candidates at the request of school administrators.  Please feel free to contact me via email at or by calling (571)423-4673 if you have further questions.

8VAC20-22-350. English as a second language preK-12.

Endorsement requirements. The candidate must have:

1. Graduated from an approved teacher preparation program in English as a second language; or

2. Completed 24 semester hours of coursework distributed in the following areas:

a. Teaching of reading (the courses must include the five areas of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and text comprehension as well as the similarities and differences between reading in a first language and reading in a second language; one course must address reading instruction to English language learners): 6 semester hours;

b. English linguistics (including phonology, morphology, syntax of English): 3 semester hours;

c. Cross-cultural education: 3 semester hours;

d. Modern foreign languages (if an applicant's primary language is other than English, all 6 hours must be in English): 6 semester hours;

e. Electives in second language acquisition, general linguistics, applied linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, ESL assessment, or ESL curriculum development: 3 semester hours; and

f. Methods of teaching English as a second language at the elementary and secondary levels: 3 semester hours.

Source: Licensure Regulations for School Personnel, Effective September 21, 2007, Revised January 19, 2011

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Richard Pollio
Director, Office of ESOL Services

Darina Walsh
Coordinator, ESOL Office

Karen Kleiber
Coordinator, ESOL Office

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Last Updated

July 8, 2014