9 Things You Need to Know to Earn Your Bilingual Authorization

What is the BCLAD?

BCLAD (Bilingual, Cross-Cultural, Language and Academic Development) is another name for the Bilingual Authorization. This authorization training process prepares teachers to meet the needs of English learners in all instructional settings, including bilingual programs in the state of California.   

To obtain a bilingual authorization, teachers must pass relevant sections of the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET): Languages Other Than English (LOTE) test, which evaluates test-takers’ ability to read, write, listen and speak in a language other than English, as well as proficiency in teaching bilingual students and an understanding of the culture and history of the language.

Various Bilingual Authorization programs exist today and completing a program at an approved institution leads to completion of the necessary state exams. These programs may be referred to as Bilingual Authorization certificate programs or BCLAD certificate programs, and according to the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), “The BCC and BCLAD Certificate authorize the same service as the Bilingual Authorization and remain valid as long as the teacher’s prerequisite teaching credential remains valid.”

Why should I consider becoming Bilingual Authorized?

According to the Spring 2014 California Language Census, English learners made up 1.4 million students, or 22.7 percent of the total enrollment in California public schools — making bilingual authorized teachers highly important in education. The majority of those students (73 percent) were enrolled in grades K–6. Teachers who have Bilingual Authorization can better-instruct and address the needs of this growing student population of bilingual speakers.

What can I do with my bilingual authorization?

Bilingual authorization allows teachers to work with student populations whose primary language may not be English, and to teach in settings where the primary language can be used to support students’ English language development and access to content.

For example, if you have a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with a concentration in Secondary Science, your Bilingual Authorization would allow you to teach Science in Spanish (or another language) to secondary students who are non-native English speakers. This authorization also demonstrates that you have been trained to teach English Language Learners (ELLs) in English-dominant settings and meet their unique language needs.

USC Rossier’s Bilingual Authorization provides a K–12 authorization for English-Spanish settings. Additionally, the Bilingual Authorization through USC Rossier qualifies recipients to teach in English-dominated settings to Spanish-speaking English learners.

Bilingual Authorization allows you to teach (in your approved language) in the following situations:

  • Instruction for Primary Language Development
  • Structured English Immersion settings
  • Specially Designed Academic Instruction Delivered in English (SDAIE)
  • Content Instruction Delivered in the Primary Language

Who should get a Bilingual Authorization or consider a Bilingual Authorization certification program?

  • Teachers and aspiring teachers who are already bilingual (especially Spanish-English bilingual). All Bilingual Authorization certification program candidates must be bilingual and comfortable speaking in the secondary language of their choice.
  • Anyone who has or is in the process of getting a California teaching credential who wishes to work with non-native English speaking students.
  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) students who want to add a specialized authorization to their degree in order to work with English learners. Bilingual Authorization certification is a good option for students pursuing an MAT in a concentration other than TESOL but who still wish to work with bilingual students.

What will I learn through a Bilingual Authorization certification program?

A Bilingual Authorization program will prepare teachers to guide, instruct and facilitate the growth of English learners in diverse settings. Most programs include field experience or guided practice in which students are required to lead lessons in a language other than English.

Effective Bilingual Authorization programs also educate teachers about the culture and heritage associated with the secondary language, which is important since the CSET: LOTE includes a section on Culture and Inclusion.

Are there different kinds of Bilingual Authorization?

In California, most Bilingual Authorization certificate programs are geared to English-Spanish needs, but there are a handful of programs that support other languages.

What requirements do I need to meet to my obtain Bilingual Authorization?

Visit California Educator Credential Examinations for a full understanding of the requirements needed to obtain your Bilingual Authorization

What are the requirements for the Bilingual Authorization Certificate at USC Rossier?

At USC Rossier, the Bilingual Authorization certificate is offered both on campus and online. Applicants must already be enrolled in the USC Rossier MAT program and already be English-Spanish speakers. USC Rossier students will complete 15 units of coursework including:

  • Instruction for Teaching English as a New Language
  • Cultural Learning in Schools
  • Framing the Social Context of High Needs Schools
  • Guided Practice

Students must complete CSET LOTE III and CSET LOTE V exams before receiving  their certificates. Exam deadlines depend on your program start term. Check requirements and consult with your academic advisor for timing guidance to meet all necessary deadlines. Learn more here: Bilingual Authorization Certificate Program

Is my Bilingual Authorization valid in states other than California? 

Currently, the state of California does not automatically honor Bilingual Authorization out of state. However teachers who hold Bilingual Authorization in a state other than California may apply for Bilingual Authorization based on equivalence by submitting an application packet to the CTC or by having a commission-approved Bilingual Authorization program sponsor review their out-of-state coursework. For more information visit the CTC website. Before enrolling in a program, prospective students should research the regulations and application process within their home state.

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