Teaching in Public Schools

In California, most holders of a single-subject credential complete their subject matter coursework as part of their B.A. or B.S. degree program. A major in linguistics (or a minor for language teachers) covers the contents of Domain 2 (Language, Linguistics, and Literacy) of the English subject matter requirements.




The UC Davis Department of Linguistics encourages students who are interested in a teaching career to take courses in English or comparative literature and in rhetoric and composition. Subject Matter competence can be verified by taking the CSET examination. Additional requirements for the single subject credential include satisfying the "basic skills" requirement (by taking the CSET: multiple subject and additional writing skills test, among other options), the "developing English skills" exam (now included in teacher preparatory coursework), taking a course on the U.S. Constitution, and demonstrating computer skills (applied to education). 

  • Adult Education
  • The adult education credential does not require participation in a teacher preparation program. The requirements for a preliminary credential are a high school diploma plus three years of experience or education. In addition, the credential requires satisfaction of basic skills (by taking the CSET: multiple subject and additional writing skills test, among other options), and verification and recommendation by a sponsor program. To obtain a clear credential, courses on the U.S. Constitution, health education, and computer technology are required. The credential may list ESL as an academic subject (see EL/CLAD certification below).
  • Child Development
  • The child development permit enables a person to teach in child care programs. With appropriate course content, it can be used to teach in after-school programs. The permit has different levels. The teacher permit, for instance, requires a degree in early childhood education, including three semester hours of field experience, with either a degree or field experience in school-age education for emphasis. 
  • EL/CLAD Certification
  • In order to authorize instruction to English learners, a credential or permit must have EL/CLAD authorization or certification (EL: English learner, CLAD: crosscultural, language, and academic development). This allows for instruction in English Language Development (ELD, a.k.a. ESL/TESOL) as a content subject area. The requirements are a teaching credential (including adult education) or child development permit (excluding assistant/associate), second language experience (already satisfied if holding a bachelor's degree), and passing the California Teacher of English Learners (CTEL) examination (or coursework in accredited program). A linguistics major or minor could be used in conjunction with an adult education credential or a child development permit to demonstrate competence in ESL.
  • Learn More
  • For more detailed information, consult these additional sources and references: 
    CATESOL (California Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) 
    California Commission on Teacher Credentialing 
    California Department of Education
    UC Davis School of Education credential curriculum
    UC Davis Student Academic Success Center — pre-professional school advising: http://advisingservices.ucdavis.edu/advising/teaching/
    - CTC Bulletins: 
        Single Subject Teaching Credential: Requirements for Teachers Prepared in California (CTC Bulletin cl560c)
        Multiple Subject Teaching Credential: Requirements for Teachers Prepared in California (CTC Bulletin cl561c)
        Serving English Learners (CTC Bulletin cl622)
        English Learner Authorization/CLAD Certificate (CTC Bulletin cl628c)
        Basic Skills Requirement (CTC Bulletin cl667)
        Designated Subjects Adult Education Teaching Credentials (CTC Bulletin cl697b)
        Child Development Permits (CTC Bulletin cl797)
        Verifying Subject-Matter Competence By Examination: For Single Subject Teaching Credentials
    CSET: English Subject Matter Requirements
    Reading/Language Arts Framework for California Public Schools: Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve. California Department of Education, 2007.
    English Teacher Preparation in California: Standards of Quality and Effectiveness for Subject Matter Programs