Teaching Certificate in Foreign Language Instructional I

Prepare for a rewarding career as a teacher with the Pitt School of Education's Instructional I Certification program in Foreign Language Education. Our program pairs intensive coursework with student teaching opportunities to ready the next generation of foreign language education teachers.

Quick Facts

  • Program Duration: Eight months over two terms (Fall and Spring)
  • Time Commitment: Full time
  • Term of Enrollment: Fall 
  • Course Requirements: 30-credit program combined with an internship in a local school district from September through June (10 hours in the fall, full time in the spring). 
  • Application Deadline: Rolling until June 1. Priority given to applications received by January 15
  • Admissions Requirements: GRE Exam Not Required

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Program Details

The Instructional I Teaching Certification Program in Foreign Language Education offers students a rigorous course of instruction in teaching specific foreign language areas in grades K-12. The program satisfies the requirements for earning a Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate and provides students.

Certification studies are available in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, or Latin. 

Native speakers of the language of certification are not exempt from prerequisite course work in the culture, civilization literature, and structure of their language. Applicants who are non-native speakers of the language of certification are also required to achieve at least an Advanced-Low rating on an oral proficiency interview by an individual certified by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.


Degree Requirements

Student Teaching: During the school year, students complete their student teaching in a local school. Students are placed for an entire school year under the supervision of a mentor. In the fall, students spend approximately 10 hours working with their mentor teacher. In the spring semester, students in the Instruction I program are full-time in their school sites, culminating in a full take-over of teacher responsibilities for two weeks in the late spring. Students observe, analyze, and practice basic teaching skills in different grade levels and subject fields. 

Placements occur in a number of districts around the University of Pittsburgh, including Pittsburgh Public Schools and many local suburban districts. Placements are made by the University, based on student interests and commuting information. During the time in the placement, a Pitt supervisor will visit a minimum of five times per semester; these observations provide direct and specific feedback for improvement and make sure all students are on track to successfully graduate the program and obtain their certification. 


The Instructional I program satisfies the requirements for a Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate, pending:

  • earning a passing score on the national PRAXIS II Exam;
  • completing the PA Statewide Evaluation Form for Student Professional Knowledge and Practice (PDE 430); and
  • demonstrating satisfactory performance in courses and the student internship


For all students

  • In addition, applicants to the program are expected to provide documentation of 30 hours of experience working with K–12 children. These hours can be fulfilled by obtaining experiences with children through: summer camp; Sunday school; Hebrew school; tutoring; or other volunteer or paid work with children. **Due to the challenges associated with COVID-19, the admissions committee will consider this requirement on a case-by-case basis. Please speak to your Admissions and Enrollment contact with any concerns you may have in meeting this requirement.** 
  • All applicants are also required to take the course Foundations of Special Education (3 credits)

All applicants are encouraged to use the program’s online transcript review to track your progress online.

For Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish language students:

A total of 30 credits are necessary, with a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 18 credits in each of Area 1 and Area 2. 

Area 1: Languages and Linguistics (12-18 credits)

  • Conversation and Advanced Conversation (3 credits)
  • Composition/Writing (3 credits)
  • Stylistics (3 credits)
  • Phonetics (3 credits)
  • Grammar (3 credits)
  • Syntax (3 credits)
  • Structure of the Language (3 credits)
  • Dialects (3 credits)
  • Morphology (3 credits)
  • Listening Comprehension (3 credits)
  • Advanced Reading (not a literature course) (3 credits)
  • Professional Translation (3 credits)
  • History of the Language (3 credits)
  • Introduction to Linguistics (may be taught in English) (3 credits)

Area 2: Literature and Culture (12-18 credits)

  • Civilization I (3 credits)
  • Civilization II (3 credits)
  • Major Cultural Periods (3 credits)
  • Cultural Heritage Courses (3 credits)
  • Literature Surveys (3 credits)
  • Author Courses (3 credits)
  • Genre Courses (3 credits)
  • Literary Period Courses (3 credits)
  • Cultural Period Courses (3 credits)
  • Thematically-based Literature Courses (3 credits)
For Latin language students only

The following prerequisites must be fulfilled by all applicants of Latin only.

Latin Area 1

  • Roman Civilization (3 credits)
  • Latin Prose Composition (3 credits)

Latin Area 2

  • At least 24 credits above intermediate Latin with a maximum of 144 credits

Career Pathways

The majority of our graduates go on to become Foreign Language Education teachers in secondary settings.

Some of our graduates ultimately decide to return to school and obtain a master’s or doctorate degree focused in various areas of educational practice and research.