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Frequently Asked Questions - Bilingual School Psychology Certification

Does NASP offer bilingual school psychology certification?

NASP often receives questions regarding the competencies needed to assess students who are English Language Learners (ELL's). While NASP does not currently offer bilingual certification or a description of competencies needed to work with this special population, a list of school psychology training programs with a multicultural focus, bilingual specialization, or a language immersion program is available. In addition, the Bilingual School Psychology Interest Group has begun initial discussions and activities to provide guidance to NASP members on this issue and there is a writing group developing a NASP position statement on this topic.

Results of a 2009 national survey by Sotelo-Dynega, Geddes, Luhrs, & Teague to determine which states have a credential for bilingual school psychologists are summarized here. At the time of the Sotelo-Dynega survey, only California, Illinois, and New York provide a bilingual credential for school psychologists and/or other education personnel.

New York - Bilingual Extension

The New York State Education Department has developed specific guidelines for assessment of ELL students.  New York guidelines address the competencies needed for a “bilingual” school psychologist.

  1. Language proficiency in English and the student/youth's primary language including:
    • oral communication with children and parents in general communication, assessment and intervention situations;
    • reading and writing; and
    • technical language associated with psychological assessment.
  2. Knowledge of the culture of the child/youth's language group and an understanding of the impact of culture on performance and behavior.
  3. Professional experience with culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) children and youth.
  4. General knowledge of psycho-educational assessment and report writing for CLD children and youth in English and the primary language including the:
    • limitations of assessment for CLD children and youth;
    • selection of appropriate instruments for CLD children and youth;
    • adaptation of available instruments for CLD children and youth;
    • use of qualitative and alternative assessment techniques; and
    • ability to interpret assessment data through the integration of socio cultural background, experiential background and socio-linguistic developmental factors.
  5. Knowledge of instructional interventions appropriate to the needs of CLD children and youth in general and special education settings including but not limited to native language and English as a second language instruction.
  6. Knowledge of mental health interventions appropriate to the needs of CLD children and their families.

Illinois - Bilingual Special Education Approval

The Illinois State Board of Education offers a Bilingual Special Education Approval open to any individual with a School Service Personnel Certificate endorsed for School Psychologist.  The credential is also available to other teachers and related services personnel. Additional information may be found on the Illinois School Psychologist Association's website.

To be considered for the endorsement candidates must:

  • Successfully complete the language examination in a non-English language http://www.icts.nesinc.com/
  • Successfully complete one of the following courses: Assessment of the Bilingual Student; or Psychological and Educational Assessment of the Limited English Proficient Student with Disabilities