Department of Curriculum & Foundations

Teaching Chinese in the U.S.A. (PREK-12)

China vase

Program Overview

This program is designed to provide an opportunity for fluent speakers of Chinese to learn pedagogical skills appropriate for PreK-12 classroom instruction and earn Ohio state teaching licensure.
The program is intended to make it possible for individuals to seek employment in PreK-12 settings teaching Chinese language and culture to U.S. students. Students enrolling in this program must be fluent in Chinese and may have prior teaching experience, often in settings outside the U.S. During their time in the program, students will become familiar with school culture and practice in a contemporary American setting, teach in a real school setting under the supervision of experienced educators, and ultimately be qualified to serve as a bridge between the Chinese and American cultures.
The license is earned with a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction.

Prerequisites/Admission Criteria 

In order to be admitted to the Program, candidates must meet all the following requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree (a bachelor's degree earned outside the U.S. is acceptable if equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree in CSU's judgment)
  • Grade Point Average of 3.0 or above, or equivalent acceptable score on a standardized admission examination (e.g. GRE; GMAT; Miller Analogies Test) for applicants without a U.S. bachelor's degree.
  • Competency in English: If your undergraduate degree is from an institution in the U.S., the U.K. system, or Canada you are considered competent in English.  Otherwise, you need a TOEFL test score from the iBT with a minimum total test score of 78 that includes at least 17 (each) on the listening, speaking, reading, and writing sections. An equivalent on another recognized examination may be substituted; for a list of acceptable substitutes, see
  • Fluency in written and spoken Mandarin Chinese (normally satisfied through the applicant's having grown up in a Mandarin-speaking environment)
  • An interview with CSU faculty member(s) to demonstrate both English and Chinese fluency

Application Procedure

Assuming that you meet the prerequisites for admission to the program, there are three major stages to go through in qualifying for admission to the program (plus one additional step before you enroll). Each stage has its own requirements and paperwork. All steps are listed below in the correct sequence.

First, you must be admitted to the College of Graduate Studies at Cleveland State University. Depending on whether you are a domestic or an international student, the requirements differ slightly. We have provided links for both situations here:

       1. If you are a domestic student, go online to (or

       2.  If you are an international student, go online to          (or

                 - In either case, follow the instructions and fill out the application form(s) online

                 - Follow the required procedures listed on the web site for submitting all relevant documents and materials (Note: These documents                      are critical to your admission. If you skip this step, or do it incompletely, your application for admission will be rejected by the                            College of Graduate Studies.)

Once you have submitted your application to the College of Graduate Studies, it will be processed by their staff, and if you meet the requirements of the College of Graduate Studies they will pass all of your materials to the ESSC (Education Student Services Center) in the College of Eduation and Public Affairs.

  • Second, once your materials have been passed on by the College of Graduate Studies, you will be screened by the ESSC. You don’t actually have to take any additional actions in order for this to happen – it’s an internal screening process at CSU. Assuming that you satisfy both the College of Graduate Studies and the ESSC, your application still needs to be processed by the Department of Curriculum & Foundations.
  • Third, once your materials have been approved by the ESSC, they are forwarded to the Department of Curriculum & Foundations. They will review your credentials, conduct an interview with you, and make a final decision as to whether you can be admitted to the program. If you are deemed admissible, you will be notified and the ESSC will forward your materials on to the Department of Modern Languages.

Additional Step: The Department of Modern Languages will review transcripts for evidence of appropriate course work in the content areas of Chinese culture, literature, and linguistics. Since this program prepares applicants to teach a foreign language, the Modern Languages Department reviews these requirements relevant to this professional role as required by the State of Ohio. The requirement involves courses that fulfill the ACTFL standards for Teacher Education candidates. These include, but are not limited to, a critical understanding of Chinese culture, study of Chinese writings or readings as literature, course work in Chinese linguistics, and how these elements compare/contrast with perspectives expressed through U.S. culture, literature and linguistics. Students without this prior course work will need to take (and pay for) certain courses in order to successfully complete the Chinese Language Teaching Licensure program. If you complete the Master’s degree courses without fulfilling the content area requirements (culture, literature and linguistics), you may still be eligible to earn a Master’s degree in Education without a teaching license. Once Modern Languages has reviewed your application , you will be provided with information about any content area requirements you are missing and must satisfy. 

Program Requirements

This is a 33 credit hour program that encompasses 10 graduate courses, typically taken in four consecutive semesters beginning in Spring (five for students who begin in Fall). It leads to two credentials: A Master’s degree in education, and a license to teach Chinese in Ohio.

Below is a summary sheet listing the courses normally taken in this program:

The coursework is divided into four sections. The first is a set of core courses, including an introductory field experience. The second is a set of specialization courses unique to this degree program. The third is the major field experience component, in which you actually work under supervision in a real teaching setting. The fourth is an exit requirement, which is used to help you integrate what you have learned and prepare for a real job in the field.

I.    College/Program Core (13 Credits)

EDB 601         Educational Research (three credits)

EDB 604         Social Issues and Education (three credits)                                             

EDB 502         Psychological Foundations of Education (three credits)             

EDB 505         Teaching and Management in the Secondary School (four credits)

II.  Specialization (14 Credits)

ETE 570          Technology in LEarning Environments (Three credits)                                 

EDL 505         Content Area Literacy (three credits)                                          

ESE 504          Teaching Students of Varying Abilities (three credits)               

EUT 512         Integrated Performance Assessment: Methods of Foreign Language Education preK-12 (four credits)                           

III. Field Experience (4 Credits)

EST 598          Internship in Teaching Chinese(1)  (four credits)                                                  

IV  Exit Requirement (3 Credits)

EDB 595         Seminar on Integrating Theory and Practice       

Total Credits: 33

(1) This internship is designed as a special arrangement which will allow student tuition to be kept at a reasonable level while still requiring that the students complete the actual number of clock hours in the field required to ensure adequate supervised experience. The students will pay for and receive a total of 4 credit hours, while fulfilling the clock hour requirement for the traditional 14 credit hours (i.e. 10 credit hours of student teaching plus 4 credit hours of internship). Students in this program will not be allowed to petition for a waiver of any portion of this internship requirement.

Course Descriptions

EDB 601 Educational Research (three credits).

Prerequisite or co-requisite: ETE 501. An introduction to quantitative and qualitative methods used in educational research. Emphasis on understanding, interpreting, and critiquing research studies. The role of the socio-cultural context in research is considered.

EDB 604 Social Issues and Education (three credits).

Focuses on the relationship of crucial issues in society to educational questions. Alternative purposes of education in light of the changing intellectual, social, and technological climate of modern America are considered.                                           

EDB 502 Psychological Foundations of Education (three credits).  

Provides prospective teachers with an understanding of the theories and research of human development and learning, and teaching practices based on these theories and research studies. Topics addressed include cognitive, social, emotional, and psychomotor development, individual differences, theories of teaching and learning, inclusion, motivation, instructional strategies, and evaluation.        

EDB 505 Teaching and Management in the Secondary School (four credits).

Combines educational theory with actual classroom practice. Students identify and plan appropriate instructional strategies for diverse learners and secondary school contexts and identify appropriate classroom management skills and techniques for secondary students. Students examine a variety of classroom management techniques and develop a disciplinary unit of instruction to implement. Provides students with an opportunity to reflect on their own teaching.                             

EDL 505 Content Area Literacy (three credits).

Critique and analysis of current theory, research, and practice as they relate to content-area reading instruction. Particular attention is given to the development of comprehension, metacognitive awareness, and effective studying strategies. Also stresses thinking skills, the integrated use of reading and writing across the curriculum, and materials and methods to promote lifelong learning. Other topics include media literacy, inquiry learning, authentic assessment, action research, and diversity issues.                                          

ESE 504 Teaching Students of Varying Abilities (three credits).     

Survey of educational issues related to serving individuals with disabilities, as well as those considered to be gifted and talented. Includes an introduction to the characteristics, etiology, classification, incidence, and learning potential of students with special needs, as well as the legal aspects involved in teaching these students. Addresses methods for accommodating learners of varied ability within the regular classroom through alteration of the environment, curriculum, and instruction.

ETE 570 Technology in Learning Environments (three credits).

This course provides an introduction to the integration of technology into a variety of instructional models that are applicable across all instructional settings and subject areas. Students will become familiar with underlying research and principles of technology integration and learn to design and create a range of instructional materials as appropriate to their particular instructional area.

EUT 512 Integrated Performance Assessment: Methods of Foreign Language Education preK-12 (four credits).

EST 598 Internship in Teaching Chinese (four credits).

Student teaching is a structured field experience stressing the planning, implementation and evaluation of instructional experiences. Interns spend five full days a week for one full semester in PreK-12 school settings observing and teaching under the direction of a mentor teacher and a university supervisor. Required seminar dates and times are determined by the university supervisor. The objectives and requirements for the student teaching experience emerged from the PRAXIS materials developed by the Educational Testing Service as well as the recommendations of relevant subject-area professional organizations, including the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Consequently, the student teaching experience is viewed as a critical professional step as individuals mature into the role of independent classroom teacher. The experience is designed to be consequential, formidable, demanding, and satisfying.                            

EDB 595 Seminar on Integrating Theory and Practice (three credits).

Exit seminar for initial teacher licensure programs. Students complete and present a professional teaching portfolio and action research project.

Exit Procedure 

In order to finish the program, thereby receiving your Master’s degree and teaching license, you will need to:

  • Complete all required coursework, including internship & student teaching  
  • Pass three examinations:

v  Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE) exam at or above a score of 220

v  ACTFL OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) in Chinese at or above the Intermediate High level

v  ACTFL WPT (Writing Proficiency Test) in Chinese at or above the Intermediate High level

Finacial Aid 

Many students at CSU receive various forms of financial aid during the term of their studies. Financial aid is only available to citizens of the United States; however, a limited number of assistantships are available for eligible international students. For details about financial aid, visit:

For details about scholarships, visit:

Frequently Asked Questions 

1.   What does it cost to complete the Chinese language teacher licensure program?

It costs approximately $35,000 (U.S.) in tuition for an international student and approximately $19,000 (U.S.) for a resident of Ohio. For tuition and other fee details, visit:

2.   How long does it take to complete the program?

It typically takes 4 consecutive semesters to complete the program for students who begin in Spring semester, and 5 consecutive semesters for students who begin in Fall semester.

3.   What are the potential earnings of a Chinese teacher in Cleveland, Ohio?

It depends on many specific details, but beginning teacher salaries in Northeast Ohio public schools start around $32,000 (U.S.) for a 9-month contract.

4.   What are living costs like in Cleveland?

Cleveland is considered a very inexpensive city to live in by U.S standards. A reasonable estimate is approximately $1,100 (U.S.) to $1,600 (U.S.) per month for food and lodging. Other common expenses include health insurance, books, cell phone and possibly an automobile.

5.   What visa status is associated with this program (for international applicants only)?

To enter the program, students need an F1 (full time) visa. Students need to remain a full-time student to retain this visa status. At graduation, students can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) status for one year. If the student finds employment with a school district during that year, students can apply for an H1B visa. This type of visa usually lasts for three years and can be extended for up to three additional years. When applying for the H1B status, or at any time during the H1B period, students can apply for permanent residency (i.e. “Green Card”) status. Once a Green Card is held for a certain period of time, one is eligible to apply for United States citizenship.

6.   Will I be able to teach in one of the other 49 U.S. states (e.g. New York) if I earn my teaching licensure in Ohio?

This depends on the state in which you are interested in teaching. Some states recognize “reciprocity”– meaning that if you are licensed in one state the other state will recognize your license. Some states (most notably New York and California) do not recognize reciprocity with other states. In such a case, you may need to take additional coursework, pass specific tests, or go through a procedure specified by the state in which you wish to teach.

Contact Information

For further questions, please contact:

Ms. Rita M. Grabowski, Administrative Coordinator, Department of Curriculum and Foundations, Phone: (216) 523-7139, E-mail:

Dr. Lih-Ching Chen Wang, Director of the Chinese Teacher Licensure Program, M.A. Program, Phone: (216) 687-4595, E-mail:

teaching Chinese

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