In California, teachers who provide instruction in a language other than English are required to receive a bilingual teaching authorization. In California the bilingual authorization is called the Bilingual, Crosscultural, Language and Academic Development (BCLAD) certificate or credential. Teachers can receive the BCLAD authorization as part of their multiple subject credential program or through successful passage of the state BCLAD test.
The BCLAD Test
In the past, teachers were required to take sections 4, 5, and 6 of the California Teachers of English Learners (CTEL) test in order to receive a BCLAD authorization. This is no longer the case. Teachers who wish to receive their BCLAD certification through the passage of the test are now required to pass sections 3, 4 and 5 of the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET): Languages Other Than English (LOTE) test. Section three consists of reading, writing, speaking and listening in the language other than English (i.e., Spanish, French, etc). Section four consists of bilingual education and bilingualism, intercultural communication, as well as instruction and assessment of bilingual learners. Section five consists of the cultural, political, and historical component of the target language. The following blueprints contain additional information on the topics covered in each subtest:
Upon passage of all three sections, teachers will be eligible to receive their BCLAD authorization provided that they have a preliminary teaching credential.
In the case that teachers may have passed certain sections of the old CTEL test that was previously required to obtain a BCLAD authorization, passing scores from section 4, 5, and 6 of the old CTEL test may be combined with passing scores from the newer CSET: Languages Other Than English (LOTE) test, provided that the prior CTEL scores have been taken within the past seven years. Please note the following changes in the order of the test for teachers who will need to combine prior CTEL scores with the newer CSET: LOTE scores:
- The prior CTEL section four (methodology) is now the new CSET: LOTE section 4.
- The prior CTEL section five (culture) is now the new CSET: LOTE section 5.
- The prior CTEL section six (language) is now the new CSET: LOTE section 3.
BCLAD Test Preparation
Teachers who are taking the BCLAD test to obtain a bilingual credential should contact their local school district or local county office of education in order to determine whether BCLAD test preparation classes are being offered. The following books will also help prepare teachers to pass section 4 and 5 of the CSET: Languages Other Than English (LOTE) test:
Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism: This must-read book will assist those who need to take section 4 of the BCLAD test with the following topics: bilingualism, assessment, methodology, the history of education and many other important topics that will be on the BCLAD test.
Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America: Many native-Spanish speaking teachers often have difficulty with section five of the BCLAD test because many teachers are unfamiliar with the historical and political context of various Latin American and Spanish-speaking countries. This book will provide brief overviews of each of the Latin American countries and will discuss the historical context of the country, immigration patterns to the United States, and political trends that have occurred in each country.
Occupied America: A History of Chicanos: This book is an excellent book that covers the history of the Chicano experience in the United States. Each chapter in the book provides an overview of social, political, economic and historical contexts that have occurred during each decade. The Occupied America book will prepare teachers to answer questions pertaining to the Mexican American/Chicano experience that is covered in section five of the BCLAD test.
The Multilingual Mania website also has a variety of resources that will prepare you to prepare for the BCLAD test. If you require additional assistance or clarification regarding the BCLAD test or BCLAD test prep, please leave a comment or contact your credential specialist at your local university or school district!