How Do You Get a BCLAD Credential?

by multilingualmania on November 22, 2009

in Bilingual Ed 101, Bilingual Education, bilingual teachers, Uncategorized

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:

BCLAD Test Section Three-Spanish

BCLAD Test Section Four-Bilingual methodology

BCLAD Test Section Five-Culture

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!

Related Posts:

Is Bilingual Education Against the Law in California?

Critical Components of Effective Bilingual Education Programs

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Isabeline November 23, 2009 at 8:43 am

Thank you for this entry, it is quite helpful for those of us who don’t live in the US and are trying to come up with ways of training teachers, off the official guidelines, in bilingual education foundations and cultural studies! Section 4 of the BCLAD is a very interesting synthesis of the kind of background teachers in bilingual programs should begin with.

multilingualmania November 24, 2009 at 9:39 am

Where do you live, Isabeline? Yes, the objectives in section four are excellent. I am planning on also posting in the future some recommended ideas and topics that teachers should have in their trainings. I think that one factor of why many bilingual programs sometimes do not succeed may be that they are not provided the appropriate language development=) Stay tuned.

Jim Lyons February 7, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience. You are leading the way to better teaching.

multilingualmania February 7, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Oh my goodness! Is this THE Jim Lyons!? If so, I am so honored to receive a compliment from you!

SchoolPsychLady January 13, 2011 at 11:37 am

Do you have to be a teacher to get the BCLAD? I’m a school psychologist who is bilingual and I’m being asked to conduct bilingual assessments. However, they will not compensate me unless I have a BCLAD. I understood this to be only for teachers…? Can I just take a test to get this or do I need to go through a teaching credential program?

multilingualmania January 17, 2011 at 8:33 pm

You can take the test if you are in California. you have to take three tests and then you can apply for a BCLAD credential. It will depend on the school district as to whether or not you will be able to receive extra compensation for having a BCLAD. Your best bet would be to contact the teacher credentialing office in your local school district for advice. If you are in California, you will need to take the three tests of the CSET: LOTE (Languages other than English) test to receive your BCLAD. To the best of my knowledge, you can only take the test if you already have a credential.

Kim E. September 26, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Can you suggest a training course to get the BCLAD if I already have my CA teaching certificate, CLAD, an MA, and don’t wish to start over again in a freshman program for Bilingual Teaching? I’m an advanced intermediate spanish speaker, with plenty of teacher experience using it. Just can’t figure out how to open the door to get my BCLAD.

Mirna Hall March 19, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I would like to know if anyone knows about resources/books to study for the CSET LOTE IV and V?

multilingualmania March 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Hi, in this article we have few books cited that can help you with those tests. The Foundations of Bilingual Ed will help you with test four. I also recommend the book “Making Content Comprehensible to English learners: The SIOP Model”. The books that will help you with test five, the culture is the Harvest of Empire book and the Occupied America that we have linked in the article. Let us know if you have any other questions.

Julissa Closson April 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm

What test prep materials are there to pass the BCLAD test . I need to pass sections 4 and 5. I ve exhausted my resources.

liyang May 1, 2012 at 10:47 pm

I want to teach Chinese in a private institute or tutor one-on-one basis. I think BCLAD is a plus, what is the eligibility to take bclad? I don’t have a bachelor degree yet

liyang May 1, 2012 at 10:53 pm

by the way, I have been lived in China for 16 years have one-to-one tutor experience

Jillina June 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Do you have support for pasing the methodology part of the Bclad that is in English>>>? Test 5…I passed the Culture part but have to take 4 % 5 over. Jillin

multilingualmania July 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm

I definitely recommend reading the CLAD book as well as the “Making Content Comprehensible” SIOP book!

R August 17, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I am not a teacher. I do not have a credential. I want to be tested for my Spanish speaking, reading, and writing skills. Can I take the BCLAD?

Connie Cervera October 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I am working on my doctoral dissertation and searching for the % of teachers in CA. who have a BCLAD and CLAD certification. Primarily I’m looking for the number of teachers at the secondary who have the BCLAD, but will take the total number of teachers in CA who presently have the BCLAD and the CLAD.
Thank you!

multilingualmania October 26, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Hi Connie, I suggest contacting the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing because they oversee credentials throughout the state. Good luck in your search, and we’d love to hear more about your research in the future!

multilingualmania October 26, 2012 at 8:50 pm

You can take the BCLAD (CSET LOTE) test and receive a passing or non passing score, but it just won’t issue you a formal BCLAD credential since you don’t have a teaching credential. Passage of the test, however, will give you some additional insight into your level of proficiency. Good luck!!

Teacher2B March 13, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Once a person passes CSET LOTE III, IV and V what is the process to get BCLAD certification. I have looked in and can’t find a form or any instructions on how to do that. I already have a preliminary multiple subject credential. Thanks

multilingualmania March 28, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Hi, you will need to submit a credential for the BCLAD. I believe that it is called the BSP now, but you can download the credential form, fill it out and mail in your test scores. Let me know if you have any other questions!

C L March 23, 2016 at 12:19 am

I have a hard time to pass CSET Subtest IV World Languages. Can anyone tell me where can I get more practice test questions to that paper? The official website only provides 10 sample questions only! The suggested books are good for class and reading and not really useful for passing the test. Can anyone who passed this test offer your tips or suggest any good study questions to me. I’m in need to pass it though I have my CLAD. I may need to teach back the general ED classroom instead of the bilingual classroom if I do not obtain the bilingual credential. I am totally exhausted from the endless attempts!

J. Garcia July 7, 2016 at 4:21 am


Thank you for the information, it was really useful!
I am Spanish native speaker and I was in the US finishing my master’s dregree in Biomedicine. This year I have been a Spanish tutor and it has been a great experience. I would like to become a Spanish teacher in the US but I do not have the credentials. Taking this test I assume is not enough right? Do you know what are the steps to become a Spanish teacher?


multilingualmania January 15, 2017 at 6:52 pm

What state are you in?

Claudia De La O December 17, 2017 at 10:30 am

What credible website can I go on to register for the BCLAD?

Adriana February 3, 2018 at 5:35 pm

Hi, I live in Bogota, Colombia. I am a spanish teacher, well I have my degree in languages from an University here in my country, but Iwould like to apply in a direct way to Schools in US. I interested to get this certificate. Is that possible?

Anna March 2, 2018 at 10:57 am


I have heard that community college courses can work in place of the CSET exams. Do you know anything about this?

A.J. April 12, 2018 at 6:07 pm

From my understanding, one needs to take a series of course work plus the CSET test. Are you saying I can just test out? What if I’m a terrible test taker, can I take course work instead?

A.J. April 12, 2018 at 6:13 pm

Thank you so much for providing this valuable information!

multilingualmania April 14, 2018 at 10:30 am

Yes you can find a program that will provide it through coursework.

multilingualmania April 14, 2018 at 10:32 am

I haven’t heard of community colleges but many universities might offer it through their extension programs!

multilingualmania April 14, 2018 at 10:33 am

This certificate is needed if you work in California. Or you can get a spanish teaching credential. What state are you thinking of moving to?

multilingualmania April 14, 2018 at 10:34 am

If you are in California, you go to the CSET page and register for the languages other than English test.

A.J. April 25, 2018 at 7:17 am

Yes, I’m in CA. It looks like the first step is taking the
LOTE and from there decide course work or
testing option. I’m worried about my skill level
of writing in Spanish. I fear that I won’t pass the level
of reading and writing. Do you know what level
e.g. 12th grade, they expect you to be at? I wasn’t ever
ESL while in school and was raised speaking Spanish at home.

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