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Teaching English as a second language

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M.Ed. in English as a Second Language

Our 36-credit English as a Second Language M.Ed. program prepares you for your Initial License to serve linguistically and culturally diverse students in PreK-6 classrooms. Through coursework and field-based experiences, you develop an understanding of subject matter knowledge, curriculum design, instructional strategies, observation and assessment, communication, and collaboration with families and the community.

This program is approved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and is aligned with the Massachusetts Professional Standards for Teachers and Subject Matter Knowledge requirements.

Key features of our English as a Second Language M.Ed. program include:

  • Eight (8) online courses: You achieve 32 credits through eight convenient self-paced online courses – each is eight weeks in length and is worth four credits.
  • Field-Based Experiences: You learn in the classroom from the start of your program. There are two pre-practicums (30 to 55 hours depending on prior teaching experience) and a full practicum of 450 hours, which is the equivalent of 15 weeks. Field-based experiences are arranged at conveniently located schools in Massachusetts, close to home. Your teacher education program specialist provides personalized support throughout your field-based experiences. Successful completion of the 15-week practicum contributes four credits toward the degree for a grand total of 36 credits.
  • Immersion Events: You and other students in your program have the option of gathering during your program for immersion events (e.g., seminars, guest speakers, and networking events) to connect in person with peers, your faculty and leading educators in the field.
  • Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Exam Preparation Support: You will gain support and preparation assistance for the MTEL exams required for your Initial License in Massachusetts. MTEL preparation is built right into your program. The Elementary Education Concentration requires successful completion of the following MTEL exams:
    • Communication and Literacy Skills (01): Reading and Writing subtests (we recommend completion prior to enrollment – unofficial test scores accepted)
    • English as a Second Language (54)

Initial Licensure students who decide not to pursue their license will still be able to complete their degree as a personalized non-licensure master’s degree.

Teaching and Learning in the Inclusive Classroom
(ED 5740G) 4 Credits

This course will introduce students to the Professional Standards for Teaching (PST) and Licensure Preparation.  Students will complete a pre-practicum experience (15 hours) in which they will observe a veteran teacher demonstrating the elements of the PST’s as well as the basic theories of child development and how students learn.  The course will present the basic components of unit and lesson planning using Understanding by Design (UbD).  Students will learn techniques around differentiating instruction, including tiered instruction, scaffolds to accommodate differences in learning styles, needs, interests, and levels of readiness of students.  Students will examine specific systematic behaviors teachers use to create orderly, cooperative, and motivating learning environments that promote student achievement.  The course will familiarize students with state and federal regulations regarding students with disabilities.  Students will examine their own cultural competence and develop strategies that promote culturally responsive, inclusive classrooms.

Co-requisites (0 credits):

  • ED 6500G – Pre-Practicum Field-Based Experience I
Foundations for ESL Education
(ED 5910G)4 Credits

This foundational course in the graduate teacher education program for English as Second Language provides an overview of the state and federal laws pertaining to the education of English language learners as well as the background, history and philosophies surrounding instruction. The role of community, families and schools in English language learner education will also be explored.

Foundations of Language and Reading
(ED 5720G)4 Credits

The course provides an overview of the emergence of language and literacy in typical development as well as issues that may arise with the existence of language-based disabilities.  Challenges for English Language Learners will also be addressed. Significant theories related to language development in childhood will be reviewed, as well as the topic of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

Teaching Reading and Writing Skills to English Language Learners
(ED 5550G)4 Credits

Teaching Reading and Writing Skills to English Language Learners (four credits) students will gain an understanding of the relevant theories and practices for developing full literacy in English that is consistent with the kindergarten-grade six standards in the ELA Curriculum Framework. Reading instruction includes skills and strategies for success with phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Students will learn the best practices for teaching these dimensions of reading. They will also learn multiple approaches to teaching formal writing. In both areas, strategies to teach these skills to ELLs will be addressed. Attention will also be given to the study of grammar and the uses of English which are often difficult for ELLs. The course will include formal and informal measures for assessing ELLs’ reading comprehension and writing in narrative and informational genres. Field experience may be required.

Assessment of English Language Learners
(ED 5530G)4 Credits

This course will examine a variety of assessment approaches. It will include those associated with Massachusetts-mandated state testing programs, as well as other formal and informal assessment instruments used for placement, progress monitoring, and summative evaluations. Students will select, administer and interpret assessment results and will understand normal variations in proficiency.

Literature in the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Classroom
(ED 5580G)4 Credits

Children from many cultures, speaking many languages, now enter classrooms each year. Culturally and linguistically diverse children seek to find themselves in the literature they read. They and their first language classmates broaden their background knowledge, develop cultural awareness, and explore the values and traditions of each other’s cultures through reading multicultural literature. This course introduces students to children’s literature from non-western countries, literature about relationships between cultural groups, and literature written by members of other cultures that represent the unique experience of the people of that culture. Students will also learn how to select multicultural literature and teach it in culturally or linguistically diverse classrooms. Finally, they will learn to evaluate works of children’s literature that exemplify excellence, from cultural and traditional perspectives.

(ED 5560G)4 Credits

In this course, students will learn and apply teaching strategies that support ELL’s linguistic and academic development in science, mathematics, and social studies. They will also learn how to plan and execute content-based lessons in kindergarten-grade six classrooms. The course will address the development of ELLs’ academic vocabulary and language skills, application of academic content knowledge, and higher order thinking skills. Lesson planning, implementation, and assessment occur within the sheltered content instructional model, providing extensive scaffolding strategies for comprehension and proficiency. Field experience may be required.

Current Issues and Trends in ELL
(ED 5590G)4 Credits

Students will participate in seminar discussions centering on issues and challenges in the evolving field of ESL Education. Topics will include current trends in teacher preparation, evaluation, co-teaching models, assessment, updated state and federal laws and regulations, and social justice issues.

Practicum for English Language Learners
(ED 560G)4 Credits

This is the practicum required for licensure.




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