Bilingual, ESL, & Multicultural Education M.Ed.

The Bilingual/English as a Second Language/Multicultural Education M.Ed. program is a collaborative, inclusive, and supportive learning community where teachers prepare to help students of all ages, in schools, community settings, and workplaces, acquire additional languages and literacies while supporting their native language and cultural development. Our students become leaders in second language education and multicultural education and have the option to obtain teaching licenses in E.S.L. or bilingual education.

We approach the study and practice of language development holistically, exploring the philosophic, historical, and theoretical foundations of multilingual/multicultural learning and teaching. We envision educational practices that help build an equitable world and multicultural nation and develop curricula that are responsive to racial, cultural, linguistic, and social class differences and facilitate learning. We prepare educational leaders to promote intercultural communication and cooperation and to critique and challenge existing social and educational structures and practices that exclude non-dominant groups and denigrate native language and culture.

Course of Study

Students ground their programs of study in bodies of knowledge that cross cultural and disciplinary boundaries. These include:

  • diversity, pluralism and the ecology of power in institutions and society
  • the history, policy, theory, and practice of multilingual/multicultural education
  • language and communication in pluralistic societies
  • first and second language and language and literacy development
  • teaching, learning, and assessment
  • curriculum development, implementation, evaluation, and reform
  • using materials and technology in curriculum development
  • current practices in instruction, and assessment practices
  • student's personal and cultural perspectives and beliefs

Our courses blend theory and practice, providing opportunities to plan, teach, reflect, evaluate, advocate, research, and lead in the schools, community, and at the university. They are rich and complex enough to support learners from diverse backgrounds, with diverse goals and at varying stages of development. Students from the diverse cultures and perspectives are important resources in the program, helping us to better understand learning and teaching in a pluralistic world.

Together, our students and faculty engage in research and critical reflection on the form and substance of learning and teaching in order to understand the factors that impede change, to imagine the possibilities for change, and to take leadership roles in implementing and evaluating change. We critique our personal perspectives and practices, the structures and practices in schools and communities, and the practices and structures of the program of study itself. 

All students are required to upload assessments to their master’s- and/or licensure-related online portfolios (i.e. TK20).

33 credits total

Courses shared with the reading and writing master's

Course Description Credits
EDUC 615L Seminar in Crosscultural Communication* 3
EDUC 677 Foundations of Bilingual, ESL and Multicultural Education* 3
EDUC 615S Language, Literacy Policy, and Planning 3
EDUC 681 Teaching Reading & Writing for Content & Language Learning 3
EDUC 687 Language Development and Literacy 3
EDUC 692L Workshop on Leadership Project Development 3

*Seminar in Crosscultural Communication (EDUC 615L) OR Foundations in Multicultural Education (EDUC 677)

ESL License Courses

Course Description Credits
EDUC 533 Theories and Methods for Sheltered Instruction 3
EDUC 611 Testing, Assessment, and Evaluation in Bilingual and ESL Education 3
EDUC 616 Principles of Second Language Learning and Teaching 3
EDUC 500L Practicum 3 - 6
2 Electives**

ESL Non-license Courses

Course Description Credits
EDUC 697W Critical Innovations: World Language* 3
EDUC 533 Theories and Methods for Sheltered Instruction* 3
EDUC 611 Testing, Assessment, and Evaluation in Bilingual and ESL Education 3
EDUC 616 Principles of Second Language Learning and Teaching 3
EDUC 698P Field Experience  
2 Electives**

*Critical Innovations: World Language (EDUC 697W) OR Theories and Methods for Sheltered Instruction – ELL (EDUC 533)

** Students determine program courses and electives in consultation with their advisor.

Prerequisites

  • Linguistics (3 credits)
  • Psychology (3 credits)
  • Foreign Language (6 credits)
  • Communication & Literacy MTEL
  • ESL Subject Matter

EDUC 615S Language, Literacy Policy, and Planning

This is an introductory course in the field of language planning and policy which is situated in the broader field of sociology of language.  Selected case studies will provide a basis for critically examining issues such as:  ideology and language planning efface, language education policies, literacy movements, and language shift and death.

EDUC 692L Workshop on Leadership Project Development

Designed to provide support for developing an original curricular or research leadership project integrating principles derived from theoretical premises central to the BEM, Reading and Writing, and LLC concentrations.

EDUC 533 Theories and Methods for Sheltered Instruction

This course aims to prepare ELL and mainstream teachers to address the challenge of helping bilingual and emergent bilingual learners succeed in regular academic content classes.  We will consider research supporting the view that second language acquisition is enhanced by rigorous academic content instruction.  We will also explore instructional practices aligning English Language Proficiency Benchmarks and Outcomes for English Language Learners with those of science and other content areas.

EDUC 611 Testing, Assessment, and Evaluation in Bilingual and ESL Education

This course is designed as an introduction to the field of testing, assessment and evaluation in second language education (bilingual, foreign language, and ESL settings).

EDUC 616 Principles of Second Language Learning and Teaching

Introduction to the theories of second language acquisition.  Critical examination of language learning to develop the ability to analyze classroom discourse and to work collaboratively as an expert and leader in classroom second-language learning.

Admissions

We require a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale). The program admissions committee may consider applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 2.75, only if their personal statement clearly describes how they overcame obstacles and how they will be able to handle rigorous academic work. We do not admit students to the master’s program who already have a master's degree, regardless of the field of study in which it was earned.

We look for students who have worked with diverse populations, either as teachers or in other roles, and experience with bilingualism/multilingualism, biculturalism, and cross-cultural learning. We are also seek international students who are experienced language teachers in their own countries. Our goal is to create a cohort with a broad range of experiences and backgrounds.

Application Requirements

  • Online Graduate Admissions Application
  • A minimum of two letters of recommendation
  • Official transcript(s) from all colleges/universities you’ve attended.
  • A personal statement that articulates your interest in our program, your prior credentials and professional experiences, your professional or research interests, and your future career goals
  • For Advanced Practitioner candidates: evidence of teaching experience in formal and/or informal settings such as experience planning and teaching lessons in your own classroom or a similar setting
  • For career changers (e.g. individuals with significant experience in a prior career path): a one-page explanation of how your prior experiences will inform your career in education
  • If English is not your first language, evidence of your ability to speak and understand English: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with a minimum score of 80 or IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System) with a minimum score of 6.5)
  • Application fee
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) are not required.

The deadline for submission of all required application materials is January 2.

For more information about the application process, visit Graduate School Admissions.

Contact

For more information about the bilingual, ESL & multicultural education master's program, contact K-C Nat Turner: nturner@educ.umass.edu