M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: English to Speakers of Other Languages

 

Candidates who wish to develop instructional strategies that promote learning for students whose native language is not English, from elementary school through adulthood, are advised to pursue the Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction: English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) (K - Adult). The coursework capitalizes on the uniqueness of learners and will focus on creating vibrant learning communities.

The Next Cohort Start Date is June 21st

M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: English to Speakers of Other Languages Program Goals

In addition to meeting the objectives for all Concordia Portland’s M.Ed. programs, successful candidates in the M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: ESOL concentration will demonstrate:

  • Expertise in the utilization of new methods of authentic assessment and strategies as tools to evaluate student learning progress.
  • The ability to modify instructional plans and promote alternative goals and strategies when necessary, particularly in relation to assessment results.
  • Effective instructional skills in planning, implementing, and assessing instruction in settings that include diverse cultural populations and special needs students.
 

Course Descriptions

Students enrolled in the ESOL program must complete:

  • Four core courses required for the Curriculum & Instruction degree
  • Foundation courses for the specific concentration

M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction - ESOL
16 credits
EDEL 531 (3)
Strategies and Materials for Teaching English-Learners
This course helps students develop skills needed to teach English to speakers of other languages. These skills include the ability to implement various methods of language teaching, the ability to develop curriculum materials in ESOL, the assessment of student proficiency in second language use, and the ability to involve parents and the community in second language education programs.
EDEL 532 (3)
Linguistics
This course provides an in-depth study of the principles of linguistics (phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics) from a historical, cultural, and sociolinguistics perspective.
EDEL 533 (3)
Language and Culture in the Classroom
This course introduces the student to the theories and practice of multicultural counseling and intercultural communication by examining the cultural diversity in our classrooms and communities, defining similarities and differences in perceptual and communication style, and investigating cultural adaptation and intercultural communication skills. It examines parent and community involvement as resources that enhance the multicultural counseling and education processes.
EDEL 534 (2)
Language Acquisition
This course examines the teaching of English to speakers of other languages (ESOL) from the perspective of curricular design and educational technology. An understanding of issues and resources related to curriculum design and educational technology will assist participants in planning ESL programs, equipping students with appropriate media resources, and earning the ESOL.
EDEL 535 (2)
Assessing English-Learners
This course will present an overview and rationale for ELL assessment and a framework for the assessment of ELL students at the K-12 level. Students will be introduced to the variables that come into play with assessment when English is not the native language. Covered will be the stages of Second Language Acquisition and its effect on assessment.
EDGR 601 (3)
Educational Research
This course provides students with the basic competencies necessary to understand and evaluate the research of others, and to plan and conduct their own research with a minimum of assistance. This course includes the basics of both qualitative and quantitative research.

The Master of Education culminates with one of two courses
3 credits
EDGR 698 (3)
Action Research (CAPSTONE)
Action research is one of the capstone projects for the Master of Education program. During this five-week course, candidates will learn more about the action research methodology, complete final edits of the Literature Review, and design a complete Action Research proposal including data collection methods and analysis approaches. The proposal will not be implemented with students/participants during the course.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of EDGR 601 Educational Research.
EDGR 699 (3)
Thesis (CAPSTONE)
The Thesis offers the graduate student the opportunity to investigate, in depth, a topic in the field of education. The student, working with his or her educational research instructor, will explore relevant literature and present a Thesis following the procedure established by the College of Education.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of EDGR 601 Educational Research.

Either option provides candidates with an understanding of the role of research in the field of education as a tool to solve problems and as a way to improve student learning.

Earning Your Curriculum & Instruction: ESOL Master's Degree Online

The Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction: English to Speakers of Other Languages program is fully online. The online format uses cutting-edge curriculum and easy-to-use online learning tools to provide students with a convenient yet challenging educational experience. Online classes are 5 weeks in length and can be accessed via Internet.

 

Career Opportunities

  • Teacher, English to Speakers of Other Languages Worldwide
  • Higher Education Instructor in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • Consultant/Advisor in Teaching English as a Second Language
  • Professional Development Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • Tutor: English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • Program Director, English Language Learners
  • English Language Development Advisor to Local, State & National Policymakers
  • Advisor: NGOs, Governments and Large International Corporations
  • Curriculum Director, Programs for English Language Learners
  • Division or Department Chair

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Student Spotlights

David Cotter

M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: English to Speakers of Other Languages

David Cotter II of Ionia, Michigan, graduated in March 2014 with a dual concentration in English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English Language Development from Concordia University - Portland. He has been teaching ESL in China and Taiwan.

Why was getting a dual concentration degree in C&I: English to Speakers of Other Languages and C&I: English Language Development important to you?

Having spent six years teaching ESL in China, and now two more in Taiwan, understanding these areas is of crucial importance to me. However, since my background was in history and social studies, I lacked certain basic knowledge and understanding of my field. This double degree has been instrumental in revitalizing and enhancing my teaching.

What did you like best about the online master's program as a whole?

I really appreciated the responsiveness and helpfulness of staff and professors as I struggled through some highly unusual circumstances due to moving and job hunting in Taiwan. Also, the ability to take courses anywhere in the world and work in accordance with my schedule contributed greatly to navigating these circumstances and successfully beginning a new phase in my career, and my life.

What did you like the best about the ESOL and English Language Development programs?

The relevance and usefulness of both programs has been wonderful for me. Although there was the unavoidable focus on theory in some classes, most classes focused on realistic, useful and applicable techniques (such as the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) and understanding (such as the science of brain development), which have had a direct and powerful impact both on my classroom teaching and in reshaping my school’s ESL program.

Have you already used what you learned in the ESOL master's program?

I use what I learned in English to Speakers of Other Languages and English Language Development every day! In the classroom, I have integrated my new understanding of brain science, my updated understanding of standards, learning styles and language functions, and the principles of backwards design and the SIOP protocol into my daily teaching, just to name a few. The results have been powerful and undeniable. In addition to this, as the only ESL teacher at our school, I have been tasked with designing and implementing a new ESL program.

Whereas I would never have felt confident doing such a thing before, the tools this program has provided me have given me the foundation and confidence to take on this task. To date, the program is shaping up very well, and I am looking forward to continuing this process based on my learning at Concordia.

What are your professional goals? Are these goals part of the reason you pursued a master’s degree?

I intend to live overseas and teach in international schools for the foreseeable future, and to become an ever more proficient ESL teacher. These goals were quite specifically the reason for pursuing this degree.

What advice would you give current online M.Ed. students, or to people thinking of pursuing an online M.Ed. from Concordia Portland?

If at all possible, try to do this degree when your personal and professional life are already well in hand and organized. I have encountered problems not because of the structure of the program, but because I was moving, studying, and job searching in a foreign country, all while trying to earn this degree. If you manage your time well and choose the time to pursue this degree carefully, this should not be an issue.

What advice would you give a prospective online Concordia Portland M.Ed. in the ESOL concentration?

Be open to new ideas and to reconsidering your teaching philosophy and style from the ground up. Also, don’t be shy about sharing your philosophy and experience, even if it’s different from the majority view.

Can you describe the highlights of a class, faculty member, or project you worked on during the Concordia Portland M.Ed. program?

Though there have been plenty of highlights in discussions with fellow students and professors, the greatest highlight has been seeing my students grow and learn in ways I couldn’t help them before. Working in an international school with a student population of roughly 95 percent non-native English speakers, my ESL students have very limited English ability. Thanks in large part to improvements in my teaching based on this program, I have seen many students begin to learn much faster than before. I now more often and more quickly exit students from the ESL program because they are achieving at a much higher level than I could have hoped for before.

Mona Liesa Marie Wessel

M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: English to Speakers of Other Languages

Mona Liesa Marie Wessel of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada earned her M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) from Concordia University - Portland in July 2014. She hails from Canada and has taught English to adults in the Middle East. With her degree, she hopes to teach online or help recruit ESOL advisors.

Why was getting a master’s degree in C&I: English to Speakers of Other Languages important to you?

I am 54 years old and getting a master’s degree has been on my “bucket list” for 35 years! I was not in a good position financially or professionally at the time I started this program, but the risk I took was worth it. I knew if I waited any longer I would not be able to afford it financially, personally or professionally.

I had no idea what to expect, and I was not sure I was up to the challenge of such an intensive program being undertaken while teaching overseas full time in a very difficult physical and professional environment. But I did it, and I am so glad as it was worth all the risk and sacrifice 100 percent.

I feel like I have grown so much as a person both in my field and as a human being. I have always been a big supporter of lifelong learning, but I never felt ready until now to do a master’s degree. I am so glad I did my research before I committed to this program because in hindsight, after looking at other options, I could not have chosen a more professional and academically demanding option. I never studied this hard or did this well when I did my bachelor’s degree, but it was such an interesting program and I was so determined and motivated to finally commit myself, I made it a personal goal to do my very best on every assignment, and I graduated as a result with a stellar grade point average!

What did you like best about the online master degree program as a whole?

That it was not easy. That it was professionally very cutting edge and challenging, and yet I had the freedom to thoroughly research and write about my own profession, Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language to adult students overseas. I felt I could make a worthwhile contribution, and I felt welcome for it even though almost none of my classmates shared my specific field of study. I felt encouraged and of value, and that what I had to say mattered, and that never wavered throughout the entire 11 sessions.

What did you like best about the ESOL program?

It would be easier to ask what didn’t I like best about my program – there was nothing I did not like. It was convenient, professional, demanding, very challenging, competitive, rewarding, and worth every penny. The textbooks and classroom materials did not always suit my needs, but I studied them anyway and got the most out of them that I could. For example, I teach ESL to adults overseas, and never have to deal with children in the classroom or the American school system demands of Common Core standards. However, I am now an expert on both.

Have you already used what you learned in the ESOL master's program?

Yes, I did to great success. I was teaching English at a Foundation Institute connected to a Middle Eastern university (University of Nizwa, Sultanate of Oman) at the same time I did the majority of my degree. I was therefore able to apply what I learned on different student learning styles, multiple intelligences, and the most appropriate strategies to approach them.

I was particularly successful with the integration into my lesson plans of the kinds of strategies needed for helping students pass reading and listening tests, which was necessary as the program was entirely assessment-based. I created a successful workshop, which I shared with my colleagues on a regular basis, as these strategies lead to notable increases in test scores as well as student motivation.

What are your professional goals? Are these goals part of the reason you pursued a master’s degree?

My professional goals as a result of this degree have been somewhat derailed due to poor health, and I am no longer able to teach overseas. However, I can still work online.

I am also interested in working with ESL recruiters as an advisor as I have worked and lived overseas as a language instructor and English language documentation specialist. At first, when my health took such a turn for the worse, I was ready to give up on the education field, but no more. There are so many opportunities online now, and there is no reason I cannot take this degree to the next level of my career.

What advice would you give current online M.Ed. students, or to people thinking of pursuing an online M.Ed. from Concordia Portland?

DO IT! From the very first email, I was guided with expertise and understanding and friendship by the enrollment advisor. I was blessed to have advisors that shared my personal interests, and they extended their hands of support, guidance and friendship. I never felt alone, nor was I ever treated with anything but the greatest of respect and kindness, even during some extremely difficult challenges.

My advisors became extremely concerned for my welfare, so much so that one of them personally contacted me by phone to ensure I was OK and feeling supported, and to encourage me not to give up with the promise that, together, solutions would be found to ensure I would be able to continue despite unconventional circumstances. Contacting me by phone was no easy feat considering I was in the middle of the desert in a small outpost in a tiny little country no one had ever heard of, on the edge of the Persian Gulf. This gesture was so genuine, the support so palpable, that I was able to make it through my personal challenges and graduate with a high grade point average after all!

What advice would you give a prospective online Concordia Portland M.Ed. student in the ESOL concentration?

I would tell that prospective student to stop looking further as there is no finer program than the Concordia Portland M.Ed. in any concentration. There were very few adult ESL instructors, in fact I was often the only one, and I am not an American either, and the content was focused largely on the American public school system, but I benefited enormously from what I learned about that and was still able to participate and feel like a valued member of the class despite the fact that my interests, background and experience were very different from those of my classmates.

I felt very close to my classmates, and there was genuine friendship and professional support experienced in every class. Bricks and mortar classrooms would not have given me this experience and for this reason, despite the fact that you have to work really, really hard because there is no letup at this fast pace, it is 100,000 percent worth it!

Can you describe the highlights of a class, faculty member, or project you worked on during the Concordia Portland online M.Ed. program?

There were many highlights!! I am 54 years old and from Canada, yet I found tremendous community and lifelong friends as a result of my studies. I had some terrific instructors who pushed me farther than I thought I could stretch, who made me feel welcome often when all my classmates were grade school teachers in content-based rather than language-based classes, which is not my background at all. I only teach adults ESL and literacy, yet I felt in each class an excitement and an energy because of the subject matter, because there were familiar names and voices, and because it was just so much fun!

What was amazing to me was that as remote as I was in the Middle East, my textbooks reached me every session, always in time for each new class! A miracle in itself! I was able to get documents from the online library very quickly as well when necessary, much more quickly than expected, even on weekends. Being able to participate as an equal member from such a great distance was a hugely rewarding part of the entire experience.

From the Middle East to Canada, I was never not able to access my classes and the discussion boards, or my professors. And as for my professors, their involvement in each course was not always the same, but in general, comments made on my submissions were of value and astutely positioned to assist me to do better each time. I was always encouraged and when I needed an extension, I was always supported and they were always granted. For this reason, I could never pick just one highlight; the whole experience was a highlight!

Esther Yasuda

M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: English to Speakers of Other Languages

Esther Yasuda of Honolulu, Hawaii, is halfway through the completion of her master’s degree in curriculum & instruction with a concentration in English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) from Concordia University - Portland. She serves as a youth worker for a non-profit organization where she works closely with children ages 6 to 18 — with 99 percent of them from low-income households. Yasuda, daughter to an immigrant family, aspires to use her ESOL concentration to help other immigrants thrive in America.

How has your Concordia Portland experience furthered your professional development?

Learning with my online cohort has opened up so much for me. I am learning about what other states and schools are doing to assist their students in innovative ways. One day, I would love to become a teacher and am humbled by all my peers to find that it is a fulfilling career. I can't tell you how much I am able to apply my course learnings to my professional and personal development — and life!

Why did you choose an online master's program from Concordia Portland?

At this point in my life, Concordia’s online program seemed to be the greatest fit for me. I needed an accredited program with a great reputation, but also a program that suited my needs. I chose Concordia because the school offered a one-year accelerated program that is 100 percent online, with included textbooks and iPad to assist learning outcomes. Being a full-time working, single mom, I needed to have the flexibility to learn and do assignments in my spare time.

What is your favorite aspect about the ESOL online program?

I love that I can complete my assignments ahead of time or just as assigned. I love the interaction from my cohort. We are going through the program together and are bonding as we post and reply to one another. The instructors are great with providing feedback, grading, and answering questions.

Do you have any tips for current Concordia Portland students?

I would say make sure you read the weekly assignments and know when posts are due to avoid missing due dates. Ask your instructor for assistance when you need it; they are really great with responding to emails. You can do it: 10 courses, one year, and you will have your master's degree!

How has your Concordia Portland experience helped you make a difference in your community?

Our non-profit agency works very closely with the community and its schools. I will have more knowledge and expertise to help assist the community even better.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to spend time with my daughter, Nikki, and my son, Jacob. We like to watch movies, go to the mall and to the beach, as well as going fishing together. My friends and I get together almost every day, and we have a great time enjoying each other’s company while our kids play together.

Helen Rice

M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: English to Speakers of Other Languages

Helen Rice of Raleigh, North Carolina, is in the process of obtaining her master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) from Concordia University - Portland. She serves as a TESOL/ESL instructor. Rice, an ambassador of Concordia Online Education, also enjoys learning about new cultures and languages, along with belly dancing and making soap.

How has your Concordia Portland experience furthered your professional development?

I came into the program without any "real" teaching experience. What I'm learning in my courses, which is research and standard based, is being applied to real life. This gives me more confidence as I develop skills while I learn.

Why did you choose an online program from Concordia Portland?

I chose Concordia because they have the best M.Ed. program with a focus in ESOL. As an online student, Concordia has given me more structure and support than I could ever imagine. The rigorous courses are manageable.

The professors are experienced, knowledgeable, and wonderful, along with the student services advisors and the writing center. The enrollment specialists also made the entire enrollment process simple and stress-free.

What is your favorite aspect about the online master's program in ESOL?

My favorite aspect about my online program is the interaction with other students, along with the quick response, support, and encouragement from the professors and support services.

Do you have any tips for current Concordia Portland students?

As a student, trying to balance studies with work, family, and other obligations, it is important to organize and structure your study time. It is very important to ask for help before getting too overwhelmed.

Reach out to the professors, student services advisors, and the writing center. They are all very helpful and supportive. Learn to use the technology to help organize school calendars, writing assignments, etc.

How has your Concordia Portland experience helped you make a difference in your community?

I'm happy to help the people who need it the most. It is difficult to leave your country, and live and function in a new country without any English skills. The language learning process can be a stressful transition while learning to navigate using banks, enrolling children in school, driving, going to the doctor, etc. Hopefully, I can help give my students the skills they need to succeed.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like soccer, traveling, cooking, movies, music, and having fun.

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