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MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

German. French. Chinese. Spanish. Malay. Imagine a classroom where those are the main languages spoken, and where each student could benefit from understanding the ever-evolving English language — whether it’s later in life to expand their job prospects, or right now, to build lasting relationships. That’s what makes ESOL teachers so admirable: by being versatile in their instruction and honing their ability to develop curriculum materials in ESOL, they’re essentially giving students the greatest gift a teacher can give: opportunity. Change someone’s life by enrolling in Concordia’s online MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: ESOL program.

In this program, you’ll develop instructional strategies that promote learning for students from pre-kindergarten through high school whose native language is not English. And through the MEd in Curriculum & Instruction core courses and capstone experience, you’ll get a comprehensive overview in addition to specialized knowledge.

Accredited, nonprofit, and taught by practitioners, all of Concordia’s online MEd programs reflect the same meaningful experience we’ve been delivering on campus since 1905. The convenience of 100 percent online, clearly defined coursework — paired with realistic deadlines and the ability to immediately apply what you learn in your classroom — makes our programs ideal for busy lifestyles. And the potential career benefits — from higher pay to promotions — are second only to the reward of having an everlasting impact on the lives of your students.

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September 23rd
Program Length 13 Months
Credits 31 Credit Hours
Accreditation NWCCU
SCHOLARSHIPS* Up to $3,000
100% online
100% online (no in-person field work required)
One year
Earn your MEd in about one year, one class at a time, with built-in breaks
Updated curriculum
Curriculum is up-to-date and relevant
Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Concordia is one of the most respected names in learning today
Positive career benefits
87% of our online MEd grads report positive career benefits as a result of their degree
20,000-strong alumni
20,000-strong alumni network
93% of our online MEd grads say they are satisfied with their overall academic program experience

MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: ESOL Program Goals

The Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction: English for Speakers of Other Languages is a concentration for teachers at all authorization levels who want to develop instructional strategies to better accommodate students whose native language is not English. Successful candidates will demonstrate:
Expertise in Evaluating Progress

Expertise in Evaluating Progress

Demonstrate expertise in the utilization of new methods and strategies to evaluate language proficiency of ESOL students



Demonstrate the ability to modify instructional plans and promote alternative goals and strategies for students from a variety of backgrounds, languages, and abilities

Classroom Diversity Skills

Classroom Diversity Skills

Develop or refine an awareness of, appreciation for, and responsiveness to classroom and societal diversity with an emphasis on culture and language

Moral Leadership

Moral Leadership

Demonstrate characteristics of moral leadership through professional roles and responsibilities as an advocate for ESOL students

Effective collaboration practices

Effective collaboration practices

Demonstrate knowledge of and apply skills in collaboration practices related to ESOL needs


The Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction: ESOL is a 31 credit-hour, 13-month program

MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - Core Courses
12 credits

This course will provide teachers with the resources and skills necessary to integrate character themes and character development into their school curriculum. It provides a forum in which to discuss and develop one's own moral perspectives on the basis of generally accepted criteria.

This course is designed to provide leaders with the latest psychological research about learning and guide them in exploring ways to directly apply these precepts to their current work setting. Topics will include cognitive science, learning theory, and relevant teaching theories that utilize this information. The course will fuse the latest biological and psychological understanding of how the brain learns so candidates can harness this knowledge and apply it directly to learning situations.

Relationships constructed on trust are critical for an efficient, collegial, collaborative workplace. This course challenges candidates to confront the tremendous diversity in their current environment and develop strategies to build community in the midst of the social, ethnic, economic and alternative lifestyle differences that permeate today's 21st-century workplace. In sum, this course stresses the critical importance of creating community in the workplace and illustrates how that community, once established, can generate an efficient, supportive, and positive work place.

Candidates identify, review, and analyze major trends and issues impacting the contemporary state and national educational scenes. Each class session provides students with an opportunity to evaluate the advantages and liabilities of current educational reforms and issues from the perspective of prevailing educational research as well as from their own personal beliefs and current work environment. Candidates will also consider how they can impact and influence change in their own workplace.


Please note: Completing a Master of Education degree program does not lead to state certification or licensure. The MEd is not designed or intended to lead in any way toward a teaching license, endorsement, or administrative credential.

MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - ESOL
13 credits

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.

This course provides an introduction to language as a system emphasizing the interconnectedness between linguistics and PreK-12 teaching and learning. Students explore the principles necessary to teach language, including phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Emphasis is placed on the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). The course is designed to assist candidates in making linguistically informed decisions about first and second language teaching. Additionally, candidates are introduced to various grammar points that may pose difficulty for English language learners. The course covers various aspects of language from a historical, cultural and sociolinguistic perspective.

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.

This course examines various factors, concepts, and theories about first and second language acquisition processes and their interrelationship with each other and the teaching/learning process. Additional topics include Oregon’s English Language Proficiency Standards, the Forms and Functions of language targeted in state assessments, and the impact of language proficiency on evaluation for TAG and Special Education services.

This course will present an overview, rationale and framework for assessment of English-learners at the PreK-12 level. Students will be introduced to the variables that come into play when assessing students whose native language is not English. The primary focus is assessment of English-learners for identification, program placement, and exiting from service. Also covered will be identification of all ELL students for Special Education and TAG, ongoing language proficiency assessments, standards-based assessment measures, and classroom-based assessments.

Please note: Completing a Master of Education degree program does not lead to state certification or licensure. The MEd is not designed or intended to lead in any way toward a teaching license, endorsement, or administrative credential.

Research Course 1
3 credits

This course provides students with the basic competencies necessary to understand and evaluate the research of others, and to plan 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 the choice of either EDGR 698-Action Research or EDGR 696-Practitioner Inquiry. 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.


Research Course 2
3 credits   Select one of the following:

Practitioner Inquiry focuses on the reflective acts of the candidate as an educator seeking to improve teaching practice. Premised in the self-study research methodological traditions (Samaras, 2011), Practitioner Inquiry provides the opportunity to reflect on teaching practice and generate improvements based on classroom observation. Practitioner Inquiry focuses on the educator and her/his own practices, developing skills of inquiry, observation, reflection, and action in teachers. Prerequisite: Successful completion of EDGR 601 Educational Research

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. (During this course, the proposal will NOT be implemented with students/participants.)
This design provides students with the requisite skills and means to pursue the transformative practice called "Action Research" in their classroom, school, district or other work environment. The design method for the capstone project closely aligns with current classroom realities, with district and school requirements, and the needs of teachers and students.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of EDGR 601.

Please note: Completing a Master of Education degree program does not lead to state certification or licensure. The MEd is not designed or intended to lead in any way toward a teaching license, endorsement, or administrative credential.


In addition to fully online, Concordia offers several Master of Education programs in an on-campus or hybrid format. See the options here.

Is the MEd in ESOL concentration right for me?

Consider choosing this path if:

  • You’re interested in learning useful, applicable techniques you can use right away to better connect with your students
  • You dream of reshaping your school’s ESL program
  • You work or plan to work in an international school or one with a multilingual population

Still unsure? We know we offer a lot of programs! Let’s talk more about your professional and personal goals.

Child Learning
Concordia keeps up with the changes in society by providing students with the education and experiences needed to prepare and help them work more effectively.
KAYVONNA STIGALL, MEd in Curriculum & Instruction:
Early Childhood Education '15


What makes this program so relevant today

ESOL teachers commonly perform roles beyond classroom teaching to help their English Language Learner students transition to new environments, learn a new language, and perform well in school. Here are just a few of the many roles of the ESOL teacher:

Advocate: ESOL teachers often advocate for ELL students to help them navigate the school system. They work with families to navigate the transition to a new culture, and ensure students receive necessary services and monitoring.

Professional Development Leaders: ESOL teachers often lead professional development in their schools to share best practices for inclusive teaching, differentiation, and language development in classrooms.

Teacher and Co-Teacher: Many ESOL educators collaborate with other teachers. They’re called upon for consultation, differentiation, and development of lesson plans with other content teachers. ESOL instructors teach classes on their own and will occasionally push-in to content classes to ensure learning materials meet the needs of English Language Learners.

Parental Liaison: The ESOL instructor is called upon to be the liaison between the school and an English Language Learner’s family, working closely with parents to keep them informed about students’ needs.

Data Analyst: ESOL teachers regularly collect and analyze data to monitor a student’s progress. They work with content teachers to assess student performance and use data to inform instruction.

School Culture Curator: ESOL educators often lead the charge to ensure that a school’s culture and education spaces reflect the many backgrounds of their students.

According to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, in the year 2014-15:

  • The percentage of public school students in the United States who were English language learners (ELLs) was 9.4%, or 4.6 million students.
  • The percentage of students who were ELLs was generally higher for school districts in more urbanized areas (cities and suburbs) than for those in less urbanized areas.
  • Spanish was the home language of 3.7 million ELL students, representing 77.1% of all ELL students. Arabic, Chinese, and Vietnamese were the next most common home languages.
  • 665,000 ELL students were also identified as students with disabilities. ELL students with disabilities represented 13.8% of the total ELL population enrolled in U.S. public elementary and secondary schools.
  • Most ELLs were born in the United States, and are U.S. citizens.
  • The state with the most ELL students is California — which has 29% of all ELLs nationwide. Texas has 18%, followed by Florida with 5% and New York with 4%.
  • Nearly 60% of ELLs nationwide are from low-income families in which parents have “disproportionately” limited levels of education.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Updated March 2017; Colorin Colorado!; Migration Policy Institute; Grantmakers in Education

  • ELL students may struggle to communicate or express their confusion.
  • ELL students may struggle to understand assignment directions or vocabulary.
  • Limited literacy in a native language (L1) can make literacy in a second language (L2) more difficult.
  • On average, ELL students fall far behind their non-ELL peers in academic achievement.
  • ELL students face heavy expectations to pass standardized tests to graduate, despite their language barrier.
  • ELL students may not understand cultural norms or classroom routines such as raising your hand or brainstorming.

Sources: ChildTrends.org; Understanding Learning and Attention Issues in ELLs by Shea Dean; ColorinColorado; NEA; The Academic Achievement of English Language Learners by David Murphey PhD; Getting Started with English Language Learners by Judie Haynes

In our ESOL concentration, you’ll be prepared to assist students with English language acquisition, as well as support their overall academic achievement. You’ll learn:

  • The skills needed to teach English to speakers of other languages.
  • How to develop curriculum materials in ESOL.
  • How to assess student proficiency in second language use.
  • How to involve parents and the community in second language education programs.
  • Linguistics and PreK-12 teaching and learning.
  • Multicultural counseling and intercultural communication.
  • First and second language acquisition processes.


See where a Master's degree in education focused on ESOL could take you

Planning to stay in your current teaching job? Many MEd graduates do! But in addition to potential benefits like increased salary and more self-confidence, an MEd could also expand your career opportunities within the education industry.

Potential careers include:

  • 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, and national policymakers
  • Advisor: NGOs, governments, and large international corporations
  • Curriculum director, programs for English language learners
  • Division or department chair

(Some states may require specific licensure for some of these positions. Check with your state’s Department of Education for more details.)

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