M.A.Ed. – ESL and Bilingual Education

In Virginia and across the country, school districts have a rapidly growing population of English learners (ELs), and there’s a shortage of teachers with the training and experience to meet their needs. W&M’s master’s program in ESL/Bilingual Education prepares teachers to work with students of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in general education, ESL and dual language classrooms.


The M.A.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction with a Concentration in ESL/Bilingual Education is a 12-month, full-time program leading to initial certification in English as a Second Language PreK-12. This program is open to, and only to, people who are not already certified to teach. The degree will also help prepare students who wish to pursue a doctoral degree in ESL/Bilingual Education.

W&M's program in ESL/bilingual education prepares compassionate, knowledgeable educators with the foundation and skills to support ELs and their families. Grounded in an understanding of issues of social justice and equity, the program helps students learn to be advocates for students and their families. Students gain an in-depth foundation in research and theory, to integrate additive and effective language and content instruction while embracing ELs' culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Whether preparing to teach in an urban, suburban or rural setting, students learn to create an inclusive environment where all students have a voice and the support they need to learn.

Program of Studies

The M.A.Ed. program begins in the summer with educational foundations coursework and curriculum courses relevant to supporting ELs. These studies continues in the fall, along with a three-credit practicum of pre-service teacher observation with a cooperating teaching in a classroom serving ELs.

In the spring, students return to the same school for their 10-week immersive student teaching experience. The seminar that accompanies student teaching allows for group discussion and university instructor feedback about their teaching experiences.

This program is available as a 5th year option for William & Mary undergraduates interested in beginning their ESL education studies as seniors. The School of Education also offers a dual endorsement in ESL for students pursuing our other master’s programs in teaching.

ESL and Bilingual Education Program Contact

[[kbarkoalva,Katherine Barko-Alva]]
Assistant Professor of ESL/Bilingual Education and Program Director
(757) 221-6073

Download Program Fast Facts (PDF)