Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language: PreK-6

The Teaching English as a Second Language Program offers a four-course, 16-credit graduate certificate that focuses on preparing in-service teachers and administrators to work effectively with English learners and their families at the PreK-6 level. Taken as a whole, the certificate program will provide participants with deep understanding about effective assessment and instruction of students whose primary language is a language other than English and who are in the process of acquiring the language, literacy, and content-area skills necessary to participate in and benefit from instruction in English.  Courses will examine first and second language development; second language literacy development, assessment, and instruction; successful approaches to assessing and teaching oral language and content skills including designs for differentiating instruction according to students’ levels of language proficiency; and the multiple factors that influence academic achievement among this student population.

Why this graduate certificate program?

Throughout the United States in general and Massachusetts in particular the number of students who require specialized instruction in English continues to rise dramatically, and this growth shows no signs of abating. With majority of English learners enrolled in general education classrooms, their preschool and elementary teachers find they want to learn more about how these children develop as speakers, listeners, readers and writers in their new language. Furthermore, teachers want to know more about effective strategies to promote their students’ English language and literacy development and content-area success. Teachers also want to know more about how to better communicate with students and their families and how to tap into and build upon the background knowledge and skills that English learners bring to school.

The graduate certificate program is offered for those in-service teachers and administrators who desire to learn more about best approaches to meeting the needs of English learners in PreK-6 classrooms, yet who may not want to pursue an academic degree at present. The certificate program’s design, however, will allow participants who wish to continue their studies through a formal program in the School of Education to apply the courses towards a Master’s Degree or a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Study in Teaching English as a Second Language.

Coursework Information:

LS 560:  Language and Language Acquisition (offered fall and spring semesters)

BI 515: Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language, PreK-6 (offered fall semester)

BI 652: Reading and Writing in a Second Language: Development, Assessment, and Instruction, PreK-6  (offered summer1 term)

BI 620: Educational Issues in Bilingualism (offered spring semester)

For information about applying to this program, please visit the Admissions section of our website.

Faculty Contact Information: Professor Marnie Reed,, 617-353-1811

Graduate Admissions Contact Information:, 617-353-4237

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students at the School of Education benefit from the community feel of a small school along with the resources of a large university. Our students are in the field in both urban and suburban schools as early as their first year at SED.

Graduate Students

Talented graduate students from around the world prepare to become teachers, counselors, administrators, and more in as little as one year at the School of Education. Our students engage in diverse aspects of education both in the classroom and the field.