Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages: Pre-K–6

The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages 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 Pre-K–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 the 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 Pre-K–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 Wheelock College of Education & Human Development to apply the courses toward a master’s degree or a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Study in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Coursework Information

  • LS 560 Language and Language Acquisition (offered Fall and Spring Semesters)
  • BI 515 Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language, Pre-K–6 (offered Fall Semester)
  • BI 652 Reading and Writing in a Second Language: Development, Assessment, and Instruction, Pre-K–6 (offered Summer Term)
  • BI 620 Educational Issues in Bilingualism (offered Spring Semester)