English as a Second Language - Non Licensure

  • Credits: 34
  • Degree:
    Master of Education

Program Description

The Teaching English as a Second Language program prepares educators who are knowledgeable, competent and compassionate, and committed to creating a learning environment that works for every ELL and values the contribution of each individual.  Faculty model relevant pedagogy, encouraging students to value their prior knowledge as a foundation to consider and discuss new ideas, read and write critically, collaborate on group projects, apply new skills and demonstrate and assess their own learning.


Students will understand language and language acquisiton; cultural factors affecting language learning and academic achievement; and current theory, research and best practices for developing literacy in English.  They will use research-based English as a Second Language (ESL) methodology to help ELLs achieve proficiency in English, and Sheltered English Instruction (SEI) strategies to help them meet core standards in content subject areas.  Students will plan curriculum and deliver effective instruction, manage a classroom, promote equity, and meet their professional responsibilities.


Graduates will be able to provide ESL support and tutoring in schools; teach and tutor ESL in other settings including higher education-based intensive ESL, immigrant support programs, and workplace ESL.


For more information, please contact Admissions at 1-800-829-4723.


Professional Seminar and Project
Professional Seminar I: English as a Second Language (Initial)
ESL 691N 2 credit(s)
The professional seminar is a signature element of the adult learning model at Cambridge College. It grounds learning in a cohort group of students with a faculty leader experienced in teaching English language learners. This professional seminar leader is the students’ academic advisor and guides them through their graduate program. The cohort studies professional standards for ESL teachers, and the requirements for state licensure (preK-6 and 5-12). Students integrate their learning from classes, workshops, and experience. Transformed by the resulting knowledge, competencies, attitudes and values, students become reflective practitioners and lifelong learners. The seminar also supports students’ work on their independent learning projects, from identifying topics relevant to their course of study, to guiding the research and writing, to completion. The seminar leader approves the finished projects.
Professional Seminar II: English as a Second Language (Initial)
ESL 692N 2 credit(s)
The Professional Seminar is a signature element of the adult learning model, grounding learning in a cohort group of students with a faculty leader experienced in teaching English language learners (ELLs). The seminar is a forum for discussion of professional issues in education of ELLs. Students integrate and reflect on their learning from classes, workshops, and experience. The seminar also supports students’ work on their independent learning projects, from identifying topics that are relevant to teaching ESL, to guiding the research and writing, to completion. The seminar leader approves the finished projects.
Independent Learning Project: English as a Second Language
ESL 800 3 credit(s)
The Independent Learning Project is a culminating learning experience that helps educators to integrate their personal and formal learning and their professional experiences into a meaningful whole. It reflects the general guidelines for ESL teachers and articulates the individual’s educational and administrative philosophy. The project is research-and action-based, on a focused topic chosen by the educator, within the area of licensure. It engages educators in sustained research into educational practice and curriculum development; parts of the project may be implemented during the practicum.
ESL Courses
Equitable Assessment for ESL Learners
ESL 630 3 credit(s)
Assessment of English Language Learners (ELLs) is affected by federal/state regulations, including state-wide adoption of the WIDA ACCESS Test for ELLs. Course participants will understand laws and issues pertinent to the education of ELLs, and user of tests, performance tasks and self-assessments for identification, placement, and reclassification of ELLs. They will learn to interpret ACCESS results, consider the effects of socio-cultural, psychological, political, and individual learning variables, and apply these to design differentiated assessment measures that enable ELLs to use academic language in demonstrating content knowledge and English proficiency. Participants will have the opportunity to observe and interact with ESL students in field-based classroom situations.
Identification and Instruction of ESL Learners with Disabilities
ESL 640 3 credit(s)
This course will provide a framework for developing a comprehensive system for the assessment and instruction of ESL learners preK-12 with disabilities and/or limited or interrupted formal schooling. Participants will gain an understanding of the second language acquisition process, literacy development in the second language, culture, alternative assessment measures, and appropriate instructional methodology for ESL learners with disabilities and/or ESL learners with limited or interrupted formal schooling. They will identify key issues in the assessment and instruction of ESL learners with disabilities and/or limited or interrupted formal schooling, including under-representation and over-representation in special education, appropriate assessment measures, and legal responsibilities. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the use of alternative assessment measures for distinguishing between disability, literacy development, and developmental process of second language learning. They will also develop appropriate second language instruction for ELLs with disabilities and/or limited formal schooling.
Second Language Acquisition and Culture
ESL 631 3 credit(s)
This course provides an overview of the study of language as it applies to second language acquisition and second language learning. It enables participants to understand the principles of language acquisition and language learning to facilitate the learning of English for students with various language skills and cultural backgrounds in content classrooms. The course will focus on different analytical levels of language and their impact on cognitive academic language proficiency from preK through grade 12. This course will explore educational theory of language development and address how to best work with students from various language skills. Participants will discuss how culture influences our attitudes and approaches to education. Issues of language and culture will be covered as they relate to the academic development of second language learners in a sheltered instruction classroom. Participants will also have an opportunity to put into practice their personal awareness of social, political, and cultural constraints on teaching ELLS. Culturally relevant pedagogy for the academic development of English language learners will be strongly emphasized. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Methods and Materials for English as a Second Language
ESL 615 3 credit(s)
This introductory course provides an overview of second language instruction methods, including major trends in twentieth-century language teaching; alternative approaches and methods; and communicative approaches to teaching. Much of the focus will be on how to teach the language domains of listening, speaking, reading, writing, and the form-focused instruction (grammar) with the beginning and early intermediate learners in mind. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Linguistics and Language Variations
ESL 610 3 credit(s)
This course introduces the study of language as it applies to the professional preparation of teachers. Participants will examine the different analytical levels of language and consider their role in the development of linguistic and academic proficiency in English of language-minority students from grades preK-12. The will explore how various factors (regional, socioeconomic and developmental factors) play a role in language variation and bilingualism or multilingualism. In addition, participants will demonstrate their understanding of the structure of language (phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, and discourse analysis). Participants will also apply linguistics concepts to assess second language learners’ proficiency levels to guide how to differentiate their instruction for ELLs of varying proficiency levels.
Teaching Reading and Writing to ESL Students
ESL 620 3 credit(s)
This course will provide a comprehensive analysis of reading and writing theory with practical classroom applications for ESL learners preK-12. This will enable students to provide a balanced, comprehensive program of instruction with explicit and meaningfully applied instruction in reading, writing, and related language skills and strategies for ESL learners. A balanced approach to reading and writing includes explicit instruction in basic reading skills and comprehension strategies. The course will explore theory and practice through discussion, demonstration, and other strategies. In addition, participants will better understand how cultural and linguistic differences affect literacy development and how to implement literacy instruction that motivates students. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Sheltered Instruction and Assessment
ESL 635 3 credit(s)
This course is designed for teachers and administrators experiencing the challenge of meeting the academic needs of multilevel, diverse classrooms PreK-12 that require sheltered instruction techniques and state mandated assessment instruments for English language learners (ELLs). This course will provide participants with multiple opportunities to learn and apply sheltering content instruction strategies to enable ELLs to meet grade level academic standards by utilizing the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) as demonstrated in national research on best practices for effective instruction. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Teaching Content to ESL Learners
ESL 650 3 credit(s)
This course provides educators working with second language learners a theoretical and practical framework for integrating academic language development into content area instruction in grades preK-12. Students will be presented with an overview of instructional concepts and approaches that recognize the role that language plays as the major medium of instruction and learning including language across the curriculum, CALLA (cognitive academic language learning approach), process writing, cooperative learning and cognitive instruction. Participants will have guided practice in using and applying effective teaching strategies that support the linguistic and academic development of ESL learners within the context of the content area classroom. They will learn how to plan and deliver instruction to help ESL learners understand academic content, develop academic language, increase higher order thinking skills, and strategically apply learning strategies.
Technology for Linguistically Diverse Classrooms
ESL 625 3 credit(s)
Due to the rapidly changing demographics in our classrooms, teachers face the challenge of working with culturally diverse and multi-level populations at grade levels preK-12. Technology, both low-tech and high-tech, can facilitate the adaptation and differentiation of the core curriculum to assure that English language learners (ELLs), including those with disabilities, gain access to the content material. This course reviews a range of technological techniques that can be integrated into the mainstream, bilingual, SEI (sheltered English instruction) or ESL classroom that will help scaffold and accelerate the ELLs’ learning. Participants will have an opportunity to experiment with these techniques, analyze the use of such techniques, and draw conclusions about the best practices made available by the various technologies. They will also explore the teaching/learning theories that informed the development and use of these technologies in the classroom. The use of various technologies for sheltered instruction will be considered within the framework of general best practices, based on the concepts of UDL (universal design for learning).


  • Admission Test:

    No standardized graduate school tests required for admission into non-licensure programs.

  • Admissions Office:
  • Application Form:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)

School Requirements

See Admissions Requirements for School of Education


State Health Requirements

The Massachusetts Health Department and Cambridge College require the following of students in Massachusetts:

Immunizations – All students in Massachusetts are required to get certain immunizations before you can register for your first term. See form 

Health Insurance – In Massachusetts, undergraduate students taking nine or more credits/term and graduate students taking six or more credits/term must enroll in the College’s health insurance plan. Students who have insurance with comparable coverage may request a waiver. See information and enroll or waive.

International Students 

International students are accepted at Massachusetts location only, and need to provide supplemental documentation:

  • Official demonstration of English language proficiency
  • Supplemental documentation for issuance of I-20
  • International transcripts, evaluated by an accepted evaluation service

Transfer Credit

Graduate program applicants, please complete the transfer credit request form if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer. Learn more.

Undergraduate program applicants, once you are accepted, your official transcripts are evaluated for transfer credit.



  • Credits:
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $2,938 - Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.

Note: Rates are as of September 2017, and are subject to change without notice. Rates apply to all students, unless otherwise noted.

Financial Aid

Cambridge College offers financial aid to students in our degree programs who are enrolled at least half time. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits each term. Graduate and doctoral students must be enrolled in at least 4 credits each term. Learn more

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Cambridge College welcomes the opportunity to support your efforts to pay for college.  Federal, state and local resources in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study, including Cambridge College Scholarships, are available to help defray the cost of tuition. Learn more

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