Study Format

  • Online
  • On Campus

Program Length

  • 33 Credit Hours
  • 24 Months

Application Deadlines

May, 05

Domestic Students

Summer 2021 Completed file due | Classes start May 10, 2021

Jul, 12

International Students

Fall 2021 Completed file due | Classes start Aug. 30, 2021

Concordia University Chicago's master of arts in ELL/ESL and bilingual is embedded in the Curriculum and Instruction program. It is explicitly focused on developing teachers as leaders in their individual classrooms, schools and districts, as well as in the broader global community.

This program achieves a balance between the practical, everyday needs of teachers in the classroom and the critical-thinking and decision-making skills that are necessary for candidates to develop as competent teacher leaders. This program further cultivates a sense of responsibility toward and provides the necessary tools for effective teacher advocacy.

Graduates from the master of arts in curriculum and instruction with ESL and bilingual endorsements program will be equipped to both envision and enact educational change for language learners throughout the country and beyond. The program develops teachers with the integrity to actively respect the learning of all students integrate appropriate curriculum methodologies across the various content areas, and engage in policy recommendations and advocacy for their communities.

The ESL curriculum and instruction master of arts degree program prepares educators to be effective in promoting student learning and development in the acquisition of English as a new language. It is designed to help candidates:

  • Promote the success of all students through developing and implementing a shared vision of learning and the programs which support this learning.
  • Develop basic skills in management of the classroom, operations, and resources for a safe, efficient and effective learning environment.
  • Collaborate with staff, boards, students, families, and community members in response to diverse educational and community interests and needs, and mobilize community resources.
  • Demonstrate integrity, fairness and ethical behavior to help in the development of a caring and moral school community.
  • Analyze and respond to the larger political, social, economic, legal and cultural contexts and provide research-based instruction that includes the effective use of technology, attention to special needs populations, ESL literacy and language development.

Learning Objectives and Competencies

Candidates will acquire the following knowledge and competencies in the ESL/Curriculum and Instruction program:

  • Understand the principles, practices, and problems in public and private school programs with an emphasis on application of current theory and research, with a special focus on the needs of English language learners.
  • Interpret the role of educational forces, processes, and institutions as part of the historical development of America.
  • Apply educational objectives and learning standards to the selection and organization of learning experiences for English language learners, utilizing contemporary curriculum organization models and pertinent research.
  • Analyze contemporary language-learning educational issues in the United States, including the obstacles and challenges faced by educators, and current educational policy making and reform.
  • Synthesize curriculum, teaching and pedagogy into effective teacher leadership in classrooms and beyond, including a focus on students with special learning needs, diverse social and pedagogical needs, and the needs of urban populations.
  • Create appropriate action research in educational settings for improved teacher practice and successful learning outcomes.
  • Develop the professional habit and responsibility for reflective practice, both in general classroom pedagogy and in specific learning perspectives of individual students, especially language learners.

Throughout the program, candidates will be required to integrate their new knowledge, skills and instructional practices into their current educational settings. At the completion of all coursework, candidates for the master of arts degree in curriculum and instruction are required to complete a capstone assessment that demonstrates their understanding of content and theory and their ability to apply this new knowledge to practice.The ESL and bilingual endorsement program is aligned with TESOL standards.

ESL/ELL and Bilingual Endorsements and Certifications

Upon completion of the ESL strand of the Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction or Master of Arts in ESL, candidates are eligible for the ESL endorsement to be attached to an existing standard teaching license offered by the State of Illinois. Candidates outside of Illinois should contact their state board of education for eligibility.Candidates seeking the Bilingual endorsement within the state of Illinois will need to pass a language proficiency exam. Please refer to ISBE’s website for more information.

Program Information

Core Curriculum

Curriculum Construction

Educational objectives and the selection and organization of learning experiences. Investigation and analysis of curriculum development. Enhanced theoretical perspectives as they relate to the process of curriculum. A thorough explanation of pertinent research, curricula issues, and the completion of a curriculum project.

Foundations and Ethics in American Education

Analysis and application of ethical principles to historical issues in American education, including the relationship of Christian life to educational issues.

Action Research

Understanding of action research in educational settings. Focus on development of basic action research skills for improved teacher practice. Skills for interpreting published research are also emphasized.


ESL Concentration

These courses fulfill the State of Illinois requirement for ESL endorsement:

Language and Linguistics

Analysis of the symbolic systems and the cultural bases of English in relationship to other languages through exploration of structure and history, language development and variation, and communicative competence in the context of language use. Examination of L1 and L2 literacy development. Includes five hours of fieldwork.

Foundations of Bilingual/Bicultural Education

Critical issues related to bilingualism and biculturalism in the contexts of language, culture, race, ethnicity, identity, social class, and political power between majority and minority cultures. Programmatic considerations in K-6 and 7-12 education.

Teaching English as a Second Language

Exploration of psychological, linguistic and cultural foundations in teaching English as a second or additional language. Examination of current trends in ESL teaching and instructional strategies that accommodate students in all levels of ESL/EFL settings.

Methods and Materials for Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

Exploration and analysis of relevant K-12 pedagogical approaches, methods and strategies needed to convey to a diverse population state and professional standards-based curricula. Development, adaptation and evaluation of materials for implementation in lesson planning and assessment for teaching English to speakers of other languages to particular groups of different ages, ability levels, and cultural backgrounds. Inclusion of strategies that foster both language acquisition and academic achievement in speaking, reading, writing, and listening. Includes 30 hours of fieldwork.

Assessment of Language Minority Students

Comprehensive overview of current developments in the assessment of English language learners in the context of school learning and academic achievement. How to structure assessment procedures to reflect current research understandings, best classroom practices, and state and federal mandates are emphasized. Analysis of purposes and forms of assessment, barriers to fair assessment of ELLs, and designing and adapting authentic assessment tools for formal and informal methods of assessing English proficiency and academic development in English at varying levels. Includes 20 hours of fieldwork.

Cross-Cultural Studies: Teaching the Limited English Proficient

Analysis of the cultural, social, psychological, structurial, and sociopolitical processes effecting cross-cultural learning in schools and the larger society.


Bilingual Concentration

Requires the six courses for the ESL concentration plus the following:

Methods and Materials for Teaching Bilingual Students

Exploration of principles and methodology for planning, selecting, implementing and evaluating materials used for instructing LEP students in a bilingual classroom. Issues of first and second language development, effective primary language teaching strategies and acculturation matters.


Capstone Experience

A master’s capstone is required for all master of arts candidates. This culminating project highlights the candidate’s mastery of content throughout his or her studies. Capstones are traditionally a summary of work demonstrating overall growth and specific understandings of the professional standards. The capstone serves as a performance-based evaluation and promotes reflective practice. It also demonstrates the professional’s proficiency in integrating technology and his or her ability to interpret theory into practice.

Seminar in Higher Education (EDU 6015)

In addition to the base program curriculum, international students attending face-to-face classes on the CUC campus are required to take the Seminar in Higher Education, a 3-credit course.

Course Description

This course will serve as an introduction to the U.S.-based higher education learning environment. Students will work to understand Concordia University Chicago’s academic conventions, technological systems and communication culture while developing English grammar, reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

The Seminar in Higher Education is an excellent opportunity for students to further develop critical skills to help them to be successful in their academic program. This 3-credit course is mandatory for international students attending face-to-face classes on the CUC campus. 

Course Objectives

  • Developing knowledge about local and academic culture
  • Building grammar, reading, writing, speaking and listening skills
  • Conducting graduate-level research with the use of electronic and library resources
  • Developing note-taking strategies for coursework
  • Reflecting on the U.S.-based education system

Academic support for work in students’ current coursework will also be provided during or after class. Guest speakers include representatives from the campus library, writing center and technology services.

Student feedback for the Seminar in Higher Education

  • After taking the Seminar, I have the ability to perform more professionally in my assignments.

  • The instructor was very dynamic and a good listener. He gave feedback and made sure all the students understood.

  • The hands-on activities after the lessons helped my learning experience.

  • The professor truly cares for the students. He helps students individually and encourages us to support our peers.

Admission Counselor

Connect with your admission counselor.

Request Information