Study Format

  • Online
  • On Campus

Program Length

  • 30 Credit Hours
  • 12 or 24 Months

Application Deadlines

Aug, 19

Domestic Students

Fall 2020 Completed File Due. Classes start August 24, 2020.

Jul, 06

International Students

Fall 2020 Completed File Due. Classes start August 24, 2020.


Today’s English learners are simultaneously acquiring English proficiency and mastering academic content while also learning the culture(s) of their community. Concordia University Chicago’s Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction with ESL endorsement prepares educators to work with emergent bilingual students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in PreK-12 schools. 

This program has a balanced mix of theory, research, and practice. Candidates are equipped to envision and enact educational change for English learners that is inclusive, linguistically responsive, and multiculturally competent. Graduates become teacher leaders who can implement culturally sustaining pedagogy and effectively advocate for their students from diverse backgrounds.

The program prepares educators to be effective in promoting student learning and development in the acquisition of English as a new language. Throughout the program, candidates are required to integrate their new knowledge, skills and instructional practices into their current educational settings.

It is designed to help candidates:

  • 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.

At the completion of all coursework, candidates 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.

Accreditation and Alignment: National Recognition

Concordia University Chicago's master of arts in curriculum and instruction with ESL endorsement, is nationally recognized by TESOL/CAEP.

Concordia-Chicago’s education programs received their first recognition by NCATE in 1962 and the colleges in which they are housed have been continually accredited since that time. The recognition is a highly sought distinction of excellence granted to select few programs across the country that meet the national accrediting body’s highest and most rigorous standards for the preparation of educational leaders.

The ESL endorsement program is aligned with TESOL standards.


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.

Characteristics of the CLD Student with Disabilities

This course is designed to identify the characteristics of English Language Learners (ELLs) with specific learning, emotional, academic, physical, and multiple disabilities and theories behind second language acquisition. It will also explore the psychological, linguistic and cultural foundations in teaching English as a second or additional language. Candidates will discuss the impact of these characteristics on the cognitive, academic, linguistic, and social development of ELLs. An examination of current trends in ESL teaching and instructional strategies that accommodate students in all levels of ESL/EFL settings along with eligibility for special education, and placement decisions will also be explored. This course will include 10 hours of field experience.

ESL Concentration

These courses fulfill the State of Illinois requirement for ESL endorsement for those who hold an Illinois license [PEL]. Students with out-of-state licensure are welcome to enroll in the CIE program, but are not eligible for the Illinois ESL endorsement. Questions regarding reciprocity by stare should be directed towards the student’s state of licensure, or ISBE.net (Illinois State Board of Education).

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 and 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 for Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

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

Bilingual Concentration

Candidates may also pursue the Bilingual endorsement in addition to the ESL endorsement. The Bilingual endorsement requires fluency in a language other than English. Candidates pursuing the Bilingual endorsement must take the ESL coursework as well as EDU-6635 Methods and Materials for Teaching Bilingual Students totaling 33 semester hours (36 hours for international students*), and receive a passing score on the appropriate target language proficiency exam, a bilingual assessment administered by ISBE.

Capstone Experience

The capstone experience for the M.A. in CIE is embedded in the final two courses of the program, Teacher as Researcher and Seminar in Reflective Practice. Candidates develop a plan of inquiry focused on the teaching and learning of linguistically and culturally diverse students.  Capstones will include implementation, reflective action, and implications for pedagogical practices. Successful completion of both courses fulfills the capstone requirement.

Teacher as Researcher

Principles of teacher research. Focus on development of basic research skills to carry out action research, self-study, or other practitioner research projects with the goal of improved teacher practice. Skills for interpreting published research are also emphasized.

Seminar in Reflective Practice

A capstone seminar that explores teaching as a reflective practice. Reflection on one's own beliefs and assumptions as they relate to teaching and learning.

Throughout the program, candidates are required to integrate their new knowledge, skills and instructional practices into their current educational settings. At the completion of all coursework, candidates 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.

Accreditation and Alignment: National Recognition

Concordia University Chicago's Master of Arts in English as a Second Language (leading to ESL and/or Bilingual endorsements, is nationally recognized by TESOL/CAEP.

Concordia-Chicago’s education programs received their first recognition by NCATE in 1962 and the colleges in which they are housed have been continually accredited since that time. The recognition is a highly sought distinction of excellence granted to select few programs across the country that meet the national accrediting body’s highest and most rigorous standards for the preparation of educational leaders.

The ESL endorsement program is aligned with TESOL standards.

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.


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