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Information on Master of Education (M.Ed.) Degree Program in ESL Curriculum and Instruction

Majors Overview August 6, 2015

This article talks about Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree program in ESL Curriculum and Instruction and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Education (M.Ed.) Programs in ESL Curriculum & Instruction

Individuals interested in employing cultural and developmental teaching models for non-native speakers within foreign and U.S. schools should enroll in a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum and Instruction degree program with an ESL emphasis. The programs are titled either as English as a New Language (ENL) or as Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

Notwithstanding the titles used, each of these programs trains teachers in implementing curriculum design, analyzing instructional methods, writing lesson plans and assessing student needs. Program curricula may combine didactic and student-teaching coursework. Program graduates qualify for an endorsement or ESL license that allows them to pursue teaching careers in public schools.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold an accredited bachelor’s degree, in addition to meeting a minimum GPA requirement. Some programs may also insist on current teacher licensure.


Coursework typically includes a study of psychology and human development. The focus of the master’s degree program that focuses on ESL curriculum and instruction entails classes in learning development, linguistics, research methods and teaching theory. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Sociolinguistics and Education
•Language learning assessment
•Language acquisition theory
•ESL literacy
•Development and learning
•Curriculum theory and practice
•Teaching multilingual students
•Instructional theory
•Multicultural education

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek careers in an academic or corporate setting, or choose to teach overseas or teach English to adults. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Reading specialist
•Instructional Coordinator
•Curriculum Supervisor

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of 13% has been predicted for the instructional coordinators. Over the same period, adult literacy and General Education Development (GED) teachers are expected to see a nine percent job growth (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, instructional coordinators brought in an average annual wage of $60,050. Adult basic and secondary education and literacy teachers banked $48,590 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

In some states, licensure is compulsory for ESL teachers in a public school setting. As each state has its separate credentialing requirements, students should check state policy when they select a program. Those seeking continuing education can pursue doctoral level programs that include foreign language teaching and research in education.

Depending on the organization or company employing these workers, the Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) is recommended for individuals aspiring to teach English overseas. The CELTA is available through the University of Cambridge. Learning centers in more than 100 countries offer the certification course.

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