Curriculum & Instruction: English as a Second Language (ESL), M.Ed.

Help English-language learning students overcome barriers and gain the skills and confidence they need to succeed.

This program is right for you, if…
  • You believe that language barriers should not hinder a student’s potential for academic and life success
  • You want to integrate a multiculturalism into your teaching practices
  • You intend to be both a teacher and a leader
  • You believe all children deserve high quality academic and social environments
  • You are a teacher of English Language Learners and want the best for all your students
The focus of the Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction: English as a Second Language (ESL) is on teaching from a multicultural and inclusive perspective. Lewis University's M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: ESL can be completed in five semesters, and requires 30 semester credit hours to complete. It offers you the opportunity to earn your English as a Second Language Endorsement. With this endorsement, you will be better prepared to teach English language learners and help them acquire fluency in both spoken and written English. The ESL Endorsement is valid at the grade levels indicated on your Professional Educator License.

Through coursework and field experiences, you will learn how to modify your teaching styles for different students, abilities, cultures, and environments. You will be prepared to utilize a variety of teaching methods across academic disciplines, as well as employ instructional strategies and technology to engage all students.

Your education will include coursework and field experiences in topics such as:
  • Foundations of Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations
  • Linguistics for the Teacher of English Language Learners
  • Cross-Cultural Studies for Teaching English Language Learners
Why Lewis for Your Advanced ESL Degree?
  • Ranked as one of U.S. News & World Report’s “Top Tier Colleges”
  • Small class size allows for interaction with experienced faculty
  • Classrooms equipped with SMART boards and other audio-visual equipment, enabling students to develop skills with technologies they will use within the field
  • Partnership with surrounding districts
  • Cohort-style class sequence for building professional networks and professional learning communities
Admission Requirements
To be accepted for admission in the M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: English as a Second Language program at Lewis University, candidates must meet the following criteria:
  • Successful completion of Lewis University College of Education Graduate Writing Sample
  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale) for the final 60 credit hours completed
  • Submission of graduate application form with non-refundable application fee
  • Two completed letters of recommendation on College of Education forms
  • Official college transcripts from all institutions previously attended
  • Meet with the appropriate College of Education advisor for a personal interview to discuss educational goals
Already hold an Illinois teaching licensure in another content area but want to obtain your ESL endorsement? Educators who currently hold an Illinois Professional Educator License have the option to earn an ESL Endorsement by taking the six required courses stated in the graduate catalog for a total of 18 semester credit hours.

Looking for alternative program options?
Learn more about our Curriculum & Instruction: Literacy and English Language Learning (M.Ed.) program.

For more information about these programs: M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: English as a Second Language, the ESL Endorsement only, or the M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Literacy and English Language Learning, please contact Linda Campbell at or by phone at 815-836-5704.


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Dr. Barbara Mackey

Director, ESL Program

"Every child in every school deserves to learn every day. Our ESL endorsement program provides classroom teachers with a deeper understanding of teaching strategies to support English Language Learners in their classrooms and their schools."