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English Language Learners (M.Ed.)

Department of Teaching and Learning

Program Overview

Gain the foundational and practical information you’ll need to effectively serve those who are learning English as a second language.

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in English Language Learners is open to students who already possess a state teaching license or who wish to pursue advanced study in teaching linguistically diverse students in international settings.

Multilingual students’ language and literacy learning is distinct from monolingual students’ learning. The graduate program in English Language Learning looks at cultural, cognitive, social, political, identity-oriented, and individual influences and processes on education. The program offers three unique tracks:

  • Teaching English Language Learners in the U.S. requires intermediate proficiency in a language other than English.
  • Teaching English in an International Setting is open to students who wish to teach English language learners in an international setting. This track is aligned with Teachers of English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL) standards.
  • Language Studies and Development focuses on the theoretical, empirical, and practical dimensions of linguistics and second language acquisition to help students understand the complexities of language learning. This 31-credit, non-licensure M.Ed. program is designed for students interested in developing in-depth understandings of linguistics and first and second language development and language variation from a variety of theoretical perspectives and research methodologies across qualitative and quantitative traditions.  

In the Department of Teaching and Learning, you are partners and future colleagues. Our vision is brought to life through collaborations with our students, partnering schools, community organizations, and the vibrant Vanderbilt community.

Program at a Glance

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in English Language Learners

Department of Teaching and Learning

Program Director: Lisa Pray, Ph.D., and Shannon Daniel, Ph.D. (as of Fall 2018)
Admissions Coordinator: Angie Saylor
Admission Term: Summer or Fall
Credit Hours: 30
Priority Application Deadline: December 31* for fall entrance

* We will continue to accept applications after this date, but applications will be evaluated for admission and scholarships as space and funds are available.

Success Stories

The English Language Learners M.Ed. program prepares you for a successful teaching career or for additional study in a related doctoral program. Graduates of our program have found jobs in schools and organizations throughout the U.S. and around the world.

What I received from Peabody is much more than a master's degree.
Chen Chen
English Language Learners
M.Ed. '12
Chinese Language Teacher
Harvard-Westlake School

100%

of English Language Learners graduates were employed or attending graduate school within four months of graduation.

Click here to see a list of recent career placements:

Recent graduates with an M.Ed. in English Language Learners have gone on to the following positions, among others:
  • Chinese Teaching Fellow, Yu Ying Public Charter School, Washington, D.C.
  • Program Coordinator, Tennessee American-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Nashville, Tenn.
  • ESOL Teacher Wekiva High School Orlando, Fla.
  • Bilingual Education Associate, New Oasis International Education, Herndon, Va.
  • Chinese High School Teacher, Basis Oro Valley, Tucson, Ariz.
  • Chinese Teacher, Westchester Country Day School, High Point, N.C.
  • English Language Teacher, Beijing Shida School, Beijing, China
  • Director of Training. Xi'an International Studies University, Xi'an, China
  • Interpreter, CyraCom, Houston, Texas
  • Teacher, Nashville Chinese School, Nashville, Tenn.
  • English Teacher, Huntsville High School, Huntsville, Ala.
  • 2nd Grade Teacher, Sanborn School, Longmont, Colo.
  • Test Prep Teacher, Palm Drive, Shanghai, China
  • Kindergarten Teacher, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School, Rogers, Ark.
  • Preschool Teacher, Devonshire Kindercare, Champaign, Ill.
  • Mandarin Teacher, Westchester Country Day School, High Point, N.C.
  • Interpreter, Shanghai Investigation, Design and Research Institute, Shanghai, China

Learn more about Peabody Career Services.

Practicum Experience

Practical field experience — a core requirement for both program tracks — will help you develop the necessary habits of mind, knowledge, and skills for teaching English language learners across a variety of settings.

Your field-based practicum will have you working directly with English language learning students and will include using your native language(s) and ESL instructional components. You’ll identify factors that facilitate or impede ELL education within specific contexts and regularly meet with a faculty member throughout the experience to discuss your progress.

Program Curriculum

The graduate degree in English Language Learning includes a minimum of 31 credit hours of required and elective classes in content areas of your interest.

Through the program, you’ll be encouraged to pursue teaching English language learners either in the U.S. or in an international setting. Your track selection will determine the required coursework to complete the degree.

Teaching English Language Learners in the U.S.

This track is designed for students who wish to teach English as a second language in the U.S. It requires proficiency in a language other than English.

Core Requirements: 16-19 credit hours

  • EDUC 6520 Foundations for ELL Education
  • EDUC 6530 Educational Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition
  • EDUC 6540 Methods and Materials for ELL Education
  • EDUC 6550 Assessment of ELL Students
  • EDUC 6521, 6541, 6551 Practicum for ELL Education
  • EDUC 7992 Capstone Seminar

 

Elective Courses: 15 credit hours

Choose credits in a foreign language (6000 level or above), graduate level courses in instructional methods, reading, or English education, approved elective courses, or other coursework approved by your advisor.


Foreign Language Requirement

Intermediate proficiency in a language other than English is required for the teaching English language learners in the U.S. track. To demonstrate proficiency, you are required to:

  • Complete six hours of university credit (undergraduate credit can apply) in a foreign language at the intermediate level of proficiency (coursework at the 2000 level or above) OR
  • Demonstrate competency by a language test (such as the ACTFL) or a Vanderbilt placement test taken in the target language via the Second Language Center

International TESOL Certification

Domestic students may also receive a TESOL certification to teach English in an international setting by completing an additional course: EDUC 6560 EFL Methods.


Teaching English in an International Setting

This track is designed for students who wish to teach English learners in an international setting. Through this track, you will receive a TESOL (Teachers of English to Students of Other Languages) certificate/notation on your transcript.

Core Requirements: 21 credit hours

  • EDUC 6565 Writer’s Workshop for International Students 
  • EDUC 6520 Foundations for ELL Education
  • EDUC 6540 Methods and Materials for ELL Education
  • EDUC 6560 EFL Methods
  • EDUC 6530 Educational Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition
  • EDUC 6550 Assessment of ELL Students
  • EDUC 6521, 6541, 6551 Practicum for ELL Education
  • EDUC 7500 Writer's Workshop for International Students (Required for international students only)
  • EDUC 7992 Capstone Seminar


Elective Courses: 10 credit hours

To reach the minimum 31 credit hours, choose courses in a foreign language (6000 level or above), graduate level courses in instructional methods, reading, or English education, approved elective courses, or other coursework approved by your advisor.


Language Requirement

You will need to demonstrate proficiency in social, business/workplace, and academic English as demonstrated by the TOFEL, ACTFL, the Michigan Placement Test, and /or the Oral Language Interview and written test.


Requirements for International Students

In order to maintain your F1 Visa Status, you must enroll in nine credits per semester. For more detailed information about immigration regulations, please see your ISSS advisor.

*Core requirements can be counted toward professional core requirements to free up space for electives

Language Studies and Development

This strand focuses on the theoretical, empirical, and practical dimensions of linguistics and second language acquisition to help students understand the complexities of language learning and is designed for prospective students who are interested in pursuing research-oriented post-graduation careers.  This track is comprised of 15 credit hours of core requirements, 1 capstone credit, and 15 elective credits. The 31-hour program is structured so that students will matriculate in cohorts, take the courses described below, and complete their studies with a capstone experience. Students will begin their program in the fall. The program can be completed over three semesters (fall, spring, summer). 

Core Requirements: 15 credit hours and 1 capstone credit

  • EDUC 6530 Introduction to Linguistics
  • PSY-PC 8430 First Language Development
  • PSY-PC 3160/7160 Second Language Acquisition
  • EDUC (permanent number will be assigned)
    • Language Variation OR 
    • Experimental and Quantitative Methods in Language Research
  • Capstone Project

 

Elective Courses

In addition to completion of core requirements, students will take 15 credits of elective courses from the list below (and possibly other courses based on discussions with their advisor) to develop an individualized program of study aligning with their interests.  

Preparing to Teach Reading and Writing

  • EDUC 6460 Language, Education and Diversity
  • ENED 6080 Advanced Study of Literature for Children
  • EDUC 6420 Literacy for Diverse and Special Needs Learners
  • ENED 6340 Reading and Learning with Print and New Media
  • EDUC 6450 Teaching and Learning the Language Arts: Theory and Research
  • ENED 6380 Teaching Writing and Multimedia Composition
  • ENED 6370 Teaching Literature and Media to Adolescents
  • EDUC 6570 Teaching Second Language Literacy
  • EDUC 6580 Issues in English Language Learner Education Research: Research, Policy, and Instruction

Inquiry into Learning Contexts and Curriculum

  • EDUC 6050 Parents, the School, and the Community
  • EDUC 7810 Inquiry into Contexts
  • EDUC 6080 Designing for Context
  • EDUC 6100 Development in Context: The Effects of Poverty
  • EDUC 7180 Design of Learning Environments with a Focus on Play
  • EDUC 7100 Learning Out of School

Inquiry into Culture and Education

  • EDUC 6020 Culturally Responsive Pedagogy
  • EDUC 6060 Cultural Diversity in American Education
  • EDUC 8040 Diversity and Equity in Education
  • EDUC 6300 Advanced Social and Philosophical Aspects of Education
  • EDUC 6100 Development in Context:The Effects of Poverty 
  • EDUC 6580 Issues in English Language Learner Education Research: Research, Policy, and Instruction
  • EDUC 6460 Language, Education and Diversity

International Education

  • EDUC 6560 EFL Methods *(Fall, Spring)
  • LPO 7860 Research Design and Data Analysis
  • IEPM 6140 Education Policy and Global Human Development
  • IEPM 6120 International Education Policy
  • IEPM 6200 Education in Asia-Pacific Region: Development, Reform, and Innovation

*Required for the program track on teaching English internationally.

 

Program Curriculum

Faculty

Faculty and affiliated faculty in the English Language Learning program are researchers and teacher educators who embrace a diversity of research methods and theoretical stances to explore and teach topics related to the developing of multilingualism and biliteracy.

Molly Collins
  • Lecturer, Language and Literacy Education, Department of Teaching and Learning
Ana Christina da Silva [Iddings]
  • Professor of the Practice of Education, Department of Teaching and Learning
  • Director, Learning, Diversity, and Urban Studies
Shannon M. Daniel
  • Senior Lecturer, Department of Teaching and Learning
  • Director of English Language Learner M.Ed. Program, Department of Teaching and Learning
Emily Phillips Galloway
  • Assistant Professor, ELL and Literacy Education, Department of Teaching and Learning
Amanda Goodwin
  • Associate Professor, Literacy Education, Department of Teaching and Learning
Robert Jiménez
  • Professor, ELL and Literacy Education, Department of Teaching and Learning
Jeannette Mancilla-Martinez
  • Associate Professor of Literacy Instruction, Department of Teaching and Learning
  • Associate Dean of Graduate Education, Office of the Dean
Ann Neely
  • Associate Professor of the Practice, Children's Literature and Literacy Education, Department of Teaching and Learning
Lisa Pray
  • Associate Professor of the Practice, English Language Learners, Department of Teaching and Learning