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

The Master of Education in English as a Second Language (ESL) program focuses on teaching from a multicultural and inclusive perspective. Through coursework and fieldwork observation, Lewis candidates will learn how to modify instruction and assessment for students with different language backgrounds, cultures and abilities. Graduates are prepared to teach English language learners and help students acquire fluency in both spoken and written English. Upon completion of initial coursework, Lewis candidates who enter with a Professional Educator License are eligible for the Illinois State Board of Education ESL Endorsement; bilingual candidates are able to earn a bilingual teaching endorsement. The ESL and bilingual endorsements are valid for grades Pre-K through 12.

ESL Endorsement-Only Option

Educators who currently hold an Illinois Professional Educator License have the option to earn an ESL Endorsement on their license without obtaining the Master’s degree.

The ESL graduate program is fully approved by the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board and the Illinois State Board of Education. All coursework is aligned with the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) standards.

Scholarship Options

In addition to the wide variety of Education Scholarships available to students, the TEACH Grant is available specifically for candidates pursuing specialization in bilingual education.

Sample Courses:

  • Foundations of Bilingual and English Language Learner Education
  • Linguistics for Teachers of English Language Learners
  • Assessment of Bilingual Students
  • Cross-Cultural Studies in Literacy and English Language Learning
  • Teaching Reading to the Diverse Learner

Admission Requirements

  • Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL)*
  • Fulfillment of House Bill 150 (Survey of Exceptional Children and Adolescents or Exceptional Learners in Inclusive Communities)
  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 for the final 60 credit hours completed
  • Official college transcripts from all institutions previously attended
  • Successful completion of Lewis University College of Education and Social Sciences Graduate Writing Sample
  • Submission of graduate application form
  • Two letters of recommendation

Please refer to the Office of Graduate Admission for application requirements and specific next steps.

*Illinois PEL required for ISBE endorsement; candidates without Illinois PEL are eligible for Master of Education Program.


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