M.A. in TESOL/Bilingual and Dual Language Immersion


diverse students in a classroom

As the world becomes increasingly more global, so has the demand for people to learn how to collaborate, connect, and communicate with one another.

If you want to travel the world, or make a difference right here in the U.S., teaching English is an important area of instruction that’s in high (and growing) demand. A related growth area is Bilingual and Dual Language Immersion, where students learn content through both their native language and English. 

The M.A. program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and/or Bilingual Dual Language Immersion (BDL) is designed for candidates who are either certified to teach in U.S. schools, or who are enrolled concurrently in a Teacher Certification Program, or who want to teach English abroad.

URI’s program has been ranked among the best online graduate programs by U.S. News and World Report. 

The program has three tracks, with emphasis on the following:

  1. Public school English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL),
  2. Public school Bilingual Dual Language Immersion (BDL), or
  3. Education in a range of settings outside of U.S. PreK-12 schools, including international settings.

This is primarily an online asyncronous program that will provide candidates with the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to develop the language proficiency of individuals learning English as an additional language, and for those seeking bi-literacy in English plus an additional language. The program is also designed to help candidates work collaboratively with other professionals to plan and implement high quality educational services.

If you are seeking teaching certification in TESOL or BDL in a state other than Rhode Island, you should check with your state’s Department of Education regarding reciprocity. Check here to see if this program is offered in your state

Program Goals

Based on the professional standards of TESOL, the accrediting organization for ESOL and the Rhode Island Dual Language Program Standards, graduates of this program will:

  • know, understand, and use the major theories and research related to the structure and acquisition of language to help Multiple Language Learners (MLLs) develop language and biliteracy and achieve in the content areas;
  • demonstrate understanding of how cultural groups and individual cultural identities affect language learning and school achievement;
  • promote equal status of both languages in dual language settings (dual language option);
  • plan for multilevel classrooms with learners from diverse backgrounds using standards-based ESOL, Dual Language, and/or content curricula;
  • implement standards-based instruction using a wide range of resources and technologies to promote language and literacy development;
  • demonstrate understanding of various assessment issues as they affect MLLs, such as accountability, bias, special education testing, language proficiency and accommodations in formal testing situations.
  • use sheltered instruction strategies to promote language and literacy development.
  • demonstrate a knowledge of educational public policy and  the ability to build partnerships with colleagues and students’ families, serve as community resources, and advocate for MLLs.