ESL Curriculum and Instruction Degree Program Information

Oct 13, 2019

Degree programs such as the Master of Arts in ESL Curriculum and Instruction teach individuals how to design curricula for students whose native language is not English.

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Essential Information

Master of Arts in ESL Curriculum and Instruction degree programs impart practical knowledge related to creating curricula geared towards specific skill levels and cultural backgrounds. As such, topics related to motivation, diversity awareness and literacy enhancement may be studied. Graduates may be prepared for ESL certification. Programs generally take a few months to a year to complete. Some online courses and program are available. To gain admission, students will need a bachelor's degree, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation.

Master of Arts in ESL Curriculum and Instruction

Students pursuing a Master of Arts in ESL Curriculum and Instruction will focus on a range of topics, including language acquisition, effective education strategies, and lesson design. Coursework is based on a combination of classroom lecture and practical experience gained through real-life student teaching situations including:

  • Bilingual education strategies
  • Literacy enhancement
  • Cultural awareness
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Language assessment
  • Educational statistics

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Graduates with a Masters of Arts in ESL Curriculum and Instruction may seek employment as curriculum coordinators or instructors. In 2018, the median annual wage of an instructional coordinator was $64,450 ( According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth in this field is expected to be 6%, or as fast as average, from 2018-2028.

Other graduates may work in school systems, earning teachers' salaries. The BLS data from in 2018 shows a median annual salary of $58,230 for elementary teachers except for special education, $58,600 for middle school teachers and $60,320 for high school teachers. Projections for 2018-2028 show that employment for elementary school teachers is expected to grow at an average rate of 3% when compared with all other occupations. Middle school teachers are also expected to see a 3% growth in the same time period, according to the BLS. Overall enrollment into the school system is expected to slow as children of the baby boomer generation complete their schooling, causing the demand for teachers at the secondary school level to also increase at a rate of 4% ( However, job prospects at all levels should be better for people with ESL certification due to the fact that these teachers are in short supply.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Teaching license requirements vary by state and are continually updated. Graduates are responsible for ensuring that their licenses are kept current for the duration of their careers. In addition, endorsements for teaching students of a particular age group or skill level may be earned through successful completion of a state-approved endorsement program.

For teachers interested in working with students learning English, pursuing a master's in ESL curriculum and instruction is a wise choice, as it will set individuals apart with the proper credentials and skills to be effective teachers.

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