ESOL Literacy

Master of Education

This program is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) under NCATE Standards (National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education) and meets TESOL Standards (Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages).

THIS IS A DELAWARE LICENSURE/CERTIFICATION PROGRAM WITH CONTENT KNOWLEDGE AND PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS. Students taking courses to satisfy certification requirements are personally responsible for verifying with the Delaware Department of Education (or the appropriate licensure/certification authority in another state) that such course work is applicable and acceptable. Students are also responsible for meeting all state-mandated testing requirements and/or teaching experience requirements, and for applying for credentials.

Program Purpose

The Master of Education degree in ESOL Literacy is built around the five domains of the TESOL standards: Language, Culture, Planning, Managing and Implementing Standards-based ESL and Content Instruction, Assessment, and Professionalism. The program offers classroom teachers an opportunity to increase knowledge, skills, and techniques in all aspects of reading and writing instruction, especially relative to the needs of ESOL students. The course content is focused at the classroom level to better enable teachers to meet diverse literacy needs of school-aged children. The program addresses the most current theories and practices for developing strategies and techniques for teaching reading and writing, effective schools research, and educational reform and technology relative to second language acquisition. Course content includes literacy theories for second language acquisition, research results, current strategies and techniques and materials, but always focuses on the centrality of teaching and learning as it relates to the student whose first language is not English. Additional courses include a foundational reading courses. As our population becomes more richly diverse, we recognize the constant need for teachers who understand the variables which affect their environments. We need teachers who possess the professional skills necessary to contribute to the development, implementation, and evaluation of programs and procedures to improve instruction and learning. There is also a need for teachers who will increase learning, and provide sensitivity, and acceptance of cultural and linguistic diversity within school environments.

Program Competencies

The program competencies are built around the five domains of TESOL Standards. These may be referenced in their entirety here.  The program seeks to develop teachers who will:


Domain 1. Language

Candidates know, understand, and use the major theories and research related to the structure and acquisition of language to help English language learners (ELLs) develop language and literacy and achieve in the content areas. Issues of language structure and language acquisition development are interrelated.

Standard 1.a. Language as a System

Candidates demonstrate understanding of language as a system, including phonology, morphology, syntax, pragmatics and semantics, and support ELLs as they acquire English language and literacy in order to achieve in the content areas.

Standard 1.b Language Acquisition and Development

Candidates understand and apply theories and research in language acquisition and development to support English language/literacy learning and content-area achievement.

Domain 2. Culture

Candidates know, understand, and use major concepts, principles, theories, and research related to the nature and role of culture and cultural groups to construct supportive learning environments for ELLs.

Domain 3. Planning, Implementing, and Managing Instruction

Candidates know, understand, and use evidence-based practices and strategies related to planning, implementing, and managing standards-based ESL and content instruction. Candidates are knowledgeable about program models and skilled in teaching strategies for developing and integrating language skills. They integrate technology as well as choose and adapt classroom resources appropriate for their ELLs.

Standard 3.a. Planning for Standards-Based ESL and Content Instruction

Candidates know, understand, and apply concepts, research, and best practices to plan classroom instruction in a supportive learning environment for ELLs. They plan for multilevel classrooms with learners from diverse backgrounds using standards-based ESL and content curriculum.

Standard 3.b. Implementing and Managing Standards-Based ESL and Content Instruction

Candidates know, manage, and implement a variety of standards-based teaching strategies and techniques for developing and integrating English listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Candidates support ELLs’ access to the core curriculum by teaching language through academic content.

Standard 3.c. Using Resources and Technology Effectively in ESL and Content Instruction

Candidates are familiar with a wide range of standards-based materials, resources, and technologies, and choose, adapt, and use them in effective ESL and content teaching.

Domain 4. Assessment

Candidates demonstrate understanding of issues and concepts of assessment and use standards-based procedures with ELLs.

Standard 4.a. Issues of Assessment for English Language Learners

Candidates demonstrate understanding of various assessment issues as they affect ELLs, such as accountability, bias, special education testing, language proficiency, and accommodations in formal testing situations.

Standard 4.b. Language Proficiency Assessment

Candidates know and can use a variety of standards-based language proficiency instruments to show language growth and to inform their instruction. They demonstrate understanding of their uses for identification, placement, and reclassification of ELLs.

Standard 4.c. Classroom-Based Assessment for ESL

Candidates know and can use a variety of performance-based assessment tools and techniques to inform instruction for in the classroom.

Domain 5. Professionalism

Candidates keep current with new instructional techniques, research results, advances in the ESL field, and education policy issues and demonstrate knowledge of the history of ESL teaching. They use such information to reflect on and improve their instruction and assessment practices. Candidates work collaboratively with school staff and the community to improve the learning environment, provide support, and advocate for ELLs and their families.

Standard 5.a. ESL Research and History

Candidates demonstrate knowledge of history, research, educational public policy, and current practice in the field of ESL teaching and apply this knowledge to inform teaching and learning.

Standard 5.b. Professional Development, Partnerships, and Advocacy

Candidates take advantage of professional growth opportunities and demonstrate the ability to build partnerships with colleagues and students’ families, serve as community resources, and advocate for ELLs.

Outcomes Assessment

The assessment of outcomes consists of multiple measures. Grades on assignments and for courses are the first level of assessment. The course goals, learning outcomes, and assignments are designed to address the measurement of program and the university-wide graduation competencies. Beginning Fall 2011, candidates will take an online test of their content knowledge at the end of their program, as well as a disposition survey. A second assessment will be taking the PRAXIS II ESL Subject Test (5361) just prior to taking MRD 7950 as part of their clinical courses. A passing score of 149 is required. Praxis scores should be submitted to Wilmington University via ETS. They will also need to be posted in Taskstream. Other assessment measures include the observation of application of knowledge in practical settings, participation in community activities and affiliation with either local, state or national professional organizations, and alumni surveys that query such items as preparation levels for careers and life-long learning activities. PRAXIS II scores must be reported prior to receiving a grade for MRD 7950.

Program Design

The Master of Education in ESOL Literacy program is designed to meet four sets of professional standards: Delaware Professional Teaching Standards (DPTS), Teachers of English Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), National Council for Accreditation Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC), and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) under the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards. Further, the program is aligned with the Delaware Performance Appraisal System (DPAS II). Candidates are expected to complete all requirements associated with the Master of Education in ESOL Literacy program. A total of 33 credits are required for completion.

Content/Performance Assessment Requirements

This is a state-approved degree program which contributes to eligibility for licensure/certification as an educator in Delaware public schools. As such, all candidates must meet the content and performance assessment requirements described in DE Administrative Code.

By regulation, “Where a content readiness exam is applicable and available in area, subject, or category of specialization sought, the Candidate shall achieve a passing score on an examination as established by the Professional Standards Board, in consultation with the Department and with concurrence of the State Board.”
“Where a performance assessment is applicable and available in an area appropriate to the Program in which a Candidate is enrolled, the Candidate shall achieve a passing score as a requirement to Exit the Program. The performance assessment may not be scored by any employees of the Educator Preparation Program or Unit, and shall be scored by Certified Reviewers.”

The instrument selected by Wilmington University as a required exit assessment for the M.Ed. in ESOL Literacy is ETS PRAXIS II exam #5361, English to Speakers of Other Languages. Candidates must achieve a minimum score of 149 prior to receiving a grade in MRD 7950. The assessment is administered and scored by ETS. Scores must be submitted directly to Wilmington University by ETS.

Candidates must consult with program advisors and/or the program chair to obtain the most current information about assessments and other graduation requirements.

Qualifications for a Degree

To qualify for a Master of Education in ESOL Literacy, a candidate must complete all courses: core and clinical, for a total of 33 semester credits. The MLL Content Test, which assesses knowledge of instructional competencies necessary for success in teaching ELLs, skills, strategies and materials, must be taken online and during MRD 7950, Seminar in Reading Research. The PRAXIS II 5361 English to Speakers of Other Languages must also be taken and passed at a level of 149 prior to receiving a grade in MRD 7950. Praxis scores should be submitted to Wilmington University via ETS. A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 must be maintained throughout the program. An exit interview with the Program Chair or an advisor is required during MRD 7950. The program must be completed within five years.

Course Requirements

Core Education Courses

(This list does not represent the recommended sequence.)

MED 6102 E-Folio

MRD 7801 Language Development

MRD 7802 Process and Acquisition of Literacy

MLL 7402 Second Language Acquisition in ELL

MLL 7405 Teaching Literacy for ELLs

MRD 7804 Literature and Non-Fiction Books/Materials for Children and Adolescents

MRD 7803 Strategies and Materials for Teaching Reading and Writing

MLL 7406 Methods of Teaching Language Arts/English to Second Language Learners (Grades K-12)

MRD 7805 Strategies and Materials for Teaching Reading in the Content Area

MLL 7401 Structure of English Language in ELL

MLL 7406, MRD 7804: semester format

MLL 7406 is not available in the summer.

Clinical Courses: All clinical courses are semester courses. These courses may NOT be taken concurrently.

MLL 7403 Assessment of Second Language Learners

MRD 7950 Seminar in Reading Research

MRD 7950 is not available in the summer.