Master of Teaching-English as a Second Language (Online)

Interested in working with English Learners in PreK-12 schools? Join UVA’s top-ranked teacher education program!

In this program, prospective graduate students who have an undergraduate degree have the opportunity to earn a Master of Teaching (MT) degree from the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development. This part-time, online program of study allows you to earn licensure with endorsement in English as a Second Language (PreK-12). 

Who Can Benefit from this Program?

This is an ideal option for:

  • Paraprofessionals who want to earn their professional teaching licenses
  • Teachers with a provisional license who need to convert to a professional license and want to earn a master's degree while doing so
  • Recent college graduates who have determined that working in an ESL setting is the right career move

The University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development PreK-12 tuition discount applies to those currently working in PreK-12 education. Tuition Information

Getting Started

Other ESL Pathways at the School of Education and Human Development

Students seeking a full-time option may be interested in the 1-year Charlottesville-based Master of Teaching program.

The Master of Teaching is an initial licensure program. Teachers who already hold a professional license and wish to add the ESL endorsement can do so by throughou one of our other ESL programs:

Program Details

  • Admission Requirements

    1. Possess an undergraduate degree prior to matriculation.

    2. Demonstrate (or be prepared to demonstrate) proficiency in a foreign language. Proficiency can be demonstrated through:

    • Coursework: 6 credit hours in the target language
    • AP Test: college credit must have been awarded on the undergraduate transcript
    • Praxis Content Knowledge test in the target language
    • CLEP: passing score on the Level II test in the target language


  • Application Due Date

    Admissions are rolling with deadlines as follows:

    • Fall entry: July 1 
    • Spring entry: November 1
    • Summer entry: May 1

    **All application fees have been waived for Master of Teaching students applying to start in 2020 and 2021.**

  • Funding Opportunities

    Teacher Education students may be eligible for federal loans, grants, scholarships, work study and other categories of need-based financial aid. Once admitted, we encourage you to review the Student Financial Services website and submit your application for financial aid early so the Office of Financial Aid can provide you with an estimate of your eligibility for the upcoming summer and academic year.

    The Curry School PreK-12 tuition discount applies to those currently working in PreK-12 education. Tuition Information

    Additional financial aid information can be found on Curry's Financial Aid webpage and on the Financial Resources for Teacher Ed Students page.

  • Course Overview

    Program requirements:

    • Evidence of proficiency in a foreign language
    • Evidence of hands-on training in CPR, First Aid, and AED
    • Child Abuse Recognition and Prevention online module certificate
    • Dyslexia Training online module certificate 
    • Understanding the Regulation Governing the Use of Restraint and Seclusion Module
    • Passing scores on the ESL Praxis (we recommend taking this exam after your linguistics and ESL methods courses)
    • Passing scores on VCLA (we recommend taking this exam during the first two semesters of the program)
    • 30 academic credits at 5000 level or above for the Master’s degree (a grade of B- or above is required)
    • Participation in required surveys (sent by the Teacher Education Office) as part of the Curry Participant Pool 

    Example plan of study:

    Summer 1:

    EDIS 5424: Second Language Acquisition

    EDLF 5011: Adolescent Learning & Development

    Fall 1:

    EDIS 5025: Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment

    EDIS 5041: Behavior Management

    Spring 1:

    EDIS 5428: ESL Methods PreK-12

    EDIS 5868: Clinical Experience in ESL

    Summer 2:

    EDIS 5270: Teaching Reading and Writing to ELLs

    EDIS 5422: Education Across Cultures

    Fall 2:

    EDIS 5470: ESL Assessment and Curriculum Design

    Spring 2:

    EDIS 5423: English Linguistics

    Summer 3:

    EDIS 5000: The Exceptional Learner

    EDIS 5175: Issues in K-12 Education

    Fall 3:

    EDIS 5888: Teaching Internship: ESL*

    EDIS 5870: Seminar-Teaching Internship*

    *Waive with one year of teaching ESL in a VA accredited school



  • Course Descriptions

    EDIS 5424: Second Language Acquisition (3 Credits)

    This course is designed for current and future teachers seeking an ESL endorsement with their Virginia teaching license or seeking to learn more about second language acquisition and how it relates to English learners (Els) in classrooms. This course aims to equip teachers with an understanding of the existing theories of how students learn and acquire a second language, as well as the myriad of individual, cultural, and contextual factors that influence language learning. We will explore how theories about first language learning are related to second language acquisition (SLA) theories and how L1 language learning might or might not be reflected in the language of schooling. It is important to remember that although the SLA phrase as commonly used, refers specifically to second languages, many students in U.S. preK-12 contexts are learning English as an additional language, having already learned multiple languages previously.

    EDLF 5011: Adolescent Learning & Development (3 Credits)

    This course examines adolescent learning and development and is designed for students who plan to teach in secondary schools. Adolescent cognitive, physical, and social development is considered from a multi-level (e.g., school, family, community) perspective. In identifying links between these domains and learning, three themes emerge: individual variability and diversity, developmental trends, and translating educational research to practice.

    EDIS 5025: Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment (3 Credits)

    Learning science and educational research informs us about what should be happening in classrooms for both students and teachers. In this class, we will focus on professional knowledge--curriculum content, instructional design, instructional planning and delivery, and assessment for and of student learning so that a positive classroom learning environment can be established.

    EDIS 5041: Behavior Management (3 Credits)

    Examination of principles and applications of behavior analysis in education settings. Students learn fundamental concepts of human behavior as well as procedures for managing classroom behavior and routines for establishing positive learning environments.

    EDIS 5428: ESL Methods PreK-12 (3 Credits)

    This course is designed for current and future teachers seeking an ESL endorsement with their Virginia teaching license or seeking to learn more about how to serve English learners (Els) in classrooms. This course will first allow students to understand and explore the WIDA Essential Actions and ELD Standards. Students will learn about various current and historical ESL instructional models and will consider ways that the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) are taught within classrooms to English learners. Students will also learn about collaborative practice as ESL teachers working with grade-level or content-area teachers. Students should have access to a practical context (ideally a preK-12 classroom with at least one English learner in it but possibly a community organization, after-school setting, or tutoring program) where they can teach an ESL lesson during the semester.

    EDIS 5868: Clinical Experience in ESL

    Designed for future teachers enrolled in the Master of Teaching program who are seeking initial certification in the State of VA. A semester long intensive clinical experience designed to develop skills in fostering positive professional relationships with adolescent students, colleagues, & peers; observing & reflecting on instruction; & designing & implementing individual, small group, & whole class instruction.

    EDIS 5270:Teaching Reading and Writing to ELLs (3 Credits)

    This course is designed for educators of children who are learning English as a second language. Theory is grounded in researched practices for teaching reading with an understanding of the challenges facing non‐English native speakers.

    EDIS 5422: Education Across Cultures (3 Credits)

    The diversity of students in U.S. classrooms has increased tremendously in the last decade. Teachers need to be aware of their students’ cultures, identities, communities, and personal histories and how these elements might influence teaching and learning. Teachers need to know and take into account who their students are and plan their instruction accordingly. Awareness of multiculturalism, multicultural education, and responsive teaching practices are a must for today’s teachers in today’s classrooms. The main goal of Education Across Cultures is to lay the foundation of multicultural education and multiculturalism in order to make teachers aware of who they are, who their students are, and how contexts, personal histories, and other external factors affect students, their families, and teaching and learning, particularly in relation to students labeled "English learners" in U.S. schools.

    EDIS 5470: ESL Assessment and Curriculum Design (3 Credits)

    The purpose of this course is to prepare you to be school personnel working with preK-12 students whose first language (L1) is not English. You will examine large-scale and classroom-assessment practices, as well as approaches to curriculum design for ESL students in a range of classes. In order to complete elements of this course, please strive to obtain access to a preK-12 ESL classroom or classroom with English learners (ELs). Several of the course assignments involve observing, collecting data on students, and teaching a lesson. You will be responsible for arranging this with a local school. If you are unable to gain access to a preK-12 classroom, you can consider before- and after-school programs, church organizations, or community organizations (e.g., a Boys and Girls Club) as other options. In any of these cases, strive to gain access to school-aged ELs. If you are unable to locate a group of ELs to observe, please contact the course instructor by the end of the 2ndweek of the course to make alternative arrangements.

    EDIS 5423: English Linguistics (3 Credits)

    This course will introduce the scientific study of language and explore how linguistic insights can best prepare teachers who address the needs of preK-12 English learners (ELs). The course will address the sounds of the language (phonetics and phonology), the structure of words and sentences (morphology and syntax) and how these features are used to convey meaning (semantics and pragmatics). Students will also examine language privilege, bilingualism, and language change. The course will require students to apply this knowledge of language to the everyday use of English and to its acquisition by learners in public school settings. Please be advised that readings and videos will include terms that some might consider offensive.

    EDIS 5000: The Exceptional Learner (3 Credits)

    An intensive introduction to the study of exceptional children and adults. Focuses on extending principles of learning and intellectual, socio-cultural, emotional, and physical development to persons with disabilities, as well as the gifted, autism, traumatic brain injury, ADD, and ADHD. Information on medical conditions which influence learning and development is also provided.

    EDIS 5175: Issues in K-12 Education (3 Credits)

    The purpose of this course is to identify, explore, and discuss some of education's defining issues. The first part of the course examines the foundation and history of American education in order to provide context for current issues in education. In the second part of the course, we will collaboratively explore a variety of current educational issues that directly impact K-12 classroom teachers.

    EDIS 5888: Teaching Internship: ESL*

    A required student teaching internship for pre-service teachers, this full-semester experience is supervised by clinical instructors from the public schools and university supervisors. Course sections are aligned with specific program/endorsement areas and meet the guidelines for the approved licensure program in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Prerequisite: Admission to the Teacher Education Program.

    EDIS 5870: Seminar-Teaching Internship*

    Designed to accompany the teaching associateship experience (i.e., student teaching). Focuses on special issues and concerns that grow out of that experience, including such topics as classroom management, parent-teacher conferences, and school-community relations. Seminar sections are aligned with specific program/endorsement areas and meet the guidelines for the approved licensure program in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Prerequisite: Admission to Teacher Education Program.

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  • Public Professional Licensure Disclosures

    As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement, the University of Virginia (UVA) is authorized to provide curriculum in a distance learning environment to students located in all states in the United States except for California. (34 CFR 668.43(a)(6)& 34 CFR 668.72(n)).

    Upon completion of the Master of Teaching program at the UVA School of Education and Human Development, graduates may be eligible for initial professional licensure in another U.S. state by applying to the licensing board or agency in that state. Please visit the University’s state authorization web pages to make an informed decision regarding which states’ educational requirements for initial licensure are met by this program. (668.43(a)(5) (v)(A) - (C))

    Enrolled students who change their current (or mailing) address to a state other than Virginia should update this information immediately in the Student Information System as it may impact their ability to complete internship, practicum, or clinical hours, use Title IV funds, or meet licensure or certification requirements in the new state. (34 CFR 668.402).

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at