Master of Arts in Bilingual Education

Fairfield University has one of the oldest bilingual teacher education programs in Connecticut. Bilingual education courses have been offered since 1974 and the bilingual certification programs since 1981. Currently, the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions offers MA degrees and a Sixth Year Certificate (SYC) in elementary or secondary bilingual education. The SYC is designed for certified teachers with an MA in TESOL or bilingual education or an MA, professional development training, or some coursework in TESOL or bilingual education, and extensive experience working with language minority populations.

The Bilingual Education programs are only open to certified teachers with 1-6 elementary or 7-12 secondary academic subject certification. Programs of study are tailored to meet the specific needs and teaching contexts of the candidates.

The Bilingual programs prepare educators to teach the K-12 grade-level academic curriculum in a language other than English to students who are learning English as a second or additional language. They also prepare teachers to work in dual language programs in which native English speakers learning a second language and students learning English as an additional language are taught together.

The Fairfield bilingual programs benefit from the University’s proximity to schools with long-established ESL, bilingual, and World Language programs, as well as from extensive collaboration with communities and local schools. The programs are continuously updated to meet the changing demographics of today’s English language learners. The newest bilingual program is an MA with a concentration in Leadership in English Acquisition Pedagogy.

Connecticut State Bilingual Cross-Endorsement and Testing Requirements

The elementary and secondary cross-endorsements requires 18 hours of approved coursework in each of the following areas: first and second language acquisition, including language and literacy development; linguistic and academic assessment; cross-cultural sensitivity and communication, and implications for instruction; strategies for modifying English content area instruction; methods of teaching English as a second language; and methods of teaching bilingual education. All coursework must be completed at one university.

Connecticut requires all bilingual cross-endorsement candidates to pass the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages Oral Proficiency Interview (ACTFL OPI) and Written Proficiency Interview (ACTFL WPT) with a score of "Advanced Low" or higher on both exams.

Bilingual Leadership in English Acquisition Pedagogy (LEAP)

Fairfield University’s Bilingual Education Programs offer new MA program track in Leadership In English Acquisition Pedagogy (LEAP). This track is designed for practicing teachers in K-12 schools serving English Learners. It provides a scientific research-based program of study and opportunities to develop evidence-based practices and strategies to ensure today’s English Learners’ academic success. Candidates in the LEAP program will deepen their knowledge of linguistics, second language acquisition, and second language reading development at different language levels and across content areas. Grounded in the science of teaching, LEAP prepares candidates to work with student support teams to design and provide supplemental language support, instructional design, assessment, and progress monitoring of English Learners.

Bilingual Durational Shortage Area (DSAP) Permit

Certified teachers seeking a DSAP position in bilingual education must be employed by a school district and be fully enrolled in a bilingual MA or SYC program. Districts may also require completion of a minimum of credits before considering a candidate for a DSAP. Passing scores on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview and Written Proficiency Test are highly recommended before a candidate applies for a DSAP position.

Admission

After an initial application review, successful applicants are invited to campus for an interview. The purpose of the interview is twofold: to offer applicants an opportunity to review the program with an advisor and help the advisor assess the applicant's potential for success as a graduate candidate. Once a formal admission letter is received, each candidate must reply using the link provided in the letter, accept the offer of admission, and contact their assigned faculty advisor to finalize a planned program of study. The bilingual programs have rolling admission, and candidates can start in fall and spring semesters or summer.

Admission to the Bilingual Education elementary or secondary cross-endorsement only or the MA degree programs requires the following:

  1. An earned BA degree.
  2. Proof of certification as a teacher.
  3. Proficiency in a language other than English.

Note: It is highly recommended that candidates take the ACTFL OPI and WPT prior to application for admission to the program. In the event that they do not achieve "Advanced Low" on the ACTFL OPI and WPT, they will be able to remediate this and develop their language proficiency while they are in the program and before they apply to the State for certification.

Candidates are expected to behave in accordance with the State of Connecticut's Teachers Code of Professional Responsibility. In addition, the Disposition Statement presented in this catalog is applicable to this program as it is to all programs in the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions. Any matriculated candidate whose relevant academic productivity is marginal or inadequate, who does not embody a socially responsible professional disposition, or who demonstrates unsuitable personal qualities, may not be recommended for continuation in the program.

MA in Bilingual Education with Elementary or Secondary Bilingual Cross-Endorsement

Education Courses
ED 0429Philosophical Foundations of Education3
ED 0512Contemporary Schooling in Society3
ED 0552Participatory Research and Advocacy in School and Community Settings3
or ED 0499 Introduction to Educational Research
MD 0400Introduction to Educational Technology3
TESOL/Bilingual Courses
SL 0423Foundations of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education3
SL 0436TESOL Methods and Materials Development3
SL 0527Testing and Assessment in TESOL and Bilingual Programs3
Select one state-approved bilingual education methods class3
Select one state-approved culture course3
Select one course in the area of Strategies for Modifying English Content Area Instruction3
Select one additional elective course3
SL 0099Comprehensive Examination in TESOL and Bilingual/Multicultural Education0
Total Credits33

Additional Requirements

  1. Competence in a second language such as Spanish, Portuguese, or French/Haitian is required.
  2. Pass the American Council of Foreign Language Teachers (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and Written Proficiency Test with a minimum score of "Advanced Low" in the world language of instruction.

MA in Bilingual Education: Elementary with a Concentration in Leadership in English Acquisition Pedagogy

Methods of Teaching Bilingual Education
SL 0419Special Learners in the Bilingual/ESL Classroom3
First and Second Language Acquisition
SL 0420Linguistic Foundations of English Acquisition3
Linguistic and Academic Assessment
SL 0421Linguistics and Language Assessment3
Cross-Cultural Sensitivity and Communication and Implications for Instruction
SL 0441Teaching and Learning within Multicultural Contexts of Education3
Strategies for Modifying English Content Area Instruction
SL 0530Content Language & Reading Acquisition for English Language Learners and Students with Special Needs3
Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language
SL 0436TESOL Methods and Materials Development3
Additional Courses
SL 0433Elementary TESOL/Bilingual Advanced Practicum3
SL 0540Capstone Seminar in English Acquisition Pedagogy3
Select three elementary-focused electives chosen in consultation with advisor9
Total Credits33

MA in Bilingual Education: Secondary with a Concentration in Leadership in English Acquisition Pedagogy

Methods of Teaching Bilingual Education
SL 0419Special Learners in the Bilingual/ESL Classroom3
First and Second Language Acquisition
SL 0420Linguistic Foundations of English Acquisition3
Linguistic and Academic Assessment
SL 0421Linguistics and Language Assessment3
Cross-Cultural Sensitivity and Communication and Implications for Instruction
SL 0441Teaching and Learning within Multicultural Contexts of Education3
Strategies for Modifying English Content Area Instruction
SL 0530Content Language & Reading Acquisition for English Language Learners and Students with Special Needs3
Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language
SL 0436TESOL Methods and Materials Development3
Additional courses
SL 0489Secondary TESOL/Bilingual Advanced Practicum3
SL 0540Capstone Seminar in English Acquisition Pedagogy3
Select three secondary-focused electives chosen in consultation with advisor9
Total Credits33

Cross-Endorsement in Bilingual Education without the MA

Select 18 hours of approved coursework, including study in each of the following areas:18
First and Second Language Acquisition, including Language and Literacy Development
Linguistic and Academic Assessment
Cross-Cultural Sensitivity and Communication and Implications for Instruction
Strategies for Modifying English Content Area Instruction
Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language
Methods of Teaching Bilingual Education
Total Credits18