Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages M.Ed./C.G.S.


The Need for ESOL Teachers

Emergent bilinguals are the fastest growing population in Rhode Island schools, creating an ever-increasing need for ESOL teachers. RIC’s combined M.Ed./C.G.S. program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) prepares certified teachers and teacher candidates to work with emergent bilinguals of all ages in both ESOL classrooms and bilingual dual language classrooms. Moreover, if you are a bilingual teacher candidate, you can earn both ESOL and bilingual dual language certification. This program also enrolls candidates preparing to teach English as a foreign language in countries around the world.


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Program Details

Admission Requirements

Admission to graduate study is dependent on several factors. A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university is required for admission to all graduate programs. Primary consideration is given to a candidate's academic record, a current résumé, a statement of professional goals as included in an application essay and a performance-based evaluation. Final acceptance is based on the combined decision of the appropriate academic department and the associate dean for graduate programs and assessment. The CGS and MEd in TESOL programs and the CGS and  MEd in TESOL with a concentration in bilingual education accept applications for March 1 for Fall admission and Nov. 1 for Spring admission. Students are allowed to take up to two courses as Non-Degree Students prior to matriculating into a program.

Admission requirements are as follows:

  • Submission of a graduate application along with a $50, nonrefundable application fee.
  • One copy of all official undergraduate and graduate transcripts.
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of B (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) in all undergraduate coursework. Applicants with undergraduate GPAs less than 3.00 may be admitted to degree candidacy upon submission of other evidence of academic potential. 
  • Teaching certificate. (See note below).
  • Official standardized test scores (Graduate Record Examination or the Miller Analogies Test), unless you currently hold a graduate degree. (For MEd applicants only; applicants to the CGS. are not required to submit standardized assessment scores.) 
  • Three candidate reference forms with three accompanying letters of recommendation.
  • Professional goals essay.
  • Performance-based evaluation.
  • A current résumé.


(1) Candidates who plan to teach ESOL to adults or who plan to teach internationally are not required to have a teaching certificate to be admitted into this program; however, a suitable undergraduate minor is required (e.g., in languages and linguistics, English, international studies

(2) Due to changes in RIDE's ESOL certification guidelines, program applicants may now also achieve ESOL certification as an initial certification. (2) Bilingual Education candidates: Because the Bilingual Education Concentration is housed under TESOL programs, you should apply to TESOL. Proficiency in a language other than English is required for admission to the Bilingual Education concentration. 

Course Information

Here is information on TESOL course requirements and course descriptions.

Course Requirements

Course Descriptions

Program/Learning Goals

Upon completion of this program, graduates will have:​

  • Knowledge of second language acquisition, English linguistics and of the sociocultural contexts of our communities.
  • Experience in designing and delivering ESOL and/or bilingual instruction, including the delivery of responsive reading and writing instruction for students who are developing English literacy or biliteracy
  • The ability to conduct assessments of emergent bilingual students to plan responsive curriculum and instruction.
  • The ability to collaborate with others, including the families and communities of students and other educational personnel working with the student.
  • The written and oral communication skills and cross-cultural skills necessary to interact effectively with culturally and linguistically diverse families.
Rhode Island College entrance

Program Coordinator

Sarah Hesson

Dr. Sarah Hesson

Associate Professor