TESOL Program Pathways to MLL Endorsement, ESL Certification, & M.Ed. in TESOL


Rhode Island College’s TESOL Program is both nationally and RIDE-accredited and actively  works to address the statewide shortage of certified teachers by providing in-service teachers with theoretical and pedagogical development to support Multilingual Learners/English Learner (MLL/EL) students. The program offers ESL and Bilingual Education certification, MLL endorsement pathway, M.ED in TESOL, and M.ED in TESOL with Bilingual Education, concentration. We see this as essential work in ensuring that professionals that serve Multilingual Learners/ English Learners understand, design and implement research-based instructional strategies and work from an asset-based perspective.

FAQs on MLL Endorsement, ESL Certification, and the M.Ed. in TESOL

Educators earning the MLL endorsement will better understand the process of second language acquisition and design effective instruction for English language development strategies across grade levels and content areas. Educators earning the ESL certification will have comprehensive knowledge of sociocultural, theoretical, and pedagogical practices and are able to serve MLL students at all levels of English language proficiency.

The MLL is an appropriate fit for all teachers who hold a valid teaching certificate and who work in general education classrooms across all grade levels and content areas.

In-service teachers (across grade levels and content areas) are encouraged to pursue ESL certification, which has an in-depth focus on equity-based language development theory and practice. Courses for ESL Certification will prepare teachers to work with students across all levels of English proficiency and to more comprehensively consider instructional design, delivery, and assessment for multilingual learners.

The pathway to an MLL endorsement is a two-course sequence of TESL 401 followed by TESL

TESL 401: Introduction to teaching emergent bilinguals (4 credits)
Students learn methods and techniques for supporting Emergent Bilingual students in regular education classrooms. Students experience observation and practice through early clinical preparation. Concurrent enrollment in a practicum is recommended.

TESL 402: Applications of Second Language Acquisition (3 credits)
Students examine theories and research relating to second-language acquisition, which are examined from a pedagogical perspective. Emphasis is on variables affecting language learning and language teaching.

ESL certification is a seven-course Certificate of Graduate Studies (CGS) sequence. The pathway to ESL Certification includes the following courses:

  • TESL 539: Second Language Acquisition Theory and Practice
  • TESL 549: Sociocultural Foundations of Bilingual Communities
  • TESL 541: Applied Linguistics in TESOL
  • TESL 546 or TESL 548: TESOL Pedagogies
  • TESL 551: Assessment of Emergent Bilinguals
  • TESL 507: Literacy Instruction for Emergent Bilinguals
  • TESL 553: Internship in TESOL and Bilingual Education

NOTE: Teachers who have previously earned the MLL Endorsement are exempted from TESL 539 and TESL 546/548, so they can earn full certification with just five additional courses.

The MEd in TESOL is a ten-course sequence plus a one-credit credit Comprehensive Assessment Portfolio. The MEd includes all the courses from the CGS/ESL Certification pathway plus three additional foundational courses in education and technology.

The MLL endorsement immediately provides in-service general education teachers with a working theoretical knowledge of second language acquisition which they can operationalize into inclusive and contextualized pedagogical practices. Rhode Island College’s MLL Endorsement pathway focuses on developing teachers who can support English language acquisition and sustain multilingualism.

The MLL endorsement is available to both graduate and undergraduate students. As long as you have taken a general methods course you are welcome to register for the class. If you are not currently a student at RIC, you can register as a non-degree student.

Applications are completed online via this link: https://www.applyweb.com/ricg/. We accept applications by November 1 in the fall semester and March 1 in the Spring semester, but teachers can also begin by taking up to two classes before officially matriculating into the program.

The admissions requirements for the CGS include 3 letters of recommendation, a personal statement, a performance evaluation, transcripts, a resume, and an admissions form. The Masters also requires the GRE or MAT on top of the requirements for the CGS. Note for 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.

The MLL endorsement is 7 credits, while ESL certification is 21 credits. Please see RIC’s website for current per-credit tuition rates.

Courses in the two-course endorsement sequence will be offered fall, spring, and summer.

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Department of Educational Studies

In the Department of Educational Studies, we teach you how children grow and develop and help you to use that knowledge to create learning environments and experiences that will benefit children for life.

Dr. Sarah Hesson

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Dr. Leila Rosa

Assistant Professor