English language learners (ELL) & bilingual education
English language learners (ELLs) comprise 23 percent of all K-12 learners in Washington State schools and represent 96 language groups. The number and diversity of ELLs continue to grow; however, the number of mainstream teachers prepared to deal with the needs of non-native English speakers has not kept pace with this increasing ELL population.
The English language learner (ELL) courses offered at the Pullman, Vancouver, and Tri-Cities campuses can be used to fulfill a number of professional goals:
- ELL endorsement
- Masters degree credits
- Masters degree programs
- Personal professional development: You can take the courses for your own professional enrichment without being associated with a degree or program.
The endorsement is added to an existing valid teaching certificate. With it, you can teach English language learners in preschool through grade 12, be more effective with ELLs in the regular classroom, or be a consulting teacher to assist other educators in effectively meeting the needs of ELLs. The ELL endorsement consists of 18 semester hours. Note that the endorsement requires a practicum in an educational setting where you work with linguistically diverse students (T&L 501).
The bilingual endorsement is only available at the Tri-Cities campus.
On occasion, endorsement courses may be waived or other courses, either from WSU or other accredited institutions, may be substituted for those required by our endorsement program. Typically, a course is waived because of prior experience or course work. Your faculty advisor and the department chair must approve the waiver or substitution based on evidence you provide of the experience or course work. Because the ELL endorsement program is accredited by both state and national agencies and organizations, course waivers and substitutions are granted only if the faculty advisor and department chair are convinced that accreditation standards addressed in a particular course have been met through other means.
If you are interested in using some or all of the graduate ELL endorsement courses for a master’s degree, you must follow standard WSU Graduate School and departmental admission procedures. For example, the ELL courses could, if approved by your committee, count towards the required number of graded credits in a Master of Arts or Ph.D. degree. However, you would also need to fulfill the other requirements for the degree. Similarly, the courses could count, with your committee’s approval, towards the required number of graded credits for the Master of Education degree (Ed.M.). You would also need to complete courses in research (3 credits) and educational foundations (3 credits), and complete an inquiry project. For more information on graduate programs, please refer to the web pages of the WSU Graduate School and the Department of Teaching & Learning.
Certified teachers pursuing professional certification may use the ELL courses to fulfill the core requirements of that program. Your Professional Growth Team must approve this, however. If you wish to use both the professional certification program courses and the ELL courses for a master’s degree, then you must pursue the Ed.M. The Pre-Assessment Seminar (3 credits) and Culminating Seminar (2 credits) that are required for Professional Certification will count towards the required number of graded credits for the Ed.M. Additionally, the ELL courses you wish to use to fulfill the core requirements for professional certification may, with the approval of your master’s degree committee, be used for the Ed.M. If you complete an inquiry project for certification, you may, with the approval of your master’s degree committee, use it to fulfill part or all of the special project requirement of the Ed.M. Consult with your master’s degree committee prior to beginning the project.
Enrollment and tuition options
Another enrollment option is to be admitted as a post-baccalaureate student or an undergraduate non-degree seeking student. In both cases, you would pay undergraduate tuition rates, even if you enrolled in graduate (500-level) classes. However, courses taken under this option can never be used as part of a graduate degree program at WSU.
You may enroll as a graduate student in one of two categories: (1) advanced degree candidate, or (2) non-degree seeking graduate student. In the second category, you can be further classified as either a non-advanced degree candidate (NADC) or undecided graduate (UND-G). In all cases, you pay graduate tuition rates.
Only a limited number of credits with a grade of at least a “B” and taken while under the NADC or UND-G classifications may be applied to graduate degree requirements. Furthermore, you may remain in the UND-G classification for only one year. The advantage of the UND-G classification is that if you apply late (i.e., just prior to or during registration), then your application can be processed without having to fulfill all the application requirements.
Application deadline to the Graduate School is January 10.
Find more information about applying to Graduate School.