Teaching English Language Learners: Culture, Theory, and Methods

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Fall 2018 and Winter 2019 quarters

Taught by

educational policy studies, qualitative research methods

In this program we will explore the role of family and community in language acquisition and identity formation among K-adult English Language Learners (ELLs). We will examine how certain contextual factors such as history, political climate, school policies, and curriculum impact the education of language learners from adults to students in grades K-12. We will also study language acquisition theory, teaching methods, curriculum design, and implementation of theory to instructional practice relevant to Washington K-12 English Language Development standards as well as TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) standards for adult ELLs in local and international settings.

These ELL concepts will be analyzed through readings, group collaboration, workshops, student-led seminars, lectures, and multimedia/video. Students will lead discussions, complete reflective writing activities, conduct teaching demonstrations, and create a community ethnography project. Writing and research workshops will also be a focus of this program.

In fall the program will survey the history of second language education in the U.S., while introducing central issues in language acquisition research. We will also discuss the role of dominant and minority communities and culture in identity formation of English language learners, their lived experiences, and how knowledge of both family and community can inform school policies, curriculum, and instruction. We will begin our research and tutoring activities in local K-12 settings.

In winter the program will focus on study of language as a system with an emphasis on linguistic, literacy, and content-area K-adult instructional strategies. Among topics addressed will be English phonology, morphology, and syntax, as well as implications for teaching the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. We will also continue our K-12 ELL tutoring practices in the local schools with an emphasis on content-area instruction and academic-language development.

Reading topics will include the history of ESL/bilingual education, immigrant learners in the public schools, introduction to ESL/ELL teaching methods, language acquisition theory, literacy and linguistics for ELLs, assessment, sheltered instruction, as well as the practice of culturally relevant pedagogy.

Program Details

Fields of Study

community studies cultural studies education international studies language studies linguistics

Preparatory For

K-12 teacher preparation (Masters in Teaching) and ESL/ELL state endorsement, cross-cultural/international teaching of ESL K-12 and adults, and adult ELL literacy instruction in community-based organizations. This program fulfills K-12 ELL teaching endorsement equivalencies in literacy, language acquisition theory, linguistics for educators, multicultural education, ELL methods & program models, ELL assessment, practicum and qualitative research methods.


Fall Open Winter Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online


$400 in fall and $350 in winter for entrance fees and supplies.