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Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students (TCLD/ESOL) M.Ed.

Format: Online
Credit Hours: 39
Entry Term: Fall, Spring, Summer

Ready to help students excel academically in the English language?

Explore the Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Master’s Degree Program.

Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students (TCLD/ESOL) M.Ed. program video

The M.Ed in Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse students prepares educators and administrators to collaborate, effectively work with, and educate culturally, linguistically diverse (CLD) students by providing learner-centered field-based opportunities. We foster academic excellence, community engagement and cultural enrichment by developing comprehensive understanding of global and local policies, and best practices as guided by our accrediting agencies; TESOL, Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GPSC), and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

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Program Format and Highlights

Offered Fully Online

Specifically, in our program:

  • You’ll learn 100% online in a flexible learning environment
  • English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Endorsement classes are built-in to the TCLD program.
  • You may gain eligibility for a teaching certificate upgrade while earning your degree.

What our students are saying about our program

“If you’re considering Georgia Southern for your graduate degree or even your undergraduate degree … do it. I cannot rave enough about how great my experience has been. I went from receiving shallow, if any, feedback on my assignments at my previous institution to genuinely thoughtful and insightful feedback on literally everything I’ve done at Georgia Southern. I have genuinely learned so much from my professors and colleagues. Every single class I’ve taken so far has been meaningful. This has been such a breath of fresh air. If you want the best professors and a great degree, consider the *fully online* and extremely relevant Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students master’s program at Georgia Southern”.

Haley Johnston, current student of M.Ed. Teaching Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Students

“In 2019, after 19 years of making excuses for not going to college for my master’s, I finally did it! I love being a teacher, growing my craft and finding ways to help others with my knowledge. I now have a master’s degree in Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students and learned so much during each class. The professors at Georgia Southern University were beyond amazing! I appreciated the chance to learn with brilliant and caring educators in my cohort and construct new knowledge”.

Paige Watts, Spring ‘21 graduate of M.Ed. Teaching Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Students

M.Ed. TCLD Program Outcomes

Graduates of the M.Ed in TCLD will be able to:

  • Understand and apply evidence-based language acquisition and second language acquisition theories along with components of structural linguistics within local contexts of teaching and learning.
  • Understand and analyze cultural issues and critical structures in context and apply a variety of evidence-based culture and language-based models of teaching and learning emphasizing the use of students, families, and community’s cultures and languages as resources for teaching and learning.
  • Recognize, apply, and adapt a variety of instructional methods, strategies, and models concordant with evidence-based language acquisition and cultural models of teaching and learning (multicultural education, culturally relevant teaching, SIOP) within subject specific content areas.
  • Understand, apply, and adapt a variety of assessment models, instruments, or strategies (e.g., diagnostic, descriptive, evaluative, formative, summative, evaluative etc.) specific to working with English Language Learners and identify assessment biases that devalue home culture and language.
  • Understand historical and present issues in ESOL education, recognize and apply pertinent new research trends in the field, and serve as advocates for ELLs within the school, community, state, or region.

Ready to take the next step?

The Georgia Southern University Office of Graduate Admissions oversees the application process for graduate students. Please review the links below for admission requirements and deadlines.

Prior Learning Assessments: Procedures and Timelines

Prior Learning Assessments are available for TCLD 6231 – Cultural Diversity and ESOL, TCLD 6233 – Applied Linguistics for ESOL/TCLD and TCLD 6235 – Methods for Teaching ESOL/TCLD.  M.Ed. in TCLD students can choose to attempt, none, either, or both. Successful completion of each assessment will result in 3 graduate credits per assessment toward the M.Ed in TCLD (for a maximum total of 6 credits).

Prior Learning Assessments must be completed by an applicant/student prior to being admitted to the program or during their first semester in the program.

If you are interested in attempting one or both assessments, please follow the steps below:

  1. Complete Part 1 on the Prior Learning Assessment Form for EACH assessment you wish to attempt.
  2. Email your complete form(s) to the TCLD Program Director, Alisa Leckie, at at least one week prior to the beginning of the next testing window (listed below).
  3. Use the study guide, portfolio description, and rubric to prepare for the assessments.  Note: The Applied Linguistics assessment is an exam that must be taken during testing window.  The Cultural Diversity and ESOL assessment is a paper, and the ESOL Methods assessment is a portfolio. Both of these can be prepared in advance.
  4. At the beginning of the two-week testing window, you will receive log in information sent to the email you used to submit the initial form.  This log-in information will allow you to access the online Applied Linguistics exam and the dropboxes for the Cultural Diversity and ESOL paper and the ESOL Methods portfolio.
  5. Complete the exam and/or upload your paper alongside your portfolio during the two week window.
  6. The TCLD Program Director will email results and feedback approximately one week after the testing period ends. A grade of a B (80%) or better must be earned to receive credit.  Earned credit will appear as “K” credit on transcripts.

Testing Periods

Summer:June 14-July 12 (Applications for Fall admission due July 1)
Fall:October 4-18 (Applications for Spring admission due Nov.1)
Spring:March 7-21 (Applications for Summer admission due April 1)
Testing Periods

Testing Materials

Material Description
Cultural Diversity and ESOL Prior Learning Assessment Study Guide (PDF)
Cultural Diversity and ESOL Prior Learning Assessment Rubric (PDF)
Applied Linguistics Prior Learning Assessment Study Guide (PDF)
ESOL Methods Prior Learning Assessment Rubric (PDF)
ESOL Methods Prior Learning Assessment (PDF)
Testing Materials

Program Contact Information and Graduate Advising

Graduate Academic Services Center

Frequently Asked Questions

Endorsement Courses

What courses are required for the ESOL Endorsement?

Applied Linguistics for ESOL/TCLD (TCLD 4233 or 6233)
Cultural Diversity and ESOL/TCLD (ESED 4231 or 6231)
Methods for Teaching ESOL/TCLD (TCLD 4235 or 6235)

Can I take both TCLD Applied Linguistics and TCLD Cultural Diversity simultaneously?


Can I take Methods for Teaching ESOL/TCLD first?

No. Both  Applied Linguistics for ESOL/TCLD and Cultural Diversity and ESOL/TCLD are perquisites to Methods for Teaching ESOL/TCLD.

Can I take Methods for Teaching ESOL/TCLD during Student Teaching?

Possibly. Strong students can ask the Department of Teaching and Learning for a waiver to be allowed to take Methods for Teaching ESOL/TCLD during their Student Teaching semester.

Does the ESOL Endorsement include a field practicum?

Yes, in the Methods for Teaching ESOL/TCLD course.  Most students are able to complete the practicum at the school where they are already employed or assigned for another practicum. However, those students who need a placement will be provided with one by the COE Director of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice.

How are the courses taught?

Graduate sections of the courses are generally taught fully online, but often with scheduled online chat times.

Undergraduate sections are offered face-to-face or hybrid (face-to-face & online).

When are the courses offered?

Until recently, Applied Linguistics for ESOL/TCLD and Cultural Diversity and ESOL/TCLD were generally only available each summer, while Methods for Teaching ESOL/TCLD was taught each fall. With increasing enrollment in the courses, the frequency that each course is offered is increasing. Thus, it is best to check WINGS to be sure.

What if I mix the levels (undergraduate & graduate) or mix the institutions (Georgia Southern, another university, and/or a RESA) when and where I take the ESOL Endorsement courses?

As long as the courses you take are recognized by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC), the PSC does not care if you take them from different institutions or at a mixture of levels.

What if I think I have already taken an equivalent of one of the ESOL Endorsement courses?

The official determination of course equivalence is made by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. However, the coordinator of the Georgia Southern ESOL Endorsement and the Georgia Southern COE Student Success Center’s certification officer can help evaluate this question.

How can the ESOL Endorsement courses contribute to the degree I am seeking?

Many COE degree programs require at least one of the ESOL Endorsement courses, and most programs allow some or even all of the courses to count as electives or specialization courses.

However, if you attend to apply an ESOL Endorsement course toward a graduate degree, you must enroll in the graduate courses.


What is required to enroll in the courses?

Generally, only advanced undergraduate Teacher Education Program students and COE graduate students are allowed to enroll in the courses.

However, exceptions are occasionally made for qualified and motivated students (i.e.: English majors intending to travel and teach English overseas).

Do I need to be proficient in a language other than English?

No. Although experience and proficiency in other languages is valuable, it is not essential to complete the endorsement nor to be an effective ESOL teacher.

How much is the cost per class?

Please check with the Georgia Southern Tuition and Fees Web page for costs.

What if I am a teacher, but not currently a student at Georgia Southern?

If you are a certified teacher seeking the ESOL Endorsement but not interested in pursuing a degree at Georgia Southern, you may apply for admission to the Georgia Southern University, College of Graduate Studies as a Non-Degree Seeking Graduate Student.

Who adds the ESOL Endorsement to my teaching certificate?

The endorsement is added through a formal application / petition process. The GAPSC makes the final determination regarding who receives the ESOL Endorsement, but you can get help with the application / petition process at Georgia Southern’s COE Advisement Center or your school district’s professional development / certification office.

For all Online Programs:

Federal Law requires colleges and universities to make certain disclosures to prospective students of these programs. These disclosures include information on the University’s authority to operate outside of Georgia, complaint processes, adverse actions, and refunds.

For required disclosures in general with regard to online programs offered by the University, visit the Office of Legal Affairs website.

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Last updated: 12/5/2023