Academics

Bilingual/English as a Second Language Education

Program Details

Western Illinois University’s Bilingual/English as a Second Language Education program prepares students to meet Illinois requirements for certification as bilingual teachers. Students are trained in a standards-based program designed to prepare them to teach children in the 21st century.

Each year, more and more children enter public schools in the United States with limited or no English language proficiency. Illinois public schools are home to speakers of 139 distinct languages, and they rank fifth nationally among school populations classified as English Language Learners (ELLs). Of all the ELL students in Illinois, at least 81% speak Spanish as their first language. In recent years, the number of ELL students has increased in both urban and rural areas, creating a critical need for teachers trained in bilingual education. To meet this demand and provide quality education for linguistically diverse students, this program offers student teacher certification in Bilingual/Bicultural/Elementary Education (Spanish emphasis).

English as a Second Language Component

Because teachers cannot be prepared in all languages, a related area of the program is English as a Second Language (ESL). Students are trained in special teaching strategies designed to include speakers of other first languages in meaningful learning experiences. The department provides an established teacher preparation program designed to suit the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse students.

Special Opportunities in Bilingual/English as a Second Language Education

The Bilingual/English as a Second Language Education program has its own organization. The Association of Bilingual/English as a Second Language Education Students (ABBES) provides students with opportunities to participate in service activities, field trips, and career-related outings. Professional development activities geared toward working in the bilingual/ bicultural field are fostered by this service/social organization. Newly enrolled students are partnered with upperclassmen as a part of the association’s mentor program. Mentors provide experience-based advice, offer language assistance in English or Spanish, and answer the concerns of the association’s newest members.

Educational Studies Department Minors

  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Additional Resources

Possible Careers in Bilingual/English as a Second Language Education

Recent post-graduation surveys of the Bilingual/English as a Second Language Education program indicate a high demand for bilingual/ESL educators. Employed in every level along the educational track, graduates report experiencing very little difficulty securing teaching positions.

Career paths are not limited to Illinois alone. Many students make use of the reciprocity of their certification to teach in other states. Graduates are also qualified to seek careers in international education or to continue their education, pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees.

Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies (EIS) Courses

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for detailed program information and course requirements.

202 (Formerly EIS 302) Multicultural and Social Foundations of Education. (3) A study of the social, linguistic, and cultural factors that affect the educational experiences, practices, and environments in America. This course broadens students’ understanding of the diverse pluralistic nature of the contexts that either enhance or negate one’s educational experience. Field experience—10 hours required. A grade of C or above must be earned for teacher licensure.

301 Cognition, Development, and Motivation in Academic Settings. (3) An introduction to the state of knowledge in contemporary educational and developmental psychology as related to academic settings. Topics include cognitive processing, motivation, and physical, social, and emotional development. A grade of C or above must be achieved in EIS 301 for teacher licensure. Prerequisite: A grade of C or above in EIS 202, the equivalent transfer course, or junior standing.

303 Classroom Management and Field Work in Academic Settings. (2–3) Introduction to understanding and analyzing the learning environment as it relates to classroom and behavior management. Students will participate in supervised practicum in off-campus educational settings (public, private, or title programs) as part of professional preparation in Teacher Education. C grade or above is required. Transportation not provided. Prerequisite: 2.50 cumulative and major GPAs; EIS 301 with a grade of C or better; and admission to Teacher Education Program prior to enrolling in EIS 303. (See EIS 301 above for additional prerequisites.)

304 Field Work in Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies. (1, repeatable to 2) The second supervised practicum in off-campus PK–12 educational settings as part of professional preparation in Teacher Education. C grade or above is required. Transportation not provided. Prerequisites: Full acceptance into the Teacher Education Program (TEP) and must have completed EIS 303 with a grade of C or better. Candidates are required to have already completed a methods course or be concurrently enrolled in a methods course at the time of enrollment in EIS 304.

305 Measurement and Assessment of Learning in Academic Settings. (2) An introduction to the language and principles of assessment, measurement theory, and assessment-related issues (reliability, validity, etc.) within education grounded in a cognitive theoretical framework that views assessment as the integration of observation, interpretation, and cognition. A grade of C or above must be achieved in EIS 305 for teacher licensure. Prerequisites: C or better in EIS 202, SPED 210, and EIS 301.

306 Learning and Development in the Adolescent Grades. (3) An introduction to the state of knowledge in contemporary educational and developmental psychology as related to the adolescent’s experience in academic settings. Topics include cognitive processing, motivation, and physical, social, and emotional development in the context of adolescence. A grade of C or above must be achieved in EIS 306 for teacher licensure. Prerequisites: C or better in EIS 202 and SPED 210.

361 Field Study Abroad. (1–12) Field study project in international setting. The student submits a written report and fulfills other requirements set up by the instructor. Prerequisite: Bilingual/English as a Second Language Education major.

401 Educational Law and Policy. (2) An analysis of formal legal and ethical problems that will allow students to critique contemporary debates in educational policy, law, and ethics. The course will examine the tension between competing philosophical theories and the construction and function of educational policy. A grade of C or above must be earned for Teacher Education. Prerequisite: full acceptance into Teacher Education Program (TEP); a grade of C or better in EIS 301.

405 Designing/Managing Learning Environments. (3) Examines the elements that foster an effective learning environment. Emphasis is placed on strategies that promote student engagement and a sense of community in educational settings. Prerequisites: prior or concurrent pre-student teaching instructional field experience, concurrent student teaching, or permission from the instructor.

427 Foundations of Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations. (3) An introduction to the historical, political, social, and educational issues that have contributed to policy regarding public school services for language minority populations. Clinical experience of 15 hours required.

428 English Language Learners and Bilingualism: Theory, Policy, and Practice. (3) (Global Issues) This course supports current and future educators in constructing a foundation of the critical elements in the education of ELLs that include: second language acquisition, culture and diversity, policies and law, ELL family involvement, language development standards, advocacy, and assessment. Prerequisite: EIS 202 or permission of instructor.

430 Methods and Materials for Teaching in Bilingual Programs. (3) Acquaints students with methodology and materials, with instruction in the preparation of audio and visual teaching aids, lesson plans, behavioral objectives, and the inquiry teaching methods for the bilingual/ESL classroom. Portion of content presented in Spanish. Clinical experience—15 hours required. A grade of C or higher must be earned for Teacher Education.

435 Cultural Studies of Second Language Learners in the Classroom. (3) The study of historical and contemporary social and cultural issues affecting selected ethnic groups, with particular emphasis on the impact of culture, learning, and schooling on second language learners in U.S. schools. Clinical experience—15 hours required.

440 Sociolinguistics. (3) Exploration of foundational work in the field of sociolinguistics and current issues in the field. This course will emphasize the culturelanguage interface at the level of social relationships with special emphasis on educational settings. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or EIS 202 or equivalent.

447 Teaching of Listening, Speaking, and Pronunciation to English Language Learners. (3) Students examine the articulation of English sounds, the rules that govern their use in speech, and explore ways of applying this knowledge to the teaching of pronunciation. Additional emphasis will be on teaching listening/speaking strategies in the TESOL environment. Prerequisite: EIS 458.

453 Assessment of Bilingual and ESL Students. (3) Selection, administration, and interpretation of measurement instruments. Description of testing; multicultural, bilingual, ESL, language competency tests; language proficiency/achievement testing; linguistic/cultural aspects of intelligence testing; assessment in classroom. Clinical experience of 20 hours required.

457 Methods and Materials of Teaching English Language Learners. (3) Analysis of language learning processes of bilingual children. The appropriate order for learning basic skills in two languages will be discussed and techniques of teaching English as a second language will be introduced and practiced. Clinical experience—15 hours required. A grade of C or higher must be earned for Teacher Education.

458 Linguistics for the Teacher of English Language Learners. (3) The study of linguistics applied to teaching limited-English-speaking students. Includes English and non-English phonology, syntax, analysis, and application of linguistic theory. Clinical experience—20 hours required.

499 Special Problems in Education. (1–4, repeatable with no maximum) An independent study of a theoretical or applied problem in education. An opportunity for the undergraduate to broaden understanding and skills in the profession through research and experience.

Contact Information

Department of Educational Studies

Dr. Eric C. Sheffield, Chairperson
Email: EIS-Dept@wiu.edu
Location: Horrabin Hall 115
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1183

Educational Studies Website

Educational Studies Directory

College of Education & Human Services (COEHS)

Dr. Erskine Smith, Dean
Email: ER-Smith@wiu.edu
COEHS Email: coehs@wiu.edu
Location: Horrabin Hall 117G
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1690

COEHS Website

Bilingual/English as a Second Language Education Advising

Cheryl Hutchins
Horrabin Hall 91
Phone: (309) 298-1438
Email: CK-Hutchins@wiu.edu

Jeanne Gage
Horrabin Hall 91
Phone: (309) 298-1438
Email: JC-Gage@wiu.edu

Horrabin Hall