English Language Learner Education

To realize the incredible potential of our increasingly multilingual and multicultural PreK-12 student population, teachers and researchers need to understand how to support the academic and linguistic development of students who are learning English as an additional language. These students, who are often classified by their schools as English learners, English language learners, dual language learners, emergent bilinguals, or ESL/ESOL students, represent a growing and often underserved demographic in many U.S. schools and classrooms.

There are many benefits to obtaining an ELL focused degree or endorsement:

  • Better undestanding of language learning, thereby increasing your instructional effectiveness and ELLs' educational success
  • Greater understanding and appreciation of students' diverse languages and cultures
  • Expanded job opportunities as the ELL student population continues to grow
  • Increased earning power and career options from adding a degree or endorsement to your skill set

The Curry Impact

Our English language learner education programs support educators in developing and providing effective, equitable, and enriching learning opportunities for students from a wide array of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. We ensure that our students have meaningful access to the latest research-based practices in the field, coursework tailored to their needs, ample opportunities to engage in hands-on learning with expert educators and researchers, and one-on-one advising to support a range of career goals.


ELLs are the fastest growing segment of the PreK-12 public school population, and the need has never been greater for educators to specialize in this field. Graduates find meaningful, impactful employment as teachers of ELL students within both ESL and general education classrooms, ELL education coordinators, curriculum and assessment developers, textbook contributors and researchers that engage in work that serves the needs of multilingual students and their teachers.

UVA Curry School of Education by the Numbers

  • 19 th

    Best Curriculum & Instruction Program in the Nation by U.S. News & World Report

  • 18 th

    Best Graduate Education School in the Nation by U.S. News & World Report

  • 2 nd

    Ranked Public University in the Nation by U.S. News & World Report

English Language Learner


The Curry School offers many paths for those interested in ELL education. Choosing the right program is important to ensuring that you achieve an outcome that supports your career goals. Let us help guide you through your choices.

  • Teacher Prep Add-on Endorsement in ELL

    UVA is approved by the Virginia Department of Education to provide teacher preparation in a selection of endorsements including ELL. Initial licensure alone cannot be granted for ELL, but can be added on as an additional endorsement. This option is available to preservices ESL teachers enrolled in the Master of Teaching (MT) program.

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  • ELL Online Course Series for Endorsement

    The Curry School offers an online course series that can be used toward earning an ESL endorsement. Students have flexibilty in choosing to complete the entire course series or to take one or more courses toward professional development.

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  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction - Online

    This online program is designed for individuals who want to broaden their knowledge of curriculum and instruction in support of improving education in the United States. This M.Ed. also offers a focus area in ELL. We strive to provide students with a strong foundational knowledge of principles of curriculum and instruction and the opportunity to explore concepts from the field of educational assessment. Through this work, we encourage students to be attentive to the needs of a wide spectrum of unique learners who are situated within diverse learning environments.

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  • Ed.S. in Curriculum & Instruction

    The Ed.S. in Curriculum & Instruction is a 30 credit hour terminal graduate degree designed for the professional educator. Applicants must have already earned a master's degree. This program offers a focus area in ELL. The Ed.S. is for educators who seeks to influence positive educational change and improve student achievement through effective curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Employment options include curriculum specialist positions within preK-12 schools, university settings, adjunct faculty, government and military, and more.

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  • Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction

    The Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction is a terminal graduate degree and offers a focus area in ELL. The Ed.D. program is designed to prepare students to strategically confront the complex realities and challenges facing schools today and in the future. Graduates will be prepared for employment as curriculum specialists, faculty members, and educational consultants.

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  • Ph.D. in Education - Language Education in Multilingual Contexts

    The Language Education in Multilingual Contexts (LEMC) Ph.D. concentration provides opportunities for students to pursue research interests related to teaching and learning in preK-12 second language, foreign/world language, and bi/multilingual educational settings. There are several unique benefits of this degree at the Curry School.

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