English Language Learning PreK-12 Online Course Series

This flexible, fully online course series is designed to develop preK-12 teachers who are confident and well-versed in quality ESL instructional practices.

As U.S. classrooms become increasingly diverse, the need for teachers of second language learners continues to grow. Teachers of English learners have exciting opportunities to work with students from a wide array of cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

This course series is designed to be flexible, so you can select exactly what you need. Focus solely on classroom practice, study linguistics to help prepare for testing, or mix-and-match to meet your individual goals. All courses are offered online, and discounted tuition is available for preK-12 educators in Virginia.

These courses can fulfill a range of requirements, including:

  • Add-on ESL Endorsement. Teachers may complete the entire course series in order to add a Virginia ESL endorsement to their teaching license.
  • Initial Licensure. Teachers seeking initial licensure in ESL through Virginia’s alternative route may use the course series to fulfill endorsement competencies.
  • Professional Development & Recertification. Educators may opt to take one or more courses, without completing the series, for learning more about working with English learners or earning master’s level credits, which can be used toward licensure renewal.
  • A certificate in Teaching English Learners in PreK-12. Students who plan to complete six of the courses in the series can apply for a graduate-level certificate. The certificate does not take the place of an endorsement but does provide employers with proof that certificate recipients have completed coursework on working with English learners. This option is particularly attractive to those who wish to prove that they didn’t test into the endorsement and to those working in private schools and international contexts.

This course series can also contribute to one of two master’s degrees: the M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction or the M.Ed. in Educational Psychology – Social Foundations.

Questions about which courses to take? Contact us directly and we will help guide you through the process.

Program Details

  • Prerequisites and Admission Requirements

    Students interested in taking courses in this series must fill out a Non-Degree Student form; no application is needed.

  • Application Due Date

    Students should fill out the Non-Degree Student form at least a week before the start of the desired term (spring, summer, fall). Early submission is recommended to secure spots in desired classes.

  • Funding Opportunities

    Discounted tuition is available for preK-12 educators.

    Tuition and Fees information.

  • Typical Length of Study

    Semester of Entry:


    Full or Part Time:


  • Course Overview

    All courses are offered online and on a set schedule, as follows:


    Course Offerings Fall

    Course Offerings Spring

    Course Offerings Summer

    English Linguistics
    EDIS 5423




    Cross-Cultural Education for Diverse Learners
    EDIS 5422




    Reading: Foundations of Reading Instruction
    EDIS 7700




    Teaching Reading & Writing for ELLs
    EDIS 5270




    ESL Methods
    EDIS 5428




    ESL Assessment & Curriculum Design
    EDIS 5470




    Second Language Acquisition
    EDIS 5424




    An ESL elective course (to be selected with advisor approval)




  • Endorsement Requirements

    Teachers with a current Virginia teaching license who wish to add an endorsement in preK-12 ESL education may use the coursework to apply for a Virginia endorsement.

    People seeking an initial Virginia teaching license for preK-12 ESL education through the alternative licensure route may use this coursework to meet the endorsement requirements.

    The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) sets the requirements for ESL licensure. Upon completion of the course requirements, teachers work with their employing Virginia School Divisions to request an evaluation for the add-on endorsement, submitting all relevant transcripts to the VDOE for review. Because this is an add-on endorsement, no practicum experience is required. You can visit the VDOE's webpage for more information about the application process.


  • Steps for Adding the Endorsement

    Ready to add the endorsement to your teaching license? Review next steps here.

  • The Positives of Online Learning

    Professor Amato’s class is my first online course. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to manage it on top of my other credits, but I am so glad I decided to take it. Her class is based on weekly Collab discussion posts - one individual longer post, and at least two posts responding to classmates - that are informed by the week’s readings. Above all, my favorite part of the class is my classmates (even though we’ve never met). They are all mid-career professionals, teachers pursuing another degree or people pursuing teaching for the first time, and they are from all over the country. The perspectives in their discussion posts are invaluable to my development as a teacher, and interacting with them has taught me so much.
    Stephanie Dugan, Student in Teacher Education with Endorsement in ELL

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.