Who is this degree for?

In the U.S., the majority of dual language children — those learning a home language and English simultaneously — are eight years old or younger. The demand for early childhood teachers with bilingual and/or English as a second language expertise has never been higher, and it continues to grow.

Erikson’s specialization in bilingual/English as a second language (ESL) education responds to the urgent need for more early childhood teachers who can effectively meet the special needs of new language learners in a culturally, linguistically, and developmentally appropriate manner.

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Bilingual/ESL endorsement

For teachers with a valid Illinois Type 03 or Type 04 certificate, the program will also fulfill the Illinois State Board of Education requirements for adding the bilingual and/or ESL endorsement.

Bilingual approval typically allows an early childhood teacher to instruct young children in their native language and English. ESL approval typically prepares monolingual early childhood teachers to effectively instruct new language learners in English.


To earn the M.S. in Early Childhood Education with a Specialization in Bilingual/English as a Second Language, you complete the online early childhood education program, substituting five specialization courses for core courses, and also take one additional course.

The specialization includes a culminating action research project that explores the particular developmental characteristics and learning needs of dual language children.

For a full description of the online master’s requirements, see M.S. in Early Childhood Education (Online)

Course Work

Sample course schedule

Core Courses: