Jul 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English — Multilingual Education Emphasis, BA, with Teaching Endorsement Option

Location(s): WWU - Bellingham

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Department of English, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

60 credits (5 additional credits to complete the ELL/Bilingual endorsement and 58 additional credits for teacher certification)


English is one of the central liberal arts degrees. A background in English provides graduates with a sound basis for pursuing a variety of careers, including law, business, education, publishing and government, as well as graduate work in film studies and media, creative writing, language, literary and cultural studies, and critical writing. English engages students in diverse literary heritages as well as fosters the development of sophisticated abilities in critical analysis, creative inquiry, reflective reading, and effective communication and expression.

Why Consider a Multilingual Education Emphasis with Teaching Endorsement Option Major?

The English – Multilingual Education Emphasis with Teaching Endorsement Options major focuses on the study of language, linguistics, and literacy, literatures in historical and cultural, films studies and media, composition and rhetoric, and creative writing. The English – Multilingual Education Emphasis with Teaching Endorsement Options offers students the opportunity for the study of English language learning as well as the traditional English fields of literature, film and media, creative writing and composition. Majors take a range of courses in the teaching of English language arts and Multilingual Education. These courses provide a solid foundation for someone interested in teaching English at the secondary level or teaching ELL/Bilingual Education at the P-12 level.

This major is unique in that it leads students toward multiple endorsements – a Qualifying Endorsement in English Language Arts (Secondary) and an Additional Endorsement in ELL and/or Bilingual Education (P-12). Five additional credits of Multilingual coursework must be taken beyond the major to complete all requirements for either of those endorsements. Students in the writing studies, creative writing, and most literature courses are expected to write effectively, free of mechanical errors. If you think you need help with your reading and writing, we strongly encourage you, in addition to your work in English courses, to consult the Hacherl Research & Writing Studio and other university resources.

Students who are English learners (ELs) are the fastest growing student population in the public school system. Statewide, approximately 10 percent of all P-12 students are ELs but in some districts that percentage is much, much higher. In order to meet the needs of this diverse population in the regular classroom, teachers are needed at all grade levels and content areas who have the ELL endorsement. For many schools, this is a highly recommended endorsement.  Teachers with the endorsement in English Language Learners from Western Washington University possess in-depth understandings of the role of cultural and linguistic diversity in each student’s education.

The program focuses on developing the mainstream P-12 classroom teacher’s ability to shelter and support the instruction of language learners, who are at all levels of fluency, in mainstream classrooms, as they work to achieve state expectations in subject matter content. Some teachers with ELL endorsements go on to become school ELL Specialists. ELL Specialists are usually experienced teachers who have taught language learners successfully for several years and have previously earned the ELL endorsement. Many earn a master’s degree or National Board certification in ELL prior to becoming a school or district ELL Specialist.

The ELL endorsement program prepares you to:

  • Obtain the WA state endorsement for English Language Learners
  • Teach a range of language learners in a mainstream classroom
  • Work with families from various cultures and home languages
  • Serve as a resource for other teachers
  • Plan instruction using the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP).
  • Instruct using effective methods including strategies from the Guided Language Acquisition Design (GLAD).
  • Thrive in culturally and linguistically diverse settings.

Teachers with the endorsement in Bilingual Education from Western Washington University possess in-depth understandings of the role of cultural and linguistic diversity in each student’s education and the demonstrated ability to use research-based instruction when teaching in English and also in a non-English target language. The numbers of bilingual schools continue to grow across the United States as research documents the benefits of quality programs. Western’s Bilingual Education program includes study of a variety of models for bilingual education, including two-way, dual, one-way, and early exit models. In addition, current issues related to bilingual education are explored. Teachers who earn the Bilingual Endorsement can also apply for the English Language Learner Endorsement.

  • The Bilingual Education endorsement prepares you to:
  • Obtain the WA state endorsement for Bilingual Education
  • Teach standards-based content in a target language other than English
  • Work with families from various cultures
  • Serve as a resource for other teachers
  • Instruct using effective methods including strategies from the Guided Language Acquisition Design (GLAD)
  • Thrive in culturally and linguistically diverse settings

The English – Multilingual Education Emphasis with Teaching Endorsement Options major leads to a baccalaureate degree without teacher certification. To receive a recommendation for state of Washington teacher certification with an English Language Arts endorsement, students must complete courses within the English – Multilingual Education Emphasis with Teaching Endorsement Options major as specified herein, pass the NES exam for English language arts, and complete a teacher certification program offered by a Department of Secondary Education as one of the following:

  • A part of the undergraduate baccalaureate degree.
  • A post-baccalaureate program.
  • A part of the Master in Teaching program

To receive the ELL and/or Bilingual Additional Endorsement, students need to complete the above requirements as well as complete MLE 445 - Methods for Teaching Developing, Expanding, and Bridging Multilingual Learners . A passing score on the ELL WEST-E is required by the state for the ELL endorsement and a passing score on the Bilingual Education WEST-E along with a passing score on the ACTFL language proficiency exam is required for the Bilingual Education endorsement. See the Secondary Education section of this catalog for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements. Regulations for teaching endorsement are subject to change. Contact the English Education advisor.

 Contact Information

Undergraduate Program Coordinator
Elle Starr
Humanities 327

English Education Advisor
Steven VanderStaay
Humanities 273

MLE Advisor
Jennifer Green
MH 304D

Secondary Education Program Manager
Janna Cecka

Secondary Education website

Teacher Education Admission
Miller Hall 254F

MLE Advisor
Beth Dillard
MH 304A

 Sample Careers

Education (teaching or administrating) | Graduate work in Literature and Creative Writing | Graduate work in Composition and Language | Graduate work in ELL/Bilingual Education

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

Meet with the English Department’s English Education Advisor, Steven VanderStaay, to declare this major. Meet with one of the MLE Advisors, Beth Dillard and Jennifer Green, to discuss the ELL/Bilingual endorsement and the foreign language requirement.

The prerequisites for declaring the major are 60 credits completed, ENG 202, one course from ENG 234, ENG 235, ENG 236, ENG 239, and equivalent of one year of college level foreign language study.

Though the English Department cannot guarantee immediate enrollment in the major or access to any specific class, we matriculate students into the major on a rolling basis as space is available.

Advising Tips: Students are strongly encouraged to meet with an English Education Advisor, Steven VanderStaay, early in their careers at Western. Students should declare their major by the start of their junior year.

English Secondary Education Advisor: Students must meet with a secondary education academic advisor in the English Department, Steven VanderStaay, to complete a plan of study.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors. Courses required for a state teaching endorsement must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better.


Optional Requirements

ELL/Bilingual Additional Endorsement Required Courses (5 credits)

The following course, while not required for the major, must be completed after admission to the Secondary Education program in order to complete all of the requirements for the Additional ELL/Bilingual Education endorsement:

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