Department of - Arts & Humanities
In our increasingly diverse world, the study of multiple languages-in-education is in demand. The Program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education acknowledges the need to provide students with a foundation for understanding and working with bilingual learners in diverse educational settings. Our program specializes in education that privileges language minority student populations in the U.S. and in the world.
Students who select the course of study offered by our program will be prepared to work in schools, community organizations, and international agencies as teachers, specialists, consultants, curriculum designers, and evaluators. Students may also pursue an interest in policy and research and/or continue further studies.
Through our courses, students will examine the phenomenon of multiple languages and cultures in schools, classrooms, and communities within local and global contexts. The courses will allow students to explore interests in teaching in schools where more than one language and culture are part of the curriculum, particularly within the multilingual, multicultural city schools of New York, and to explore how the local and unique situations of schools connect to those found in other parts of the world. Furthermore, students can observe and work in enrichment language education models that will enable them to develop the understanding and working knowledge necessary to educate language minorities while working with the goal of developing proficiency in more than one language for both language-majority and -minority students. Students will examine the nature of cross-cultural understanding and knowledge, as it provides support and access for language minority school populations to respect, develop, and preserve their languages within educational settings, to develop and strengthen their identities, and to go beyond their selves to engage in the world as productive citizens. The courses will also help students explore their place within the context of the presence of multiple language and cultures in schools and communities and in promoting diversity in thinking and social justice in the U.S. and beyond.
Courses within the different departments will allow students to explore the distinction between regular general education teaching and teaching in settings where the curriculum is taught in more than one language, second language learning theory, literacy, and interdisciplinary intellectual endeavors.
Students will plan an appropriate course of study, according to their background, knowledge, and experiences and in relation to their future goals, with their advisor. Students are strongly advised to plan the whole curriculum during their first semester, so as to meet all requirements and to enjoy the multiple possible field experiences in educational settings. Students are also urged to go to the program website (http://www.tc.columbia.edu/a&h/bilingual/) for FAQs to explore the multiple strands available at the M.A. level, New York State requirements for certification, and distinctions in the different fields of study that might be important in the selection of the area of Bilingual/Bicultural Education as a major.
Courses of study:
Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents may pursue a course of study that leads to NY State certification. Students ought to choose a course of study based on their previous studies and experiences and career goals. The following section describes offerings in the Program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education:
M.A. in Bilingual/Bicultural Studies
This 33-point course of study provides students with flexibility to pursue a policy, research, or teaching strand. The program is fully registered with the New York State Education Department. The teaching strand within this course of study does not lead to NY State certification.
M.A. in Bilingual/Bicultural Childhood Education (Dual Certification)
For students with no teacher certification who want to teach in elementary schools. This course of study aims to prepare educators to work in bilingual settings that privilege the education of language-minority students. It leads to NY State certification in Childhood Education (grades 1-6) with a Bilingual Education extension. It also has the potential for extending dual certification to include Middle Childhood Education certification (grades 7-9); interested students should discuss this possibility with an advisor. Within the course of study are two streams:
Stream A is for students with less than one year of full-time teaching experience as a head teacher and requires a minimum of 40 points of coursework.
Stream B is for students who have taught full-time for a minimum of one year as a head teacher, or are presently teaching, and requires a minimum of 33 points of coursework.
M.A. in Bilingual Special Education Studies (BiSPED)
For teacher candidates who wish to explore the learning of children who live at the intersection of differences of language, culture and dis/ability. Graduates from the Bilingual Special Education Studies will be recommended for the initial/professional childhood, bilingual extension, and teaching students with disabilities certifications. Graduates will also have the option of extending their studies to obtain the middle school certification. The program is designed to assist teachers make sense of how multiple layers of difference impact children’s learning. Grounded in disability studies in education and cultural historical activity theory, the program invites participants to learn through research in direct contact with children in schools. Teachers graduate from this program ready to teach in bilingual inclusive contexts where children with and without disabilities learn together, but can work in other contexts such as elementary classrooms, bilingual classrooms, or special education classrooms. The program in bilingual/bicultural education at TC is well established and has been successfully preparing teachers for the multilingual and multicultural educational context for decades now. The field of bilingual/bicultural education itself provides a strong understanding of second language and cultural diversity principles exploring and building on children’s funds of knowledge and considering the multiple sociocultural factors that impact how children learn. It is within this strength-based sociocultural perspective that we see the need to add the knowledge that is required to distinguish disabilities from linguistic and cultural diversity, and for adequately serve children with a variety of ways of learning.
M.A. Program in Bilingual/Bicultural Childhood Education (Transitional B Certification)
Peace Corps Fellows with no teacher certification who want to teach in elementary schools may pursue the 33-point Transitional B course of study. This course of study aims to prepare educators to work in bilingual settings that privilege the education of language-minority students in low-resource schools. The program meets the requirements for NY State certification in Childhood Education (grades 1-6) with a Bilingual Education extension and has the potential for extending dual certification to include Middle Childhood Education certification (grades 7-9). Only students approved by the Peace Corps Fellows Program (www.tc.columbia.edu/pcfellows) are eligible for admission. As part of the program, students must complete a special intensive 200-hour pre-component in the summer and be placed in a school as a teacher. Students will receive supplementary mentoring throughout the year.
M.A. Program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education (Bilingual Extension)
Students who have teacher certification in any area and an interest in a Bilingual Extension should follow this 33-point (minimum) course of study. This program aims to prepare educators to work in bilingual settings that privilege the education of language minority students. It leads to NY State Bilingual extension certification. Students who have teaching certificates in elementary or secondary education can also pursue Middle Childhood Education certification (grades 7-9).
Advanced Certificate in Bilingual/Bicultural Education
The 15-point Advanced Certificate course of study is for students who are pursuing NY State teacher certification in another area or who already hold NY State teacher certification. In addition, students who hold baccalaureate degrees but do not wish to pursue master’s degrees may enroll. The course of study leads to NY State Bilingual Extension certification.
BILINGUAL/BICULTURAL STUDIES - Academic Track (MA-BILG)
- Master of Arts (M.A.)
BILINGUAL/BICULTURAL CHILDHOOD EDUCATION - Dual Certification (MA-BILC-DU)
- Master of Arts (M.A.)
BILINGUAL SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDIES - BiSPED (MA-BILS-DU)
- Master of Arts (M.A.)
BILINGUAL/BICULTURAL CHILDHOOD EDUCATION - Transitional B Certification (MA-BILC-TR)
- Master of Arts (M.A.)
BILINGUAL/BICULTURAL EDUCATION - Bilingual Extension/Professional (MA-BILG-EX)
- Master of Arts (M.A.)
BILINGUAL/BICULTURAL EDUCATION - Advanced Certificate (CERT-BILG-EX)
For a complete listing of degree requirements, please click the "Degrees" tab above
For a complete listing of degree requirements, please continue on to this program's "Degrees" section in this document
Master of Arts
All courses of study require three core foundational courses and a bilingual inquiry course. M.A. programs require an integrative project. The teaching strands with Bilingual/Bicultural Studies and the courses of study programs leading to NY State certification require a practicum or student teaching experience. Students are strongly urged to consult with an academic advisor on all degree requirements.
Foundation and Inquiry Courses:
- A&HB 4021 Foundations of bilingual/bicultural education (3)
- A&HB 4024 Linguistic foundations of bilingual/bicultural education (3)
- A&HB 4075 Cross-cultural communication and classroom ecology (3)
- A&HB 4150 Teacher/educational inquiry: Bilingual/bicultural education (1-3)
Each student will choose courses with advisor assistance. The following shows a sample of recommended courses for potential concentrations.
MA in Bilingual/Bicultural Education (Academic track, not leading to certification)
Concentration on Research - Choose among the following courses:
- ITSF 4015 Introduction to computers, language, and literacy
- ITSF 4060 Latinos in urban schools
- ITSF 5016 Ethnography of education
- A&HL 4003 Schools of linguistic analysis
- A&HL 4104 Discourse analysis
- A&HL 4106 Text and textuality
- A&HL 5008 Interlanguage analysis
- EDPS 5020 Methods of social research
- EDPS 5022 Sociological analysis of educational systems
- C&T 5000 Theory and inquiry in curriculum and teaching
- HBSK 5085 Observing and assessing preschool children
Concentration on Policy - Choose among the following courses:
- ITSF 4025 Languages, society, and schools
- A&HB 5024 Bilingual/multilingual education: International perspectives
- A&HB 4199 Topics in bilingualism and bilingual/bicultural education
- EDPS 4000 Education and public policy
- EDPP 5042 Urban politics and education
- EDPP 5045 Race, ethnicity, and U.S. educational policy
- Policy courses in Curriculum and Teaching
MA in Bilingual/Bicultural Education (leading to NYS Teacher Certification)
Concentration on Teaching - Choose among courses that are required for programs leading to certification.
Courses of study leading to certification require the following:
- A&HB 4020 Bilingualism and disabilities (1)
- A&HB 4028 Teaching literacy in bilingual settings (3)
- A&HB 4121 Bilingual/bicultural curriculum design in elementary and middle schools (3)
- A&HB 4133 Curriculum and methods for bilingual teachers: Science (2-3)
- A&HB 4134 Curriculum and methods for bilingual teachers: Mathematics (2-3)
- A&HL 4076 TESOL methodologies for PK-6 (3)
The Master of Arts - Dual program leading to Initial Certification in Childhood Education and the Bilingual Extension Certification has two options:
Stream A (for students with less than 1 year of full-time teaching experience as a head teacher) requires one full year of student teaching with the accompanying courses (a total of 17 additional credits), for a minimum of 40 credits for the degree.
Stream B (for students with at least 1 year of full-time teaching experience as a head teacher) requires a half-year of student teaching (7 credits) for a minimum of 33 credits for the degree.
The Master of Arts - Transitional B program requires a practicum course in conjunction with full-time teaching, or a student teaching experience if the student does not have his/her own classroom, for a minimum of 33 credits for the degree.
The Master of Arts - Bilingual Extension leads to the Bilingual Extension Certification, requires a half-year of student teaching or a practicum (depending on whether the student has his/her own classroom), for a minimum of 33 credits for the degree.
Students who are not pursuing an M.A. in Bilingual/Bicultural Education and who either hold teacher certification in another area or are simultaneously pursuing teacher certification in another area can choose the 15-credit Advanced Certificate. The course of study includes the foundation courses and at least 3 points from any of the following courses:
- A&HB 4121 Bilingual/bicultural curriculum design in elementary and middle schools
- A&HB 4133 Curriculum and methods for bilingual teachers: Science
- A&HB 4134 Curriculum and methods for bilingual teachers: Mathematics
- A&HB 4028 Teaching literacy in bilingual settings
- A&HB 4323/4720 Practicum/Student teaching in bilingual/bicultural education
New York State Education Department (NYSED) has teacher certification requirements that are needed for program completion and graduation which are listed in the Office of Teacher Education section of the catalog.
Before you apply to the Program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education, please read the descriptions of the different degree tracks very carefully to ensure that you apply to the appropriate track. If you are unsure of which track to apply to, contact the Bilingual/Bicultural Education office at (212) 678.3758 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the Bilingual/Bicultural Education website for full details on how to apply, then click on "Apply." In addition to the standard Teachers College Application, the program requires fluency in at least one language other than English (LOTE) and a version of the personal statement submitted in a LOTE.
For up to date information about course offerings including faculty information, please visit the online course schedule.
This course is a solid introduction to the field of special education with an added emphasis on its intersection with bilingual education. It engages students in the study of the nature, psycho-social, and educational needs of individuals across the educational lifespan with disabilities. Within this course we consider issues in special education from the historical philosophical, legal, cultural, linguistic, and ethical viewpoints, and the responsibilities of teachers and other professionals toward students with disabilities and their families. Additionally, the course offers an opportunity to analyze the research in bilingual education in relation to the complexity of the over- and under-representation of bilingual students in special education, issues in relation to differentiating cultural and linguistic-related learning variations from special education issues, and instructional implications (including assistive technology).
Review of the linguistic, socio-cultural, philosophical, political, and historical foundations that have shaped bilingual education policies, program models, and teaching and assessment practices. This course addresses both elementary and middle school/secondary education content. Analysis of how diverse bilingual education elementary and middle school program models throughout the world respond to different linguistic, social, and educational goals.
Introduction to the study of bilingualism. Study of sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics as applied to the design and implementation of bilingual/bicultural educational models and materials.
Approaches to developing literacy in a second and native language in elementary and middle schools. Techniques for developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills; developing language and literacy through the content areas; using children's literature; and assessing students' literacy development in the second and native language. Strategies to develop biliteracy in dual language programs.
Participants will become familiar with literature for children and adolescents portraying Latino/a characters and themes, with various Latino/a authors, poets and illustrators, and with resources available for educators. The course provides criteria for the selection of such literature, specifically criteria to identify cultural authenticity. The experiences provided in the course will build a foundation for developing research and practice using Latino literature to support all readers in mainstream and bilingual classrooms.
Examination of the influence of culture in the design and implementation of school instruction. Identification of salient theoretical issues related to culture and social organization as they relate to the education of ethnolinguistic and minoritized children. Exploration of the learning/teaching processes within the context of multicultural and bilingual classroom settings from a cultural perspective. Reflection upon the role of the teacher in creating cultural learning environments. Survey of research approaches which serve as tools to examine classroom interaction. Use of technology for exploring the knowledge of minoritized learners.
Prerequisites: Proficiency in the English language and one additional language. The course focuses on three aspects addressing both elementary and middle school contexts: (a) linguistic, cognitive, developmental, and socio-cultural considerations in the design of bi/multilingual curricula; (b) exploration of bi/multilingual instructional methods and materials for use in language arts and content areas; (c) critique of current commercially prepared products.
Intensive review of curriculum and methods appropriate to the teaching of the subject areas in bilingual elementary and middle school instructional settings. Offered for those wishing to obtain elementary, bilingual extension, and/or middle school certifications.
Intensive review of curriculum and methods appropriate to the teaching of the subject areas in bilingual instructional settings. Offered as needed for those wishing to obtain bilingual teacher certification.
The Latina Narratives class is a class in which we explore language not just in what people say about themselves or about how others characterize them, but also in relation to the historical concept of erasure, defined as the social organization of forgetting, an always-almost forgotten denial of form, life, and validity of place, and where only ghostly traces and residual mass remain. Students will read Latina narratives, read about narrative methodologies, and will do a narrative of a Latina woman.
Open only to students registered in any of the M.A. Programs in Bilingual/Bicultural Education. Reflective inquiry focused on bilingualism or biculturalism in relation to instruction in the native language, native language development, second language learning, and the relationship between the theory and practice of learning and/or teaching in bi/multilingual/multicultural settings. Course supports students in development and presentation of their Integrative Project.
Permission required. This course is for current teachers or students with prior teaching experience. Practical application of bilingual and bicultural classroom practices in all content areas, the teaching of an additional language (ESL or LOTE), and the development of bilingualism. Classroom observations and supervision will be provided for full-time teachers and student teachers. Weekly seminars focus on teaching strategies for a variety of bilingual settings, including teaching content and developing language.
Permission required. Student teaching in bilingual elementary classroom. Practical application of bilingual and bicultural classroom practices in all content areas, the teaching of an additional language (ESL or LOTE), and the development of bilingualism. Classroom observations and supervision will be provided for student teachers. Weekly seminars focus on teaching strategies for a variety of bilingual settings, including teaching content and developing language. Emphasis on the use of technology (such as video recording) for informing one’s teaching.
Permission required. Student teaching in the English elementary classroom teaching students with and without disabilities. Practical application of bilingual and bicultural classroom practices in all content areas while teaching in English and attending to the development of bilingualism. Classroom observations and supervision will be provided for full-time teachers and student teachers. Weekly seminars focus on teaching strategies for a variety of settings teaching in English, including teaching content and developing English as a second language. Emphasis on the use of technology (such as video recording) for informing one’s teaching.
A survey of bilingual/multilingual educational policies and practices throughout the world. While such models and designs are analyzed from a comparative educational perspective, much attention is given to the ethnolinguistic, social, economic, and political contexts.
A review of research in bilingual/bicultural education from an interdisciplinary perspective. The focus is on the analysis of research, evaluation methodologies and findings, and their potential application to current theory and practice.