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School of Education - George Mason University

Teaching Culturally & Linguistically Diverse & Exceptional Learners

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Gain professional expertise to teach culturally and linguistically diverse learners with innovative, research-based, asset-based pedagogical approaches!

Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse and Exceptional Learners (TCLDEL) offers a variety of program options designed to prepare current and future educators locally and around the world to teach diverse learners with equity and excellence! Whether you are interested in teaching children in English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Foreign/World Language Education, or International Elementary Education, our TCLDEL program has an option for you! Program options include non-licensure options in the fields of ESOL (PK-12), Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL, PK-12 to Adult), and International Baccalaureate. All TCLDEL options focus on the rich cultural, linguistic, and experiential assets that diverse learners bring to the classroom. Our teacher education coursework is carefully designed to ensure that you gain the theoretical understandings and pedagogical expertise to teach and serve today’s diverse learners effectively wherever you teach!

What You Learn

Students complete a series of core coursework together in addition to coursework specific to their concentration. Most MEd programs are 30-36 credits; some concentrations offer options for initial teacher licensure as well as advanced credentials in the following fields:

Teaching in Diverse Classrooms

Culturally and linguistically diverse and exceptional learners bring unique strengths and needs to today’s classrooms. To honor learners’ strengths and respond to their individual needs, today’s educators must understand how to leverage learners’ strengths as assets, how to provide culturally and linguistically sustaining pedagogy, how to work collaboratively with other professionals to optimize learning environments and outcomes, and how to advocate for diverse learners and their families in classrooms, schools, and communities. Our TCLDEL program options provide teacher education students with the knowledge and research-based practices to meet these challenges as highly qualified professionals!

Why Choose Us

Our TCLDEL program, which includes fully online options, provides teacher education students with opportunities to interact and learn with practicing and/or preservice teachers in a variety of teaching contexts in supportive communities of practice. You will also engage with dedicated teacher education professors with deep expertise in teaching and learning with diverse learners. Most courses in our PK-12 program options require 15 hours of field experience, allowing teacher education students to gain hands-on experiences with diverse learners and to apply what they are learning in real-world contexts. Key understandings are demonstrated through performance-based assessments linked to the field experiences. Note: If you are seeking initial teaching licensure, please go to: for Virginia Department of Education requirements.