Educational Specialist
Second Language Instruction

Total cost:

$12,184 View Tuition Details

Application due date for October 3, 2022 term: September 30

Estimated time to completion: 21 months

Take your career further.

The Educational Specialist in Second Language Instruction is for professionals with a master’s degree who wish to advance their second language instruction skills and knowledge at the post-master’s level without having to complete a dissertation. Students will become more effective leaders in the field of Second Language Instruction through in-depth knowledge of research-based theories of language acquisition, assessment and instructional methods, strategies that promote cultural understanding, and current best practices to meet the needs of second language learners across diverse educational settings.


in the nation for most Educational Specialist degrees awarded in Second Language Instruction*.

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What you can expect.

  • Transferable If you choose to continue your education, you can apply most of the credits earned in this specialist program toward our Ed.D. in Second Language Instruction and get your degree faster.
  • Comprehensive Approach The program coursework covers a variety of topics in Second Language Instruction, including methods and materials, professional advocacy and leadership and using technology.
  • Flexible Study on your schedule. Our online format allows you to plan your coursework around your life.
  • Advanced Coursework You will learn how to apply in-depth, research-supported knowledge of language development and acquisition, current technology, and cultural and linguistic diversity to design and implement curriculum and instruction for second language learners. You’ll also participate in opportunities to grow as a professional and leader in the educational field. Engage in ongoing learning and leadership communities to analyze data and instructional practices and conduct research to enhance understanding of new language learners and their academic and social needs across diverse settings.

This program is not currently available for residents of Arkansas, Florida, and Kentucky.

A few of the classes you'll take.

  • LEAD6001 Introduction to Advanced Studies 1 semester credit
  • BE6043 Advanced Foundations of Second Language Learners 3 semester credits
  • RES6041 Scholarly Writing and Research Strategies 1 semester credit
Tiffany Hamlett, Ph.D.

Department Chair

Tiffany Hamlett, Ph.D.
Administrative Faculty and Chair,
Department of Teaching and Learning
View All Faculty

A degree you can count on.

American College of Education is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission— a federally-recognized accrediting agency. The College’s accreditation includes approval to offer degree programs, in education, healthcare, nursing and business and leadership through distance education via the Internet. Accreditation ensures that an institution’s academic program meets or exceeds acceptable levels of quality and is the most recognized accreditation status for higher education entities. To receive and maintain HLC accreditation and affiliation approval, we must continuously undergo routine peer review cycles and provide proof that our programs meet or exceed HLC accreditation criteria and expectations of quality.

A Note About Licensure:

While this program provides a comprehensive understanding of the intended program outcomes, it does not lead to licensure, certification, or endorsement. ACE offers several programs that do provide a pathway to licensure, certification, or endorsement and they can be found here.

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Ed.S. in Second Language Instruction

Total Tuition

34 semester credits
x $306 per credit



$100 Application Fee

$1,530 Technology & Library Fee
($45 per credit)

$150 Program Conferral Fee


Total Program Cost*


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1This is an estimated value of the cost for tuition and fees. Amounts may vary depending on number of transfer credits applied to the selected program hours or program pathway credit hours, the pace and satisfactory completion of the selected program or program pathway credit hours, receipt of, or eligibility for, institutional or non-institutional scholarship and/or grant amounts, and adjustments to tuition or fees as described in the Catalog Right to Modify Tuition section.

State of California Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF)

It is a state of California requirement that a student who pays his or her tuition is required to pay a state-imposed assessment two dollars and fifty cents ($2.50) per one thousand dollars ($1,000) of institutional charges, rounded to the nearest thousand dollars, for the California Student Tuition Recovery Fund. For more information and to see if you must pay the state-imposed assessment for Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) click here.

Admission Requirements

Ed.S. in Second Language Instruction

ACE General Admission Requirements

  • Complete and submit all application components including the admission application, the enrollment agreement, and the payment agreement.
  • Submit the nonrefundable application fee.*
  • Provide official transcripts from a regionally accredited institution indicating successful completion of the level of education required for entry to the program.**

*The application fee is valid for one year from date of submission.
**Additional evidence may be required to fulfill state requirements, including but not limited to verification of professional experience, test scores, or an interview.

Program Admission Requirements

Ed.S. in Second Language Instruction

  • Master's or doctoral level
  • Minimum grade point average 2.50 on a 4.00 scale for full admission
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average 2.00 on a 4.00 scale for provisional admission
  • Submit a current curriculum vitae (preferred) or resume
  • Submit a goal statement, in response to a department-specific prompts
  • Complete an interview​​
  • Applicants must achieve and maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout their program

International Transcript Requirements

All applicants must submit to the Admissions Office official, sealed college transcripts from each institution attended.

  • Transcripts that are international and/or not in English must be evaluated through an NACES-recommended agency.
  • Texas applicants may only submit evaluations from agencies approved by the Texas Education Agency.
  • International applicants must request the course-by-course evaluation. The evaluation report must show that the non-U.S. education is equivalent to the education/accreditation level required for the program.

English as a Second Language Applicants

All applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate competence in the English language as demonstrated in one of three ways:

  1. Submission of an official transcript showing a degree from a United States secondary school or regionally accredited college/university.

  2. Submission of an official minimum score on the paper or internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams.
    • The minimum TOEFL score required for the internet-based version is 80, and the paper-based version requires a minimum TOEFL score of 20 for each of the three skills: Reading, Listening, and, Writing.

    • The minimum IELTS score required is 6.5. Note: IELTS is not acceptable for Texas programs leading to certification.

    • The testing agency must send test scores directly to American College of Education.
  3. Applicants to the Texas Educational Leadership program whose first language is not English must submit a minimum scaled score of 24 for speaking, 22 for listening, 22 for reading, and 21 for writing from the Internet-Based TOEFL (IBT) or evidence of an undergraduate or graduate degree earned at an institution of higher education in a country outside of the United States listed in Figure: 19 TAC §230.11(b)(5)(C).


Ed.S. in Second Language Instruction

Explore the classes you'll take to fulfill this program's 34 semester credit requirement. For more information, a complete list of requirements, and course options, see the College Catalog.

Leadership Course

(1 semester credit)

Students will undertake an examination of the rigors of advanced graduate study and reflect on personal strengths and challenges at the start of their program. Topics include: identity as scholar-practitioner, models of inquiry, self-assessment, and professional goals.

Research Courses

(9 semester credits)

This course examines the importance of scholarly writing in your leadership practice, the foundation of how to write in a scholarly mode, and research strategies to support your doctoral writing. 
This course provides learners with the foundation and practical application of research methods and designs. Emphasis will be placed on evaluating research literature and aligning the components of qualitative and quantitative methods and designs. Students will explore theoretical frameworks for research studies and dissertations. Ethical practices in research will also be explored.
This course examines basic principles in applied statistics. Topics include data types, organizing data, graphing techniques, probability concepts, measures of central tendency, measures of dispersion, normal and skewed distributions, and understanding the area that covers normal distributions. Understanding, applying, and interpreting the principles to of simple hypothesis testing methods through a seven-step process is are also covered. The course is designed to provide an introduction to statistical applications that can be applied in real-world settings. along with providing an excellent foundation for entering into the more advanced statistical applications and analyses using SPSS.
This course provides students the opportunity to complete an approved concept paper as the first step toward the Ed.S. original research project. Students will apply advanced research skills to address a real-world application of scholarly expertise as it relates to solving an existing problem. A description of the project will provide the rationale for the goals and objectives and includes a literature review, methodology, and the anticipated results of the research project.

Second Language Instruction Courses

(24 semester credits)

This course provides an understanding of the historical, political, social, cultural, and instructional concepts and issues that affect linguistically and culturally diverse learners in a variety of settings. Students will research and review local, state, and federal policies regarding entitlement and appropriate services for second language learners. Students will gain in-depth knowledge of language development and acquisition and design research based support and instruction for second language learners. U.S. and international program models are analyzed and current theories of Second Language Acquisition (SLA), bilingualism, and socio-cultural theories are explored for their pedagogical implications. Students will develop assessment instruments, select materials, and learn how to monitor learning outcomes to support and enhance the development of second language learners.
Students in this course examine assessment approaches for second language learners within the larger framework of historical, social, cultural, and political contexts. Students will evaluate assessment tools and research historical theories in order to analyze the best practices in assessment of second language learners. Utilizing a variety of theoretical models related to second language acquisition and academic achievement, students 1) analyze the ways that second language students are diverse, 2) discuss equitable assessment of diverse learners, and 3) evaluate existing instruments for second language learners. Students examine and review relevant state or national standards for content matter learning and language proficiency and examine how those are assessed in mandated, large-scale assessment and in professional assessments (traditional and alternative). Students in non-traditional settings will examine how to align assessment methods with current professional standards for the field. Students will learn how to target certain learning outcomes by using critically evaluated materials.
This course focuses on the methodology for teaching language and content to second language learners. Participants research and critically examine historical and current ESL and bilingual education program models, theories of ESL and bilingual instruction and literacy, first and second language acquisition, and transfer of skills and content knowledge between first and second language. Relevant federal, state, and local learning and assessment standards are researched, reviewed and applied to their instructional settings. Participants research and use various methods, approaches, and techniques, as well as discuss the selection, use, and evaluation of books, multimedia, and other materials in the first and subsequent languages to support second language learners across multiple professional settings.
This course addresses growth opportunities for leaders as they increase their awareness of the need for advocates in the area of second language instruction in a variety of settings. Students will research policy and laws at the local, state, and national levels and reflect upon how they impact the second language learners in their current professional setting. Emphasis is placed on building the knowledge and skills required to share information on policies and trends with colleagues; to work collaboratively with others to advocate for second language learners and instructor rights, needs, and resources, and to represent and advocate for second language learners both within and beyond their current instructional settings.
This course covers the following essential dimensions of linguistics and the acquisition of language: language and the brain, first and second language acquisition, major components of linguistics (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and sociolinguistics), cognition and learning, and communicative competence.  The course examines second language learners and their proficiency in oral, reading, and writing skills in English as well as the importance of the home languages as a foundation for learning a second language. Students get an overview of socio-cultural, psychological, and political variables that play a part in second language acquisition, which will translate to greater understanding of second language learners as they navigate the community and professional settings.
This course will examine types of educational technology resources which support second language learners. Students will explore how to evaluate the use of technology in different educational settings, and how to integrate it in course design. Students will also analyze strategies for assessing and selecting current and relevant technology tools to meet the needs of second language learners. Students will be required to develop an integrated technology project for improving second language learners' language development or an academic aspect in an instructional setting. Students will also create a research proposal to investigate a technology tool to support second language education, aligned to the developmental needs of their learners.
This course evaluates the impact of culture on society and the educational system and the role in addressing the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students. This course will explore the dynamic processes of acculturation and cultural conflict in learning a second language. Students will examine the role of culture in an educational system and how ethnolinguistic groups contribute to the dynamics of the classroom. Students will analyze behavioral expectations and learning styles of students from different backgrounds and how classroom dynamics and teacher expectations shape perceptual judgments of learners. Students will create culturally relevant instruction to further second language development and the academic success of diverse groups and create ways to foster collaborative and dynamic learning environments.
The Capstone Experience is designed for candidates to demonstrate and document the impact their knowledge and competencies gained throughout and as a result of the Educational Specialist in the Second Language Instruction program.