New Eastern Michigan University program in K-12 Bilingual Education opens doors to new teaching careers

EMU becomes the first university in Michigan to provide such a degree program

A student teacher reads a book to young pupils.

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University students who love working with students and adolescents, enjoy other cultures and are excited about developing proficiency in a World Language will have an exciting new option next year: an academic program in K-12 Bilingual Education.

The EMU Board of Regents approved the program at its regular board meeting on Thursday, Oct. 25. Eastern Michigan University is the first university in the state to provide the degree program.

“The K-12 Bilingual Education program will provide expertise for students to become leaders in a field of growing importance,” said Rhonda Longworth, provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs. “Students will develop a critical perspective that allows them to advocate for bilingual educators, administrators, children, and families both in and outside the K-12 education system.”

The Michigan Dept. of Education recently approved state teacher certification for Bilingual Education, publishing Standards for the Preparation of Teachers of Bilingual Education in Feb. 2017.

“As bilingual education was not a teacher certification program since 2007, this means that Michigan K-12 schools will be in the market for certified bilingual teachers in the near future,” Longworth said. “Given that Eastern Michigan is the premier language teacher education program in Michigan, it is imperative to meet state and federal Department of Education expectations in creating a program to educate bilingual teachers.”

Students will learn to plan and deliver creative, engaging, age-appropriate lessons for K-12 learners and will have many opportunities to practice their skills when teaching small-group lessons to their peers, working individually with special-needs learners, and leading their classroom during student teaching.

The World Language department currently has more than 100 TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and 100 language majors and minors. The bilingual program is projected to add around 20-25 percent to that number of students who will be taking both language and TESOL courses.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 19,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.


October 25, 2018

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Media Contact:
Geoff Larcom