Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

Bilingual Education | Program Overview


School of Education
Spring Valley, Room 4th Floor

Garcia, Jacqueline E
Senior Administrative Assistant

School of Education
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016

Bilingual Education Program

Teacher teaching student.

The graduate program in bilingual education prepares educators and policymakers to work in the field of bilingual education both domestically and internationally. The program provides candidates with up-to-date knowledge of the foundations, social contexts, and pedagogical approaches of bilingual education from an interdisciplinary and collaborative curriculum.  

This master’s program provides students with a strong theoretical background that allows them to assess and analyze various bilingual learning environments and builds on the strong foundational knowledge, skills, and experience needed to work in these challenging settings. Washington, DC, is one of the most linguistically diverse cities in the United States and students are able to transfer the theoretical to the practical through American University’s partnerships with schools and language education programs in the DC metropolitan area. This integrated approach provides educators with the essential skills they need to address the educational requirements of linguistically diverse populations as well as influence education policy. 

Students that participate in this program are able to focus in one of three areas of concentration:  

This allows participants to specialize in an area that allows them to meet their own career goals and needs. In order to meet these needs, these concentrations prepare students for professional careers in teaching for public or private bilingual schools and higher or adult education settings, project management and research in international education, or policy and program development in the United States and overseas. There is also a bilingual education certificate available for those who are already active in the education field and want to enhance their knowledge and skills in bilingual education.  

Due to the collaborative nature of this curriculum, students are able to take advantage of the professional development events and conferences in all three of the degree programs that make up the bilingual education portfolio. This allows them to increase their network and also gain an understanding of all of the elements that contribute to and surround language education both here and abroad. In this way students not only become skilled practitioners, but also active participants in the bilingual education arena.

* The Bilingual Education program is currently under review and no new students will be admitted to this program in academic year 2016-2017.

2016 Heritage Language Conference

Heritage Language Conference 2015 - School of Education

Please join us for the 3rd annual Community-Based Heritage Language Conference, October 1, 2016. 

See 2016 Conference Info

Contact Information

For more information about the program, please email

Special Tuition Rate

All coursework for the Bilingual Education programs is offered at a 29% discounted rate through 2018 to promote the growth of bilingual education practitioners and experts.

Native English Speakers and Dual Language Programs

Jennifer Steele, associate professor, discusses her research with the New York Times about increases in academic performance of native English speakers in dual language programs. Read the article.