Children in classroom

Bilingual/Bicultural Education

What Is Bilingual/Bicultural Education?

The Bilingual/Bicultural Education Minor program prepares future K-12 teachers to teach academic content (math, science, language arts, etc.) in two languages, such as English and Spanish.

This minor prepares you to teach in a variety of bilingual settings where the goal is bilingualism and biliteracy for K-12 students including:

  • Spanish Immersion classrooms: English-speaking students learn academic content for a majority of their day in Spanish.
  • Dual Language classrooms: English-speaking and Spanish-speaking students are combined for instruction that uses both languages to teach academic content.
  • Maintenance Bilingual classrooms: Spanish-speaking students learn academic content in Spanish and English to maintain the native language and acquire English.

There are many benefits to Bilingual/Bicultural Education for children such as:

  • Higher academic achievement than English-only instruction
  • Students are less likely to drop out of high school
  • Promotes reading and writing skills in two languages
  • Develops positive attitudes towards other peoples and cultures
  • Builds self-pride and self-esteem

The program offers 22 hours of clinical teaching in a bilingual classroom with guidance from a bilingual teacher and the program advisor, so you are prepared before you student-teach and before you start looking for a job. Our minor program is approved by the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board, so you can apply for an endorsement to your Minnesota teaching license. WSU is the only public institution in Minnesota that offers a minor in Bilingual/Bicultural Education for pre-service teachers.

More than 5 million students in the U.S. are learning English, and that number is expected to grow. Many school districts have a shortage of bilingual teachers; some districts even pay bilingual teachers more money than other teachers. There are over 70 bilingual/bicultural programs in Minnesota!

Are you interested in teaching English as a Second Language? Check out the ESLT major and the TESOL minor.

What’s the difference between TESOL and Bilingual/Bicultural Education? The goal of Bilingual/Bicultural Education is proficiency and literacy in two languages, while the goal of TESOL programs are proficiency and literacy in English.

Bilingual/Bicultural Education teachers must demonstrate advanced spoken and written proficiency in English and the language of their students (e.g., Spanish). Our program prepares you to read, write and speak at an advanced academic level so you can teach your students effectively in both languages.

View the Bilingual/Bicultural Education Minor requirements.

Minnesota currently allows these teaching licenses to add the Bilingual/Bicultural Education endorsement:

  • Elementary Education (K-6)
  • Math Education (5-12/7-12)
  • Science Education (5-12/7-12)
  • Social Studies Education (5-12/7-12)
  • School Health Education (5-12/7-12)

Are you a licensed teacher who wants the Bilingual/Bicultural endorsement? Contact us to find out how we can help!