Bilingual/Bicultural Education Minor

More than 5 million students in the U.S. are learning English, and that number is expected to rise. Yet many school districts don’t have enough bilingual teachers. Some school districts even pay bilingual teachers more money than other instructors.

The Bilingual/Bicultural Education minor program prepares future and current K-12 teachers to teach academic content in 2 languages, such as English and Spanish.

Through this program, you will learn how to read, write, and speak at an advanced academic level, so you can teach your students effectively in both languages.

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

  • Spanish Immersion classrooms: English-speaking students learn academic content in Spanish for most of the day.
  • 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.

This program is also flexible for nearly all languages—not just Spanish. Whatever language you plan to teach in, you’ll need to complete composition, culture, and linguistics classes in that language.

Program Overview

Bilingual/Bicultural teachers are important, as the number of multilingual K-12 students is growing every year.

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 2 languages
  • Develops positive attitudes towards other peoples and cultures
  • Builds self-pride and self-esteem

This program will prepare you to serve these students’ needs by teaching curriculum in 2 languages. This minor must be accompanied with a teacher education licensure major.

You will complete 30 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. 

View the Bilingual/Bicultural Education minor course requirements.

Bilingual/Bicultural Education Endorsement

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.

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) 

If you’re already a licensed teacher and want to add on a Bilingual/Bicultural Education endorsement, we can help you with that. We will evaluate your prior coursework, identify the courses you need, and set you up for your 80-hour practicum.

To receive an add-on endorsement, you must demonstrate advanced language proficiency in the language you want to teach in. Contact us to get started with this process.

Bilingual/Bicultural Education vs. TESOL

The goal of Bilingual/Bicultural Education is advanced proficiency and literacy in 2 languages, while the goal of Teaching English as a TESOL programs are proficiency and literacy in English. 

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

Contact the Global Studies & World Languages Department
Dr. Mary Hudgens Henderson
Bilingual Education Program Advisor, Assistant Professor


Email Mary Hudgens Henderson