Teaching Social Studies and History to English Language Learners (Graduate Certificate)

Title III – Improving Content Learning for English Language Learners

Since social studies/history is a field that English Language Learners will be exposed to during their entire Pre-K-12 academic careers, the University of Massachusetts Boston offers a four-course certificate in Advanced Strategies in Teaching Social Studies/History to ELLs. The evolution of the project (along with a similar project in Math/ELL) has resulted in UMass Boston Certificates in Advanced Teaching of Social Studies/History to ELLs.

Goals of the Program

  • To provide support in effective social studies/history instruction for teachers who work with ELL students;
  • To improve the academic success of ELL students in social studies/history by increasing participant teachers’ understanding of Sheltered English Immersion; 
  • To provide support for teachers to help ELL students reach grade appropriate English proficiency and social studies/history achievement levels.


The UMass Boston certificate provides teachers with strategies to increase ELL students’ knowledge of academic English and social studies/history achievement. It includes courses in three fields: history, curriculum and Instruction, and applied linguistics. It focuses on the teaching of social studies/history in Sheltered English Instruction (SEI) settings. Topics relate social studies/history instruction and learning to evaluation and assessment, multicultural education, second language teaching methodology, first language maintenance, and applied linguistics. It is open to all ESL, early childhood, elementary, middle, and secondary teachers of social studies and/or history.

UMass Boston Courses1

  • HIST 664: History of Boston (3 Credits)
  • HIST 694: History for English Language Learners (3 Credits)
  • EDC G 676: Advanced Strategies for Teaching Social Studies/History to ELLs (3 Credits)
  • APLING 603: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (3 Credits)

Participants and Additional Opportunities

Who may participate?

  • Early Childhood and Elementary Teachers
  • Middle and High School Teachers of Social Studies/History
  • ESL Teachers
  • SPED Teachers

Contact Us

Teaching Social Studies/History to ELLs

Department of Applied Linguistics
University of Massachusetts Boston W-06-96
Tel.: 617.287.5726

For more information, please contact:

Mary Cazabon, EdD
Teaching Social Studies/History to ELLs
Department of Applied Linguistics



1 Alternate courses can be substituted with the approval of an advisor

Featured Event

Seeing the Diversity of American History: People, Places, Pedagogy, and Primary Sources with Edward T O'Donnell, History Dept, Holy Cross College
July 6, 2016
9:00-4:00 PM
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