Master of Education in Language and Literacies Education

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Master of Education in Language and Literacies Education

Master of Education in Language and Literacies Education Overview

The Master of Education in Language and Literacies Education investigates questions around the relationships of literacies in language and language in literacies across communities, societies, instructional environments, and informal learning settings.

The scope of the program encompasses the following within applied linguistics and literacies studies:

  • The learning, teaching, and use of first and additional (non-native) languages in diverse settings
  • Curriculum, instruction, and assessment related to the development of first and additional language and K-12 literacy skills;
  • The development of bilingual, multilingual, and translinguistic abilities;
  • Language and literacy education policies and planning;
  • Pedagogy oriented towards multiliteracies development, including early literacy and adolescent reading, writing and oral language development, and children’s literature across the curriculum;
  • Social justice issues related to plurilingualism and cultural and linguistic diversity; and
  • Pedagogical implications of the fact that language and literacy are infused into all aspects of learning in contexts characterized by linguistic diversity.

For detailed information about the program, please consult the School of Graduate Studies Calendar.

At a Glance

Study Options
Full-time (4 sessions)
Part-time (10 sessions)
Coursework (10 half courses)

Funding and Tuition
For current information about tuition fees, funding, and financial support, visit Tuition and Financial Support.  

Deadlines
Applications to the Master of Education in Language and Literacies Education for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle are open.

To view updated program deadlines, visit the OISE application deadlines and closing dates page.

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Why I Chose Curriculum, Teaching & Learning

Yecid Ortega
Yecid Ortega (Master of Arts 2015, Doctor of Philosophy 2021)

Lecturer and Research Assistant
Language, Literacies and Comparative International and Development Education

My journey has taken me from teaching English as a Foreign Language in Colombia to the USA where I worked as a Spanish teacher, teacher educator and curriculum developer for various schools and now to Canada – where I have found my home in research and education in teacher education programs and TESOL. At OISE, I explore issues of social justice in language teacher education and culture, race, linguistics, human rights, and gender equality around the world.

Master of Education in Language and Literacies Education Admission Requirements

General Admission Requirements

Please visit the OISE Admissions website for detailed information about the application process, including general minimum admission requirements and supporting documents. 

 

Program-Specific Information (Minimum Admission Requirements)

Minimum admission requirements for this program are:

We encourage equity-seeking groups to identify themselves in their application.

 


 

Required Supporting Documents

All applicants must submit: 

  • Online Application
  • Transcript(s) from each post-secondary institution attended
  • Two letters of reference (one academic and one professional)
  • A résumé that provides clear and complete information about the applicant's work or field experience related to their proposed studies
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if applicable
  • Completion of program application questions (called "Faculty Questions"):
    1. In up to 1,000 words, describe why you wish to undertake a graduate program in Language and Literacies Education. Tell us about your background, your work in education, and your study interests. We ask each applicant to:
      • Highlight your teaching experiences and all experiences related to education; discuss how you will build on these experiences in your graduate work.
      • Write about yourself as a lifelong learner (e.g., by identifying formal education endeavours, such as courses and workshops, or informal endeavours, such as professional learning community discussions); discuss how you will build on these experiences in your graduate work.
    2. Based on what you shared in the previous question, list 3-5 keywords to let us know your research interests.

    3. Is there any additional information you want to share with the Admissions Committee that will inform their review of your application?

  • View FAQ for other important application notes.

Additional Admissions Information

We are looking for applicants who have a sound academic background and a deep interest in education.  

Applicants should have demonstrated commitment to education prior to applying. Please note, the Master of Education program is not a teacher certification program. For more information on our teacher certification programs please visit: OISE Teacher Education Degrees.

The Language and Literacies Education program is designed for flexibility. Choose courses that best meet your needs. The program details are as follows:

  • The LLE MEd degree requires ten completed courses. There is no thesis requirement.
  • At least five of the ten courses must be Language and Literacies Education courses. LLE courses are identified with CTL3000-level course codes (i.e. CTL3000H to CTL3999H) and Special Topics courses in LLE are identified as CTL5300H to CTL5699H (Masters Level) and CTL6300H to CTL6999H (Doctoral Level).
  • Non-LLE courses (if you choose to take them) can include Masters-level courses from the Curriculum & Pedagogy program or courses from any other OISE departments: Social Justice EducationApplied Psychology and Human Development, and Leadership, Higher, and Adult Education

The LLE Program offers a wide variety of courses. Our classes typically consist of 15 to 25 students.

The LLE MEd can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis, whereas the LLE MEd Field in Language Teaching can only be taken on a full-time basis. 

Full-time students are required to take at least two courses (or maximum of three) in the fall session and at least two courses (or a maximum of three) in the winter session. Part-time students may take a maximum of one course per session. A typical course involves 12 classes. During the fall and winter session, a class will meet once each week. The summer session has a first term (May to June) and a second term (July to August), during which time if you choose to take courses, classes meet twice a week for six weeks per term. Classes are normally scheduled for the early evening (e.g., 5pm to 8pm) or the early afternoon (e.g., 1pm to 4pm), Monday through Thursday. We also offer a large selection of online courses, which allow you to participate from home.

Interested in interdisciplinary study?

UofT offers collaborative specializations which involve the cooperation of two or more graduate units (i.e. departments, programs, or centres). Students admitted to LLE have the opportunity to discover the research possibilities available with the following collaborative specializations: 

The Optional MEd Field in Language Teaching is designed for novice teachers interested in beginning their careers as language teachers. Students pursuing this field will graduate with:

  1. a solid theoretical and intellectual grounding in LLE research;
  2. a course-based, practitioner focus on the fundamentals of language teaching; and
  3. the opportunity to gain practical experience in a language-education context through a required practicum.

This combination of theoretical, scholarly and practical experiences allows graduates to apply for teaching positions in a number of language-education contexts in Canada and elsewhere. The field in Language Teaching will be clearly noted on graduates' transcripts.

Please note: this concentration does NOT lead to certification with the Ontario College of Teachers, and it does NOT lead to TESL Ontario certification.

The LLE MEd field in Language Teaching can be taken on a full-time basis only. If you apply to this field in Language Teaching, you still must take 10 half courses, and 5 of those courses must be in LLE. However, the 5 LLE courses you take must conform to the following guidelines:

  1. You are required to take these three LLE courses:
    • CTL3002H: Second Language Teaching Methodologies
    • CTL3010H: Second Language Learning
    • CTL3797H: Practicum in Language and Literacies Education
       
  2. Your other two LLE courses must be chosen from the following list of courses:
    • CTL3000H: Foundations in Bilingual and Multicultural Education
    • CTL3003H: Planning and Organizing the Second Language Curriculum

CTL3808H: The Role of Instruction in Second Language Learning

  • CTL3013H: Language Assessment
  • CTL3020H: Writing in a Second Language
  • CTL3101H: Language Awareness for Language Educators
  • CTL3039H: Academic English Research & Acquisition

For the other 5 half courses that comprise the MEd, candidates may choose other LLE or non-LLE courses. The courses listed above are offered every year. The required practicum course will ordinarily be offered to students in the Language Teaching field who have completed their first year. During your placement, which will take place in a professional language education setting, you will observe and shadow the host teacher, and then carry increasing levels of responsibility for language teaching. The practicum can take place in any language teaching context, most likely in your dominant language. The placement is overseen by an experienced language teacher in the practicum setting, as well as by an LLE faculty member teaching the practicum course. 

Practicum settings may include:

  • Private adult language schools in the GTA;
  • Private classroom settings at all levels (i.e., for children, youth, and/ or adults) to learn French as an additional language;
  • ESL classroom settings in independent schools at the elementary and secondary level;
  • Private school settings for children and adults to learn additional languages;
  • International languages - Elementary programs run by publicly-funded school boards (these programs do not require OCT certification);
  • Adult learning centres run by publicly-funded school boards; or
  • English for Academic Purposes classroom settings
  • Other language teaching contexts (not restricted to English)

We welcome applications from outside Canada. Please review the Information for International Applicants webpage. The University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies has provided an assessment tool that allows International Applicants to determine the equivalency of their academic credentials.

International students will be required to purchase a University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) for the duration of their academic study. Please note that UHIP does not cover all the costs in an Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Contact the UHIP office for more information about the plan's coverage and fees.

As an International Student, available funding is limited. International students will not be able to apply for OSAP but can apply for bursaries and emergency funding. Please contact Student Services on the 8th floor of the OISE building.


Centre for International Experience - The Centre is located at 33 St. George Street. The Centre provides guidance for International Students studying abroad in Toronto including visas, health insurance, financial aid, and housing. The centre is also used by both International and domestic students for many events including social and cultural.

The following is the result of a question and answer (Q&A) discussion which took place following a LLE MEd Open House presentation.

Is there a part-time option for this program?
Yes, students can choose part-time or full-time registration status and choose maximum course load based on your registration status. See OISE Registrar's Office and Student Experience (ROSE) for maximum course load.

How do students gain supervisors?
The LLE MEd degree is a non-thesis, course only degree so you do not have a supervisor that you work one on one with. Instead you have a Faculty Advisor that you can speak with if you have questions regarding program requirements, course selection etc.

What should I include in my resumé?
Your resumé should describe your education history (both academic and professional), research experience, employment history (including names of employers, job titles, position responsibilities, dates employed, whether full- or part-time), awards, business and professional achievements, community activities, as well as any special skills.

If unable to provide an academic reference, would two professional ones work instead? 
While a minimum of two letters of reference – one academic and one professional – should be included in your application, sometimes applicants experience difficulty obtaining a letter of reference. For example, if you graduated many years ago and have since not been active in an academic setting you may be unable to call upon a university instructor with whom you studied. You're strongly encouraged to obtain one academic and one professional letter of reference, but you may submit an alternative combination such as two reference letters from a professional source. Tip: for two professional letters direct the most suitable referee to include comments pertaining to your intellectual abilities and potential. 

Can you switch to PT or FT half way?
Yes, you can request to change your registration status from PT to FT or FT to PT. You must contact your Registration Specialist in the OISE Registrar's Office and Student Experience (ROSE) and make the request to change your registration status. Please keep in mind that changing your registration status will affect your registration fees; contact your Registration Specialist of details: oise.registration@utoronto.ca.

Can I complete the MEd at a distance?
You can do that.  Although not guaranteed, there are normally enough courses available online to complete the degree.

Does this program lead to PhD since it is course based without a thesis?
The answer to that is yes, but it's good if you try to do some additional things during your program.  For instance, engage with research groups, Research centres, and faculty doing research where possible. What we're looking for at the PhD level is whether you're ready to come in and do a research doctorate.  So, it's trying to find that experience in addition to your coursework, but people have done that and continue to and we have admitted MEd students into our doctoral program.

What are collaborative specializations?
Collaborative Specialization programs are created by participating graduate units to explore a novel interdisciplinary area or special development that crosses a number of disciplines.  If you are admitted into a graduate program that participates in a collaborative specialization; many of which are actually University of Toronto wide specializations to which CTL is very closely connected; you can apply to a collaborative specialization, but you need to apply to them directly.  If you review our website, and websites of affiliated collaborative specializations, you’ll see LLE participates in a number of collaborative specializations. 

Is the new MEd Field in Language Teaching available to folks outside of the Language and Literacies in Education program?
You must apply to the LLE MEd Field in Language Teaching to be admitted to, and graduate, from this degree.  Unlike collaborative specializations where students from all affiliated graduate units can participate, this MEd Field in Language Teaching degree is only available to students in the MEd Field of our Language and Literacies in Education program.  Some courses in the Field are restricted to students admitted to the LLE MEd Field only, so if you do have an interest in online learning this is a very good program for you to explore that interest.

I have a question about language proficiency.  I’ve been working as an occasional teacher for four years here, but finished education outside of Canada.  Do I still need to prove language proficiency?
As English is the primary language of instruction and communication at the University of Toronto, applicants must demonstrate an adequate level of proficiency in English, regardless of their citizenship status or country of origin. It is important that these students follow School of Graduate Studies (SGS) policies on English Language Proficiency (ELP) testing requirements and take one of the required tests for admission to a graduate program. Applicants from universities outside Canada where English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of their application.

The determination of whether an English language proficiency test is required is determined by the admissions division of the OISE Registrar's Office and Student Experience (ROSE), but only after the application has been submitted.  Visit the SGS webpage on English language proficiency for more information.

What is the difference between Masters of Teaching degree and the MEd?
The Master of Teaching is actually a different program.  That is our teaching program which offers a master's degree and Ontario Teaching Certification for classroom teaching.  This is a program where if you wanted to go into teaching as a career you would pursue a master's degree there.  That is not an option in our Language and Literacies in Education program.  

Common career pathways for MEd graduates?
Graduates of the LLE MEd degree have pursued careers in the following areas and beyond: Academia, Bilingual schools/Francophone schools/other language schools, Curriculum developer/instructional designer, Data analyst/researcher, Editor, ESL teacher (need teaching certification such as TEFL), Government positions (e.g. Ministry of Education), Language academy developer, Language instruction, Leadership (educational), Librarian (need additional degree), Literary assessment developer, Policy analysis, Program administration/coordination, Student support, Textbook writer/proofreader, Translator/interpreter, Work in an immersion school, Writing centre coordinator, Writing tutor/teacher.

What happens after I submit my applications?
Once you've completed your application, understand what happens next by visiting the Application Submitted webpage

I was offered admission, what are my next steps?
Applicants who receive an official "Offer of Admission" result letter can view the Newly Admitted Students webpage for information on next steps.

Ready to join one of the world’s top universities?

Take the next step in your academic journey and start your application to graduate studies at OISE.