Dual Language / Bilingual
Early Childhood Special Education

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  • Master of Science in Education: 43 credits

Earn professional certification for birth through grade 2 to work in general, special education and inclusion settings, with a focus on dual language / bilingual education

Learn to understand and support the needs and aspirations of immigrant groups in order to create a more egalitarian society

Nilda Bayron-ResnickNilda Bayron-Resnick
Program Director

Dual Language / Bilingual Early Childhood Special Education is designed for those who wish to work with young children from pre-school through grade two in bilingual and dual language (Spanish / English) settings.

Through this program you will learn about the different models of dual language education, and of transitional bilingual programs. Further, you will learn to develop and implement a Spanish / English dual language program in your classroom.

You will develop the understanding and skill to work with children who are developing typically and atypically. You will learn to differentiate learning experiences for a wide range of young learners, including children with specific disabilities.

Through studying the ongoing cycle of observation, assessment and instructional planning, you will be able to help young children realize their full functional and educational potential. You will learn to understand the relationships among culture, language and learning in families, communities and educational program settings.

You will also learn to work collaboratively with culturally diverse groups of parents and other educators to support the dual language / bilingual development of the whole child within school and community settings.

Distinctive Features

  • Bank Street emphasizes dual language education as the most effective model for bilingual learners, as supported by the most current research in the field.
  • Meet the needs of diverse learners by building on students' strengths and interests.
  • Develop specific strategies to address the over-representation of bilingual children in special education settings.

Certification in Education

  • When you graduate, you will be eligible for New York State initial certification in Teaching Students with Disabilities, allowing you to work with children up through grade 2 in general education, special education and inclusive settings.
  • You will also be eligible for the Bilingual Extension.
  • You will be eligible for professional certification in both your first and second certifications once you have taught for three years. 


Courses at Bank Street provide students with the opportunity to engage in readings, discussions, direct experience, and reflection, encouraging a constant interplay between theory and practice. Explore the courses in the Dual Language / Bilingual Early Childhood Special Education program.

Supervised Fieldwork / Advisement

Taken concurrently with coursework, supervised fieldwork is designed to foster the integration of theory and practice. You will:

  • Work in classroom settings for one term as a full-time assistant, head teacher or as a student teacher (3 days each week):
    • Student teachers will be placed at three age levels within the early childhood range (pre-k, kindergarten and grade 1 or 2), and in general education, inclusive, and special education settings.
    • Working teachers and assistants (in approved settings) who stay with a particular grade in the age range may use their own classrooms for their fieldwork setting. These students will gain additional experience through summer supervised fieldwork / advisement during a July (summer 2) term.
  • Be supervised by your advisor, a core graduate faculty mentor, as you work with children in your fieldwork setting.
  • Participate in a weekly conference group of 5-7 students and your advisor.
  • Meet individually with your advisor twice each month.

Career Opportunities

  • Teach in general education classrooms.
  • Teach in dual language classrooms or in traditional bilingual classrooms.
  • Teach in inclusive and self-contained special education classrooms.
  • Tutor or work as a learning specialist in schools or in private practice.
  • Work in special education teacher support services (SETSS) roles such as working in hospital settings.

Admission Requirements

  • Hold, or be in the process of securing, initial New York State certification in Early Childhood Education or Childhood Education.
  • Fluency in Spanish and English .
  • See the Admissions Criteria.