World Languages - MAT

Teacher instructing world languages student

Bring world language to your classroom

Program Info

Obtain the credential's to bring the world's languages to your classroom

The Graduate World Languages Education Leading Teacher Program is designed to prepare the nation's world languages teachers. The 39-credit program's curriculum includes professional education and certification for the following world languages K-12: French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Turkish. The curriculum meets Pennsylvania standards as well as ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) standards. All coursework, projects and fieldwork in the program reflect the School of Education's conceptual framework themes of technology, diversity and leadership. Successful completion of the Program results in a Master's in Education and initial certification to teach in K-12 schools in Pennsylvania.

Those who are new to teaching will learn how to lead in the classroom. Our graduate teacher education certification programs are nationally accredited and guided by standards from the State of Pennsylvania and national professional organizations. The program faculty are experts in their field.

Engage in hands-on learning locally or abroad

Students will complete formal classroom visits, known as field experiences, explore different perspectives, and be face-to-face with social justice issues in the field. With Duquesne's premier location, in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, candidates will have the opportunity to visit classrooms in urban, suburban, and rural settings.

In addition to field experiences in local and regional schools, you may have the opportunity to study abroad by student teaching for eight weeks in World language classrooms in France, Germany Italy, Spain, and Turkey.

Looking to do more? Add on an ESL Specialist Certificate...

With Duquesne's World Languages Program, you have to option of adding on an ESL Specialist Certificate by completing an additional six credits of coursework. The ESL Specialist Certificate provides both the credentials and preparation to be an ESL teacher in PA K-12 schools, which the Pennsylvania Department of Education has highlighted as high needs area for highly qualified, well-prepared specialists.

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Admission Requirements

The World Languages K-12 (French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Turkish) Education program offers rolling admissions for the Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters. The following are required for admission into the program:

  • 3.0 GPA
  • Passing the Praxis II in the specific world language or the ACTFL Equivalent
  • Having participated in (or agree to participate in) an immersion experience in a setting where the target language is spoken
  • Undergraduate/Graduate transcripts
  • Statement of purpose (Indicate: 1. If you have participated in, or agree to participate in, an immersion experience in a setting where the target language is spoken and for how long; 2. describe why you want to become a teacher).

*Applicants are customarily expected to have a 3.0 grade point average, based on a four-point scale, in their undergraduate work. However, exceptions may be granted on a limited basis, in which there is substantial additional evidence of a student's academic competency.

Application Materials

Online Application - Duquesne University Online Application

All domestic and international applicants can send official transcripts to:


School of Education
Office of Graduate Admissions
Duquesne University
214 Canevin Hall
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282

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Tuition and Aid

A Duquesne degree is an investment in your future. Join one of the nation's top-tier universities with the best value, considering cost and academic quality, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. At Duquesne, you'll become part of a community of nearly 9,500 students studying at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.

In addition to graduate tuition rates, students may also incur fees for administrative services, room, and meals, if applicable. At Duquesne University, we believe that financing your education is a partnership between the student and the university. As part of that partnership, The School of Education offers financial assistance in many forms including:

  • Tuition awards between 25-35%
  • University-offered graduate assistantships are available for competitive application
  • Current full-time lay teachers of pre-K through high school or school administrators in a Roman Catholic school in the Pittsburgh, Greensburg, or Altoona-Johnstown Dioceses pursuing a non-doctoral degree or certificate in the School of Education may be eligible to receive a 60% tuition award. This Lay Teacher award does not apply to the doctoral programs. Only one Duquesne University degree may be earned under this reduced tuition program. The Catholic School Lay Teacher & Administrator Award Form details information pertaining to this award.

For further assistance, please contact the Duquesne University Office of Financial Aid.

Federal government financial aid options:

In addition to awards and scholarships, you may be eligible for financial aid with the federal government. The federal government has loan options that can cover education and living costs. Loan forgiveness options are also available for those working inside and outside of the classroom, these include:

  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

For further assistance, please contact FedLoan Servicing.

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Nihat Polat

Nihat Polat, Ph.D.

Program Director
Department of Instruction and Leadership in Education

106C Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.4464
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Nihat Polat (Ph.D., Foreign Language and Applied Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin, 2007) is a professor and serves as the Program Director of World Languages, the M.S.Ed. ESL program, and the ESL and TESOL certificate programs. He has worked as an English teacher (ESL/EFL/ELA) and teacher educator in different countries. Currently, he serves as the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research. His research focuses on (1) L2 learning, teaching, and assessment, (2) teacher education, and (3) the education of immigrant populations and English learners. He has published two books, over 22 peer-reviewed journal articles, and numerous other scholarly works. In addition to his book “L2 Learning, Teaching, and Assessment: A Comprehensible Input Perspective”, his work has appeared in many journals such as Applied Linguistics, TESOL Quarterly, Modern Language Journal, etc. Currently, he serves as the consulting editor for the Journal of Educational Research and is an editorial board member for TESOL Quarterly.

Xia Chao

Xia Chao, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Instruction and Leadership in Education

110A Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.2329
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Xia Chao (Ph.D., Second Language Acquisition and Teaching, University of Alabama, 2013) teaches courses in culturally and linguistically diverse learners, second language literacy, TESOL methods, and issues related to English language learners education. Her research focuses on the complex relationship between language, literacy, pedagogy, identity, and power in the settings of home, community, and school. Her work has been published in several journals including: Journal of Literacy Research, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, Linguistics and Education, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, Urban Education, etc. Dr. Chao’s research contributions have been recognized through awards, including the 2015 J. Michael Parker Award of the Literacy Research Association and the 2016 Outstanding Early Career Scholar Award of the American Educational Research Association’s Adult Literacy and Adult Education SIG.

Laura Mahalingappa

Laura Mahalingappa, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Instruction and Leadership in Education

101A Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.6111
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Laura Mahalingappa (Ph.D., Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin, 2009) is an associate professor. Her research on learning and teaching in marginalized communities has included: grammatical and sociocultural aspects of bilingual language acquisition; teachers’ beliefs about teaching linguistically and culturally diverse populations; using virtual field experiences to prepare preservice teachers to work with English learners; notions of race, ethnicity and language in ESL teacher preparation programs; and supporting Muslim refugee students through community-based organization. Her research has been published in Teaching Education, Language, Identity, and Education; Language Learning & Technology; and the European Journal of Higher Education. She received the School of Education Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2014 and Duquesne’s Creative Teaching Award in 2015.

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