The graduate certificate in Spanish Heritage Language Education (SHLE) provides training in heritage language educational policy and practice as well as social justice-oriented approaches to teaching Spanish. Students develop familiarity with the linguistic, sociolinguistic, and cultural characteristics of Spanish-speakers in the US. The SHLE certificate prepares educators and affiliated professionals to advocate for heritage speakers of Spanish, design and implement Spanish for Heritage Speakers (SHL) curricula, and develop teaching materials and pedagogies for use in both SHL and mixed classes.

This is an online certificate. It may be taken alone or in conjunction with several degree programs offered by the Department of Modern & Classical Languages and the College of Education and Human Development.


Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For specific information, see Application Requirements and Deadlines.


For policies governing all graduate certificates, see AP.6.8 Requirements for Graduate Certificates.

Banner Code: LA-CERG-SHLE

Certificate Requirements

Total credits: 15

This certificate may be pursued on a full-or part-time basis.

Core Courses

FRLN 575Heritage Language Education3
SPAN 575Teaching Spanish for Social Justice3
SPAN 574Critical Approaches to Teaching Spanish-language Culture3
Total Credits9

Restricted Elective

Select one of the following:3
Hispanic Sociolinguistics
Spanish Linguistics for Educators
Total Credits3

Additional Elective

Select one of the following or a relevant 500-level or above course: 13
Hispanic Sociolinguistics
Spanish Linguistics for Educators
Applied Spanish Stylistics in Multilingual and Multimodal Contexts
Mass Media and Popular Culture
Language Politics and Policy
Methods and Curriculum Design for Teaching Spanish
Languages in Contact
Bilingual Education in the Spanish-Speaking World
Integrating Technology into Language Learning
Basic Issues in Language Pedagogy
The Teaching of Culture in Foreign Language Programs
Topics in Language Learning and Teaching
Introduction to Culturally Linguistically Diverse Learners
Bilingualism and Language Acquisition Research
Assessment of Language Learners
Methods of Teaching in Foreign/World Languages
Advanced Methods of Teaching Foreign/Second Languages in PK-12 Schools
Reading/Writing in Foreign/World Languages
Other relevant course with approval
Total Credits3