The purpose of the Master of Arts degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is to prepare students to evaluate principles underlying effective research and to develop some depth in the following areas: (1) specialized teaching knowledge and skills, and (2) curriculum development, materials development, or administration and supervision.
The TESOL MA program provides professional-level preparation for careers in teaching English to speakers of other languages in any of the following areas:
- Intensive English programs at universities
- ESL/EFL courses for private companies
- English as a foreign language (in non-English speaking countries)
- Supervision/Administration of ESL/EFL programs
- ESL/EFL teacher preparation
- Community college and university-level ESL courses
- Adult education ESL programs for immigrants and refugees
Completion of the MA TESOL program also provides a student with appropriate preparation for further study at the doctoral level.
Students graduating with the MA in TESOL from the Department of Linguistics and English Language develop knowledge in six domains:
1. General English Language Proficiency: Proficiency in all skill areas (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) to be strong teachers of English.
2. Linguistic Knowledge: Fundamental linguistic knowledge in the areas of phonology, syntax, and semantics.
3. General Pedagogical Knowledge: General pedagogical knowledge in areas such as writing instructional objectives, planning classroom instruction, and assessing learning.
4. Second Language Teaching, Learning, and Context Knowledge: The ability to utilize the linguistic knowledge and specialized language-teaching skills to effectively instruct English language learners in varying classroom contexts.
5. General Research Knowledge: The ability to understand and evaluate empirical research reports of the types commonly published in the social sciences.
6. Second Language Teaching and Learning Research Knowledge: The knowledge and skills to (1) ask appropriate research questions in line with academic and professional interests in TESOL and (2) design valid ways to find answers to these questions.
The TESOL MA Program Learning Outcomes
The TESOL MA program is designed to achieve the following six program learning outcomes:
1. Systems of Human Language: Demonstrate an understanding of the major systems of human language (phonology, morphology, lexicon, syntax/grammar, semantics, & pragmatics).
2. Language Learning Theory: Analyze and apply theories of second language learning and acquisition.
3. Teaching Strategies and Procedures: Examine second language teaching strategies and procedures and apply accepted principles of effective lesson planning and materials development.
4. Research: Analyze, perform, and communicate professional-level research.
5. Advanced specialized language teaching knowledge and skills in one of the following two areas: Reading/Writing/Vocabulary or Listening/Speaking/Pronunciation by (1) examining, selecting, and using methods conducive to effective learning of particular language skills and elements, (2) examining, evaluating, and creating materials to support effective language teaching and learning, (3) critically analyzing research in language acquisition and teaching, and applying it to classroom contexts, and (4) constructing, analyzing, and interpreting effective measures of language ability.
6. Advanced specialized knowledge and skill in one of the following three areas: (1) curriculum development by developing professional quality curricula for English language teaching, (2) materials development by developing professional quality materials for English language teaching, or (3) administration and supervision by practicing recognized principles of effective teacher development and program operation.
The Thesis committee is appointed when a student is admitted to the TESOL MA program. The chair of this committee serves as the academic advisor for the MA student.
- Deadline for application is January 15th (only once a year). Application is made directly to the Linguistics and English Language Department.
- Admissions decisions are based upon:
- Undergraduate GPA
- Letter of intent (including experience, commitment to the profession, and plans for the future).
- 3 Letters of Recommendation
- Personal Resume
- GRE (must be taken within the five years prior to beginning the program)
- English language skills for all non-native speakers of English, whether or not they graduated from an English speaking school: A TOEFL score of 237 (computer), 580 (paper), or 90 (internet based – iBT with minimum scores of 23 in Speaking and 22 in Listening, Reading, and Writing). Further information for international students can be found online at http://internationalservices.byu.edu. The TOEFL must be taken within the two years prior to beginning the program.
- Students must begin coursework fall semester. If you have not taken Ling 201 or equivalent, you can come spring or summer term, but must contact the department to set that up.
- Apply online at http://www.byu.edu/gradstudies.
- Brief proposal (500-750 words) of intended thesis research addressing its purpose, nature, and feasibility.
- The number of students admitted to the TESOL MA program depends on its capacity (which is projected to be a total of 15 active students) and the number of students who exit the program each year.
- Students admitted to the MA should plan to meet with their thesis chair to promptly identify a timeline for completing their thesis.
- Ling 201 Introduction to Linguistics, or equivalent course. This must be completed before starting the MA program in the fall, during either the spring or summer term. Students who believe they have satisfied the prerequisite with an equivalent course at another university should contact the department office at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will need to know where and when you took the course, what grade you received, and a copy of the course syllabus so that we can determine its equivalency to Linguistics 201.
- Listed Below
- Completed thesis and successful defense.
- Competency in one language other than English at the 200 level. This requirement may be fulfilled while taking program coursework; but those language credits do NOT count toward the total credits needed for the program.
Sequence of Courses
Fall of 1st year
L601, Linguistic Foundations-Sound (3 credits)
L602, Linguistic Foundations-Structure (3 credits)
L610, TESOL Methods and Materials Overview (3 credits)
Winter of 1st year
L611, TESOL Methods and Materials Application (3 credits)
L612, TESOL Practicum (3 credits)
Elective 1: L670, Teaching skills, Reading/Writing/Vocabulary (3 credits) or L671, Teaching
Skills, Listening/Speaking/Pronunciation (3 credits)
Spring of 1st year
L620, Research in TESOL (3 credits)
Fall of 2nd year
L603, Linguistic Foundations-Meaning (3 credits)
L640, Language Acquisition (3 credits)
Elective Category 2: L677, Curriculum Development (3 credits) or L678, Materials
Development (3 credits), or L679, TESOL Supervision-Administration Internship
L699R, Thesis credits (1 credit)
Winter of 2nd year
L660, Language Testing (3 credits)
L695, TESOL Seminar (1 credit)
L699R, Thesis credits (5 credits)
Total: 40 credits
Note: Other graduate-level linguistics courses and appropriate courses from other departments may also be used as electives with approval.