Program Overview

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:

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.




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

(3 credits)

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.