College of Arts and Letters2017-2018

Department of English

Teaching English as a Second Language, Master of Arts

This program of study combines a strong theoretical foundation in applied linguistics with practical training in the teaching of English to speakers of other languages.  The principal goals of the program are to provide the linguistic foundations for English as a second/foreign language teaching, equip teachers with the practical skills needed for effective language teaching, and prepare students for further study (including doctoral-level studies) in applied linguistics and related fields. This advanced degree offers students options to pursue different combinations of required and elective classes to meet their needs.

Careers

What Can I Do with a Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language?

The MA TESL degree provides students with the theory and practical skills needed for effective language teaching and related career paths. It also prepares students for further study in applied linguistics and related fields. The degree opens up many career opportunities in the U.S. and abroad.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Teacher of English as a second language (in English speaking countries) in, for example, university intensive English programs, community colleges, adult education programs, language programs for new immigrants and refugees
  • Teacher of English as a foreign language (in non-English speaking countries), in, for example, universities, private language schools, binational centers, English for academic purposes foundation programs
  • Language program coordinator or administrator
  • Test developer
  • Teacher trainer
  • Curriculum/materials specialist (for publishing houses)
  • English Language Fellow, U.S. Peace Corps teacher
  • ESL coordinator in K-12 contexts (for those who enter the program with teaching credentials)


University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.

     

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

Minimum Units for Completion 37
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
Arizona Certification/Endorsement May prepare student for Arizona Certification and/or Endorsement based on options selected.
Thesis Thesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Oral Defense Oral Defense may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Foreign Language A foreign language may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Research Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the MA in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), students will have the ability to:

  • Apply knowledge of
    • the social and regional diversity of English,
    • the history of the English language,
    • the structure and uses of the English language,
    • English language discourse processes, and
    • genres to English language teaching and learning
  • Apply critical and analytical skills to effective English language use and to English language instruction
  • Understand second language learning processes in diverse cultural and educational contexts and the implications for language teaching and assessment
  • Integrate technology into language instruction and materials development
  • Evaluate language program effectiveness
  • Apply knowledge of cross-cultural communication to teacher-student interactions, materials development, lesson plans, course design, community interactions, and assessment instruments
  • Apply knowledge of theoretical and practical issues from applied linguistics and ESL methodology to innovative and effective English language teaching practices
  • Become active professionals in Applied Linguistics and related fields through participation in professional development seminars; local, national, and international conferences; practice teaching; research experience; and/or in doctoral programs.

Details

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 


    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • Personal Letter of Intent (2-3 pages in length)
    • 2 letters of recommendation required only for those MA TESL applicants applying for Graduate Teaching Assistantships
Master's Requirements
    • Applied Linguistics (22 units)
      • ENG 558 or ENG 559 (3 units)
      • ENG 658, ENG 668, ENG 688 (7 units)
      • Electives, of which 3-6 units must be graduate-level applied linguistics courses. This may include up to 6 units of ENG 699, upon petition to the applied linguistics faculty, for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved thesis. (12 units)
        • Please note that you may need to take more than the 6 units of thesis that can be counted toward your degree, because you must enroll in ENG 699 each semester that you are working on your thesis.
    • You must also:

      • Have your writing skills evaluated during your first year of study; and
      • Take a comprehensive exam.

    • Language Teaching (22 units)
      • ENG 558, ENG 559, ENG 578, ENG 688 (13 units)
      • Electives, of which 3-6 units must be in graduate applied linguistics courses. This may include up to 6 units of ENG 699, upon petition to the applied linguistics faculty, for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved thesis. (9 units)
        • Please note that you may need to take more than the 6 units of thesis that can be counted toward your degree, because you must enroll in ENG 699 each semester that you are working on your thesis.
    • You must also:

      • Have your writing skills evaluated during your first year of study; and
      • Take a comprehensive exam.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability



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