English Applied Linguistics

The English Applied Linguistics (EAL) program offers courses in the fields of Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language (TESL/TEFL) and Applied Linguistics, with particular emphasis on second language acquisition, language pedagogy, second language writing, and technology, especially where these fields focus on English. EAL faculty are nationally and internationally recognized scholars in these fields.

To stay up to date with the UA EAL program, we invite you to join our Facebook group: U of Arizona English Applied Linguistics and to download and view our latest newsletter (Spring 2019)

If you are looking for information on undergraduate resources on TESL, check out this page on Teaching English Abroad. Please note that the program does not offer State of Arizona K-12 ESL endorsement, although some courses may count towards it. Check the College of Education for information on state teaching endorsements

The EAL Program offers a 36 credit hour, internationally recognized Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language (MATESL) degree program, designed for current and future professionals in TESL/TEFL and applied linguistics, that combines theory, research, and practice. The EAL program is the only academic unit at the University of Arizona authorized by the Arizona Board of Regents to offer graduate degrees in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language to adults (CIP 13.1401). 

The program also offers an on-campus or online 15-credit-hour Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language, as well as courses in sociolinguistics and TESL for undergraduates, an undergraduate concentration for English majors, and spoken academic English courses for undergraduate and graduate non-native speakers.

The program is affiliated with the Graduate Interdisciplinary PhD in SLAT, and coursework completed for the MA can be applied to the PhD, for students who are admitted separately into that program. 



What is Applied Linguistics?

Applied linguistics is an interdisciplinary field concerned with language-related real world issues, for example, how people learn language, how we should teach language, bi- and multilingualism in society, and how language relates to technology, culture, and politics. Applied linguists use theories and frameworks from a variety of disciplines, including linguistics, psychology, anthropology, sociology, cognitive science, communication, education, rhetoric, literature, cultural studies, and foreign languages. Applied linguists may work as academic researchers, teacher trainers, lexicographers, test developers, language policy consultants, translators, or language teachers. The field of applied linguistics is related to the fields of TESL and TEFL. Individuals interested in learning more about applied linguistics should visit the American Association of Applied Linguistics website.

What is TESL?

Teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) work with college-age students (post K-12) and adults who come to the U.S. and enroll in courses designed to teach them all aspects of English—listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar, pronunciation, and culture. Most American community colleges and universities offer courses for students who need to improve their English and get a high enough TOEFL score (Test of English as a Foreign Language) in order to enroll as regular students. Sometimes these courses are housed in an Intensive English Program, like the UA’s CESL. Non-profit community organizations, private language schools, and private companies may employ ESL teachers to teach ESL courses to their students or employees. The recognized preparatory degree for teaching ESL to adults is a Master’s degree like the MATESL offered by the UA EAL program. 

What is TEFL?

Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) work with people from all walks of life, all over the world. English is the global lingua franca, spoken by more individuals as a second or foreign language than as a first language, and the demand for well-prepared EFL teachers is high. For example, EFL teachers may work training local teachers in Eastern Europe, teaching children at a language school in South America, teaching high school students in East Asia, developing English curricula for the Peace Corps in Africa, or creating specialized courses for a private corporation in the Middle East. The globally-recognized preparatory degree for TEFL is a Master’s degree like the MATESL offered by the UA EAL program. Individuals interested in learning about the field of TESOL should visit Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, an American-based international organization of TESL and TEFL professionals. 



College of Social and Behavioral Sciences