Our 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, offers a balanced emphasis on theory, research, and practice. Degree requirements include 30 credit hours of coursework, traditionally completed in 4 semesters, according to recommended coursework schedules. Program outcomes consist of 1) an understanding of current methods and theories in the fields of TESL and applied linguistics, 2) the framework for developing a professional identity as a teacher of English and an applied linguist, and 3) the ability to conduct and present research on English teaching and applied linguistics, as assessed by adequate performance in coursework and a program-level portfolio. Funding opportunities are available for qualified students on a competitive basis, and many resources are available for students on campus and online.
Core courses include Introduction to TESL, Introduction to Applied Linguistics, Advanced TESL Methods, Applied English Grammar, SLA Theory, and SLA Research. Secondary courses include English in a Global Context, Technology-Enhanced Language Learning, and Second Language Writing. Electives may be taken in departments across the university, for example Education, Linguistics, and the Foreign Languages. In their final semester, students may complete a TESL practicum working with Intensive English Program students at CESL, or working with adults (e.g. refugees) at community education centers in Tucson. As a culminating experience, students present a poster on a research project in their final semester.
The UA MATESL program is unique among MATESOL programs for several reasons. First, because of its relatively small size (yearly cohorts of 8-12 individuals), students can count on individualized attention from professors. Second, most students receive financial support in the form of teaching assistantships, where they can gain valuable teaching experience. Third, students take courses focused on theory, research, and practice, often with doctoral-level students, and are taught by professors whose research specialty corresponds to the course topic.
About a third of MATESL graduates go on to PhD studies at universities around the US and world; some are accepted into the Graduate Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Second Language Acquistiion and Teaching (SLAT). Another third of MATESL graduates secure employment as adult ESL instructors in the United States, for example at Intensive English Programs like CESL, or at community education centers. Another third teach English as a Foreign Language outside of the US; job opportunities are plentiful, especially in East Asia, the Middle East, and South America. TESOL Inc. and Dave's ESL Cafe are sources for learning about employment.