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 36 credit hours of coursework, traditionally completed in 4 semesters, according to recommended coursework schedules. Program Learning Outcomes are related to understanding the theory and practices of teaching, learning, language, the contexts of teaching and learning, and professionalism. Funding opportunities in the form of graduate teaching assistantships teaching English composition to native and non-native speakers 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, Culture, Pedagogical English Grammar, and SLA Theory. Program specialty courses include Second Language Research, Technology-Enhanced Language Learning, Second Language Writing, Grammatical Analysis, Corpus Linguistics, and Discourse Analysis. In their final semester, students complete the Applied ESL seminar, which includes completion of a teaching portfolio and an action research project, presentation of the project, and professional development and job preparation activities.
The UA MATESL program is unique for several reasons. Because of its relatively small size (yearly cohorts of 8-12 individuals), MATESL students can count on individualized attention from professors. In addition, 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. Besides a combined 50 years of ESL and EFL teaching experience all over the world, EAL professors are internationally respected experts in the fields of Socio-cognitive approaches to Second Language Acquisition, Second Language Writing, Corpus Linguistics, Classroom Discourse Analysis, and Technology-Enhanced Language Teaching. The program changed its name in 2015 from English Language/Linguistics to English Applied Linguistics to reflect the disciplinary expertise of its faculty, and in 2017 changed the name of the degree from the MA in ESL to MA in TESL to reflect a newly invigorated focus on teaching in the degree's objectives.
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 Acquistion 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 Latin America.