M.A. TESL Degree Requirements

Language Requirement

If you speak English as your first language, you should show evidence of intermediate proficiency in another language, usually equivalent to 4 semesters of college or 4 years of high school language instruction. Students who speak English as an additional language are not required to show proficiency in a third language.

Coursework

You should complete the following coursework, with a grade of B or better (3.0). You may transfer up to 6 graduate credit hours (12 from UA), with approval by the Graduate Advisor or Program Director, usually applied to elective requirements. 

TESL Methods

  • One required course (3 units)

This course will provide a general overview of the TESL profession covering prominent theories, methodologies, and procedures influencing the field. Throughout the semester, students will engage in a range of theoretical, pedagogical, and reflective activities to inform their instructional practices. They will also become familiar with diverse educational contexts in which English is taught and learned as well as standards, materials, methods, and assessment tools used in such settings.

Applied Linguistics

  • One required course (3 units)

Spring 2020 topic: Identity and Language.

This course centers around the discussions of “identity” from a broad range of disciplines, introduces the course participants to key topics in identity research in the field of applied linguistics, and examines the role of identities in contexts where English is learned and taught as a global language. Focusing on the conceptual understandings of “identity” and the methodological approaches used to investigate it, the course examines in detail and critiques research on "identity" in the fields of applied linguistics/TESOL and discusses emerging themes and future directions within this area of research.

Materials & Curriculum Development and Assessment

  • One required course (3 units)

This advanced level methods course has three areas as its major focus. First, it introduces concepts in ESL/EFL curriculum development and course design and provides skills needed to develop a course. Second, it focuses on ESL/EFL assessment and related issues, such as standards and testing. Third, it provides students with the necessary skills to develop, evaluate, and adapt instructional ESL/EFL materials for all receptive, productive, and complementary language skills for different contexts, proficiency levels, and purposes. By completing a coherent curriculum and assessment project in addition to several other course assignments, the course participants will extend personal knowledge in the areas of 7 curriculum design, materials development, and second language assessment.

SLA Theory

  • One required course (3 units)

This course is designed to present an overview of the field of second language acquisition, the study of how second and foreign languages are learned after a first language has already been acquired. SLA is a broad subfield of linguistics with many interesting and exciting areas of research.

Culture

  • One required course (3 units)

"Culture" is a central yet underexamined concept in the field of TESOL/second language teaching—it has even been called “the fifth skill” after listening, speaking, reading, and writing. This course will examine the culture concept carefully and critically, both from general/theoretical and specific/practical perspectives. Having taken this course, students should be able to generate researchable topics in the area of TESOL/second/foreign language teaching and culture, as well as have a clearer sense of the perils, possibilities, and means of working with cultural matters in and beyond the TESOL/second/foreign language classroom.

Pedagogical Grammar

  • One required course (3 units)

This course covers basic concepts in linguistics and English grammar for teachers of English as a global language, and is useful for students of TESL, English, and Linguistics. The first part of the course will introduce linguistics through both structural and functional perspectives – the development, social context, textual structures, syntax, words, and sounds of English. The second part of the course, grounded in real pedagogical examples, introduces the pedagogy of English grammar.

Professional Development

  • One required course (3 units)

This course is designed to prepare ESL teachers professionally and will cover topics such as job hunting, interviewing, writing a CV, conferences, observations, assembling a portfolio, and conducting and presenting action research. Students will participate in 10 hours observing ESL in at least two community and university contexts. Requirements include a report of an action research project, a poster presentation of the project, and a portfolio which may be used for securing jobs.

Electives

  • Select five courses (15 units)
  • GTAs must take L2 Writing if they wish to teach ESL composition sections (English 106, 107, or 108)
  • All course choices must be approved by the Program Director

Second language writing is a growing area of interdisciplinary study that draws on insights from applied linguistics, second language studies, and writing studies. This course will provide an overview of the theory and practice of second language writing. We will explore topics such as L2 writing processes and development, L2 texts, biliteracy, pedagogical approaches and strategies, culture, and identity. GTAs who wish to teach ESL composition courses (106, 107, or 108) must take this course before or while doing so.

This course explores theory, practice, and pedagogical application of the latest Internet and computer technologies in second/foreign language education, including synchronous and asynchronous chat, blog, wiki/collaborative docs, audio (podcasting), video, virtual world/digital gaming, mobile/handheld computing, and social media technologies, in view of CALL (computer-assisted language learning), CMC (computer-mediated communication), SLA/D (second language acquisition and development), and literacy/ies research. Class activities will include small group discussions, presentations, and hands-on use of the technologies being discussed. Projects include reaction papers, blog postings, development of a technology-mediated L2 learning activity, and an evaluation of a game or CALL app (e.g. Duolingo, Babbel, Busuu, Memrize, etc.), and a final research project or book review.

Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of instruction and practice in actual service in a department, program, or discipline. Teaching formats may include seminars, in-depth studies, laboratory work and patient study.

This course is designed to explore the nature of research in SLA and to help situate students theoretically and methodologically in this research domain. The focus is on classroom-oriented research in various educational settings, which investigates both qualitative and quantitative approaches to research and processes of conducting research, from identifying problems, formulating research questions, collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data, to writing up research for presentation and publication.

Spring 2020 topic: Identity and Language.

This course centers around the discussions of “identity” from a broad range of disciplines, introduces the course participants to key topics in identity research in the field of applied linguistics, and examines the role of identities in contexts where English is learned and taught as a global language. Focusing on the conceptual understandings of “identity” and the methodological approaches used to investigate it, the course examines in detail and critiques research on "identity" in the fields of applied linguistics/TESOL and discusses emerging themes and future directions within this area of research.

This course is a descriptive overview of English grammar, surveying English grammatical structures and major patterns of language use, and developing skill in grammatical analysis. We will analyze both written and spoken English grammar in the context of discourse and register characteristics, and will also discuss classroom implications. Students will complete a final project related to their own interests in applying the knowledge learned in the course (e.g., to ESL instruction).