Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

The M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages gives students an understanding of the nature of language, culture, instruction, assessment, and professionalism, and their interrelationships. The M.A. in TESOL prepares one to teach English in the US or overseas. In addition, students who have a valid teaching certificate can take courses leading to the Illinois State Endorsement to teach ESL. See more below under “TESOL Endorsement”.

The program is designed for full- or part-time students, and all master’s level courses in the fall and spring are offered in the evenings.

Requirements for Admission to the M.A. Program:

Students must fulfill the requirements for admission to the Graduate College of Northeastern Illinois University and apply to the TESOL Program for admission to the degree program. A student-at-large may transfer no more than 9 credit hours of graduate coursework into the graduate TESOL program.

Program Prerequisites:

Students entering the M.A. in TESOL program are not expected to have any prior preparation or knowledge of the field.

Language requirement:

- For students whose native language is English: 9 hours of college level work—or the equivalent—in one or more foreign languages, or a demonstrated proficiency in a foreign language at ACTFL level 2 or above.

- For students whose native language is not English: English proficiency demonstrated by a score of 95 on the internet based TOEFL (IBT), with a minimum of 20 on each of the four sections; or by a score of 7.0 on IELTS, with a minimum of 6.5 on each of the four sections; or by a score of 587 on the paper-based TOEFL.

 

 TESOL Graduate Certificate Program

The TESOL Graduate Certificate Program will provide practical skills and knowledge to individuals who wish to teach English language learners. It is designed for individuals who want to work at community colleges, community-based organizations, or language schools in the U.S. or abroad. The Certificate consists of six courses (18 credits), including a 60-hour practicum.  It prepares individuals to create lessons, develop materials, and assess English learners, with a particular emphasis on adult learners.  It is designed to be completed in one year or two semesters, depending on which of the three scheduling options is chosen.  Of the three options, one would take a year, while the other two offer an intensive option in a cohort model.

Admission requirements

Individuals who wish to study in the TESOL Graduate Certificate Program must fulfill the requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies & Research and apply to the TESOL Graduate Certificate Program.  Prior experience in education or teaching is not required.  Requirements to the College of Graduate Studies & Research  are:

  1. Transcripts submitted from previous college work with a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.75.
  2. Possess an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  3. A completed graduate application accompanied by a $30 fee.

Additionally, the TESOL Graduate Certificate Program admission requirements are:

Language requirement:

- For native speakers, 9 credits of college level work, or the equivalent, in one or more foreign languages, or a level 2 in a foreign language on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Proficiency Assessment.

- For non-native speakers, English proficiency demonstrated by a score of 95 on the internet-based TOEFL (IBT), with a minimum of 20 on each of 4 sections or by a score of 7.0 on IELTS, with a minimum of 6.5 on each of the four sections; or by a score of 587 on the paper-based TOEFL. 

Requirements for the Degree:

All graduate credits must be at the 400 level.

Students enrolled in the TESOL M.A. program must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 in all courses taken in fulfillment of the degree program. 

All students pursuing a Master of Arts in TESOL will be required to submit a graduation project as one part of their graduation requirements. The project will consist of a capstone paper with 5 elements to be included as appendices. Students pursuing the M.A. in TESOL will be assigned an advisor early in their degree program for assistance in the preparation of the capstone paper. Please refer to the program website for specific information with regard to timing, formatting, etc.

Additionally, students can choose from two options: a thesis and a non-thesis option.

The thesis option requires 30 hours of completed coursework, including

  1. all required courses with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 and no more than two grades of C;
  2. a master’s thesis for an additional 6 hours credit.

The thesis option may be exercised only with department approval.

The non-thesis option requires 36 hours of 400-level course work as specified with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 and no more than two grades of C, plus the final capstone paper (“Graduation Project”).

Any special program design, tutored study, or independent study must be approved in advance by the graduate advisor, and also requires the approval of the instructor, department chair, and the appropriate college dean(s).

Course Requirements
Language
TESL-402Principles Of Linguistics For Teachers3
TESL-420Structure Of Modern English3
TESL-426Advanced Linguistic Analysis3
Culture
TESL-445Language Variation3
TESL-447Pragmatics (or another culture-related course, in consultation with the advisor)3
Planning, Implementing, and Managing Instruction
TESL-410Techniques Of Teaching English As A Second Language3
One other course, in consultation with the advisor3
Assessment
TESL-468Assessment Of The Limited English Proficient Student3
Professionalism
TESL-414Theories Of Teaching English As A Second Language3
TESL-460Second Language Acquisition3
Total Hours30

Electives

Non-thesis Option: Six credits worth of electives are selected from the list of 400-level courses approved by the TESOL graduate advisor. In addition, a limited number of courses offered by other departments may be taken as electives. See your advisor for more information.

Thesis Option: Six credits of Thesis Hours (TESL 5901-3).

TESL courses which may be taken as electives include:

TESL-409Research Design & Methods3
TESL-430FStructure Of Language: Tai, Kirundi, Tun, Arabic3
TESL-433Lexicography3
TESL-440Language & Literacy3
TESL-442Using Technology With Second Language Learners3
TESL-447Pragmatics3
TESL-451Lexically-Based Instruction3
TESL-452Content-Based Instruction3
TESL-465Experiential Preparation For Teaching English As A Second Language3
TESL-471Evolution Of Laws & Policies In Language Instruction3
TESL-490FSeminar In TESL: Language & Culture3

Requirements for the TESOL Graduate Certificate Program:

The 18-credit curriculum of the TESOL Graduate Certificate reflects the practical knowledge and skills conveyed in the five already existing TESOL graduate courses, the Adult Needs, Course Design, and Assessment course, and the 60-hour practicum.

Students are required to complete the five courses (15 credits) plus the practicum (3 credits) indicated below.

TESL-402Principles Of Linguistics For Teachers3
TESL-410Techniques Of Teaching English As A Second Language3
TESL-414Theories Of Teaching English As A Second Language3
TESL-420Structure Of Modern English3
TESL-406Adult Needs, Design And Assessment3
TESL-465Experiential Preparation For Teaching English As A Second Language3