MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Graduate School Department

Degrees offered



Main Campus
Anne Arundel Community College
Southern Maryland Higher Education Center (SMHEC)

As we move into the 21st century, the demand for teachers of English as a second or modern world language—both in the United States and abroad—is higher than ever.  The Master of Arts in TESOL provides a program of advanced study for professionals who wish to pursue careers in teaching English as a second or modern world language.  Through graduate study in pedagogy, linguistics, cross-cultural communication, and second language teaching methodology, this program develops competencies essential for ESL/EFL educators.

Courses in pedagogy introduce students to state-of-the-art practices in education, as well as relevant research in education, enabling students to build a research-based approach to language teaching. In addition, courses in linguistics introduce students to current knowledge with regard to both first and second language acquisition, which will allow students to develop a sound theoretical foundation for their future language teaching practices. Students also study specific issues in applied linguistics and sociolinguistics that are relevant to the ESL/EFL classroom, such as linguistic variation. Finally, through various methodology and assessment courses, students develop the practical skills required for excellence in teaching English as a second or foreign language.

The Master of Arts in TESOL consists of six core courses, which are required for all students enrolled in the program. Students' additional course requirements depend on their choice of concentration.

Program of Study

The program offers two concentrations. One prepares students to teach ESOL in U.S. public schools (K-12). The other prepares students for teaching ESOL in post-secondary education, in addition to non-traditional educational settings, such as adult education ESL programs, or EFL (English as a Foreign Language) programs abroad.


The K-12 concentration prepares students to teach ESOL in U.S. public schools (grades K-12). Candidates pursuing the K-12 concentration will complete a 39-credit program including a year-long student teaching internship in a Maryland public school. Certification candidates must also complete an ePortfolio and pass the Praxis II exam to earn Maryland K-12 ESOL certification.


The post-secondary concentration prepares students to teach ESOL in post-secondary education, in addition to non-traditional educational settings, such as adult education ESL programs, or EFL (English as a Foreign Language) programs abroad. Candidates pursuing the post-secondary concentration will complete a 33-credit program including a practicum experience where they work with adult learners in the community.


MA in TESOL (Initial K-12 Certification) (39 Credits)

EDU-508 Issues in TESOL (3)
EDU-519 Human Development and Learning (3)
EDU-543 Reading, Analyzing and Interpreting Educational Research (3)
EDU-545 Principles of Linguistics (3)
EDU-546 Methods and Materials for TESOL (3)
EDU-547 Assessing Second Language Acquisition (3)
EDU-548 Language Learning (3)
EDU-556 Technology for Instruction and Management (3)
EDU-586 Techniques of Teaching Reading & Writing to Students with Limited English Proficiency (3)
EDU-596 English Grammar for ESL Teachers (3)
EDU-611 Internship (6)
SPE-526 Special Education for the Classroom Teacher (3)

MA in TESOL (Post-Secondary Education) (33 Credits)

EDU-508 Issues in TESOL (3)
EDU-543 Reading, Analyzing and Interpreting Educational Research (3)
EDU-545 Principles of Linguistics (3)
EDU-546 Methods and Materials for TESOL (3)
EDU-547 Assessing Second Language Acquisition (3)
EDU-548 Language Learning (3)
EDU-556 Technology for Instruction and Management (3)
EDU-586 Teaching Reading and Writing to Students with Limited English Proficiency (3)
EDU-596 English Grammar for ESL Teachers (3)

EDU-697 Language and Intercultural Communication for Changing Populations (3) or
EDU-698 Linguistic and Cultural Diversity (3)

EDU-595 Practicum (If candidates obtain 150 documented hours of teaching adults in the community, they may choose an EDU 500 elective to complete the 33-credit program.)


EDU-500 Gra Education Degree Audit

This course is a holding number for the degree audit program

EDU-508 Issues in TESOL

Introduces students to the field of TESOL by providing an overview of instructional programs and approaches for teaching English as a second language to students from K-12 to postsecondary levels. Special emphasis is placed on the role of cultural differences on language development and academic achievement in United States classrooms. The course includes bilingualism, legal and political trends as they pertain to ESL students in various educational settings, and the impact of state and national initiatives, such as No Child Left Behind, on ESL students and TESOL. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-519 Human Development and Learning

Explores selected aspects of human development related to learning and instruction. Major psychological concepts and learning theories will be examined and applied to the context of education. Emphasis will be placed on understanding cognitive and affective domains of development as well as behavior management, motivation, individual differences in learning and instructional practices. Includes reflection, classroom activities, educational philosophy and class-room instruction. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-543 Reading, Analyzing and Interpreting Educational Research

Provides an interactive learning environment that will enable students to acquire knowledge, skills and abilities required for the analysis, interpretation and evaluation of educational research. In addition, the course will enable students to cultivate the skills necessary for engaging in their own creative and meaningful research. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-545 Principles of Linguistics

Provides an introduction to the scientific study of language. The course presents an historical overview of the major schools of thought in linguistics, followed by a discussion of current theory as it relates to the major subfields of linguistics, syntax, semantics, phonology and phonetics. This course serves as a prerequisite for all other linguistics courses in the TESOL program. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-546 Methods and Materials for TESOL

Aims to familiarize students with methods and materials available to the ESL teacher. Students analyze a wide variety of methods, with emphasis on currently accepted methodology. Different kinds of materials are examined in detail, including authentic materials. Students will also explore technological resources available to the ESL teacher, including the Internet. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-547 Assessing Second Language Acquisition

Introduces the student to various assessment techniques that are used in ESL teaching. Students examine various traditional testing techniques, along with more recently developed alternative methods for assessing second language learning, focusing on the four language skills, reading, writing, listening and speaking, as well as communicative competence in general. In addition, students critically evaluate ESL assessment methods used for placement purposes by various (local) public school systems. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-548 Language Learning

Examines current theory in language acquisition from psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic perspectives. Although the basic principles of first language acquisition are analyzed to some extent, the main focus of the course is on theoretical principles as they relate to second language acquisition, including their application to second or foreign language teaching. Subtopics include sociocultural factors in language classrooms, individual language learning styles and strategies, and the impact of age and native language on (second/foreign) language learning. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-556 Technology for Instruction and Management

Introduces learners to technology as a tool for classroom instruction and management. Students will be given opportunities in planning, designing and producing projects that meet the instructional needs of students. The projects encompass skills in word processing, video, Web pages, multimedia and other technologies. Students examine online information services and the integration of technology into the curriculum and practice. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-586 Techniques of Teaching Reading and Writing to Students With Limited English Proficiency

Addresses the development of reading and writing from a cognitive perspective. Students will become familiar with the approaches, methods and techniques appropriate for the teaching of reading and writing to students with limited English language proficiencies. Special topics such as the integrated skills curriculum, language-specific rhetorical styles and free voluntary reading will also be discussed. Students will evaluate and design appropriate classroom materials. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-595 Teaching Practicum

Provides an internship experience in TESOL education in a post-secondary setting in the United States or in an EFL program abroad. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-596 English Grammar for ESL Teachers

Analyzes the grammar of American English in detail with an emphasis on areas of English grammar that tend to present problems for EFL students. Students learn how to teach grammar, including how to contextualize grammar instruction in thematic lessons. Included will be a discussion of how grammar instruction fits into current trends in language teaching. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-611 Internship Tesol

Provides a full-time internship in TESOL education in public schools. Gradual introduction into teaching. Builds upon and extends activities of the clinical field experiences in observing and analyzing student behaviors; learning about the school; establishing professional relationships with students, parents, staff; observing and analyzing teaching. Interns begin by planning and teaching specific skills (for example, the inquiry method) with one or more classes, analyze progress with the guidance of the supervising teacher, and gradually assume responsibility for the entire teaching schedule. Interns are expected to demonstrate skill in: long range and daily planning, uses of technology, use of teaching strategies identified in the Maryland Instructional Frameworks (critical thinking, problem solving, inductive thinking, questioning, reading and writing for meaning, constructing meaning), and in instructing and assessing English language development for students of other languages with limited English proficiency. Supervision by master teacher and college supervisor. [ 6 credits ] NOTE: Student Teaching Internships may start earlier than the official term start dates. Please refer to the information received at the internship orientation or contact the Education Department.

EDU-697 Language and Intercultural Communication for Changing Populations

Examines the nature of language as the instrument of communication that expresses cultural and societal modes of thinking, customs and values. Participants analyze their own and others' socio-cultural perceptions, values and behaviors in order to gain insight into student behaviors and develop strategies that facilitate effective instruction and learning for all students. The study of linguistic patterns enables teachers and other educational leaders to gain global insights into the role of language in fostering individual and cultural identity. This course focuses on sociolinguistics and the social contexts in which language is used. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-698 Linguistic and Cultural Diversity

Assists educators in better understanding the nature of language and language acquisition in the context of their relevance for education. First and second language acquisition will be studied in detail, primarily from a cognitive perspective with emphasis on the analysis of the diverse variables that play a role in language acquisition and how these affect literacy development. The focus of this course will be on the study of language development of K-12 students who are linguistic minority students, including those for whom Standard English is a second dialect and those for whom it is a second language. [ 3 credits ]

SPE-526 Special Education for the Classroom Teacher

Addresses the rights of special needs students, legal foundations, the attitudes and needs of parents and the responsibilities of educators. Explores characteristics of exceptionalities. Designed for the classroom teacher, this course stresses strategies for inclusion and adaptations for the regular classroom. Includes discussions with professionals. [ 3 credits ]