Master's Degree in ESL Teaching: Requirements

Published Nov 11, 2009

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Students interested in pursuing a master's degree program in English as a second language (ESL) can work toward a Master of Arts in Teaching ESL or a Master of Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Read on to learn more about the requirements for enrolling and completing a graduate program in ESL education.

Master's Degree in ESL Teaching Program Enrollment Requirements

In order to apply for admissions into a graduate-level English as a second language (ESL) program, students must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited college and are generally required to have graduated with a 3.0 GPA. The first step in the admissions process is to submit a general college application, which includes submitting an application, paying the admissions fee and providing official college transcripts.

Interested students can pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching ESL or the related Master of Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). When applying to a specific college, prospective ESL teaching candidates must include a statement of purpose, provide 2-3 reference letters and interview with an ESL education coordinator, notes the graduate ESL school Carson-Newman College, Graduate Records Examination (GRE) scores are typically needed as well as background checks and proof of up-to-date immunizations.

Master's in ESL Teaching Program Completion Requirements

Master's in ESL teaching programs can vary from 36-48 credits, depending on graduate project options and teaching licensure preparation. Not all ESL master's programs offer state licensure preparation. Programs are available online or on campuses and may include concentrations in elementary, secondary or K-12 ESL education.

ESL topics of study often consist of linguistics, language acquisition, English language fundamentals, reading and writing, notes Seattle University, which offers a Master of Education in TESOL, Education classes include pedagogical models, classroom diversity, instructional psychology, child development and adult teaching.

Students enrolled in a master's level course in ESL teaching are often required to take part in a professional practicum. Graduate thesis projects are typical of many ESL programs, although some schools offer non-thesis options. Additionally, one year of a second language may be required for graduation. In order to complete certain graduate-level programs, students may have to submit proof of passing scores on Praxis II ESL and general education exams.

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