The Master of Arts in teaching English as a second language (MA in TESL) at Webster University is designed for individuals who seek to develop the English skills of nonnative speakers living either overseas or in the United States. The program allows candidates to develop a solid theoretical background in critical aspects such as culture, language structure, first and second language acquisition theory, curriculum and materials development, teaching methodology, assessment, and research while preparing them to become effective language teachers.
ESL/EFL Education Emphasis – designed to meet the needs of future educators of adults and/or teaching English as a foreign language overseas. In this case, prior teaching experience is not required.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate* (a 21-hour Webster graduate certificate) may also be issued alone or in conjunction with the MA in TESL degree – the ESL/EFL Education emphasis, for those interested in teaching overseas.
Program Goals – The following program goals are built on a conceptual framework of knowledge, implementation and reflection.
Candidates will demonstrate knowledge of:
The English language system, its components (i.e., phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, etc.), and issues of linguistic variation (i.e., dialects, discourse, slang, humor, etc.).
The major theories, key concepts, and research in first and second language acquisition (SLA).
Modern and traditional teaching approaches, as well as the legal processes and policies that have influenced the English as a Second Language field.
Multicultural aspects and personal variables (i.e., background experiences, values, beliefs, gender) that affect the process of language acquisition and cultural integration.
Effective learning and communications strategies.
Curriculum design and appropriate materials/textbooks.
Current and historical aspects of assessment design and implementation, as well as their implication for various stakeholders.
Candidates will practice in their classroom:
Various standards-based instructional strategies to support effective educational practices that value individual and cultural differences.
Standards-based curriculum designed on modern teaching theories and meaningful, authentic content and language materials (i.e., experiences that model social and academic contexts by integrating all language skills – listening, speaking, reading, and writing).
Multiple culturally-informed, valid, reliable, authentic, pragmatic, and nonbiased assessment techniques that measure learning progress and teacher/program/content effectiveness.
Technology-centered activities that promote content and language learning, following a constructivist model that allows ample language input and practice.
Candidates will reflect on:
The roles educators take in collaboration with colleagues, school administrators, paraprofessionals, parents, and community members to advocate for the needs of their community of learners and their direct access to resources.
Personal growth through on-going participation in personal development activities.
Curriculum appropriateness in compliance with national and regional standards, as well as program expectations and student diverse needs, preparedness, resources, and ability.
The need to support and encourage ESOL students and families in their journey of social, cultural, and linguistic accommodation.
Students who are interested in applying to this degree program should also see the Admission Section of this catalog for general requirements.
Receipt of official transcripts from the baccalaureate granting institution.
Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.
Non-native speakers need to pass TOEFL, paper-based score of 575 and above (International students – see the graduate catalog on our website).
Native speakers two semesters of a foreign language (with a grade of B or better) is strongly recommended.
Essay: Describe your teaching philosophy in terms of the kind of knowledge and values that will make a teacher a more effective English as a Second Language/English as a Foreign Language instructor.
Please check our Webster International Viewbook for more information.