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Welcome to Wilkes University » Academics at Wilkes University » Graduate Programs » Academic Programs - Graduate » Graduate Education » Programs » Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
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Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Breiseth • 800-WILKES U, x4671 (T) • 570-408-4905 (F) • Email

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

The 30-credit Master of Science degree in Teaching English to speakers of Other Languages will qualify individuals to instruct populations whose first language is not English. Graduates will be prepared to teach and serve as administrators in U.S. K-12 public schools (those already having Instructional Level 1 or 2 Certification), Colleges and Universities, Community Colleges, Intensive English Programs, private language schools and business-sponsored English programs, both in the United States and internationally.

Students in this program will learn:

  • various approaches to second language teaching and how to apply it to the learners individual needs;
  • linguistic terminology (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and discourse) and its application;
  • the role of intercultural communication and pragmatic theory in the second language classroom;
  • to evaluate the latest theoretical constructs and research findings in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing;
  • to examine and apply theories of second language acquisition to lesson planning, classroom instruction, curricular development, program development and assessment;
  • second language syllabus design, needs analysis, curriculum design, and assessment techniques;
  • to incorporate technology and computer assisted language learning to lesson planning;
  • to formulate, design, teach and assess lesson plans on reading, writing, listening, speaking, and other essential language skills.


Certificate Only option (Non degree seeking)

Pennsylvania teachers with an instructional certificate may obtain the ESL Program Specialist designation by completing the first five courses of the master’s program, and 60 hours of field experience. Field experiences are structured by the course instructor and allow full time working teachers to easily meet the necessary requirements. All field experiences take place live. ESL Program Specialist certification is not a stand-alone instructional certificate in Pennsylvania, therefore you must have a Bachelor’s degree in Education and be a fully certified teacher in the State of PA to obtain this certification. Upon successful completion of the first five courses, whether or not you continue to pursue the master’s degree, you may request the specialist designation from the PDE by applying through the TIMS system.

Students, not possessing instructional level 1 or 2 certification are elgible to receive a letter of endorsement after successful completion of the first five courses.

Admissions Requirements

Students may choose degree seeking (full 30 credit M.S. TESOL degree) or non-degree seeking (those interested in only the 15 credit ESL Program Specialist certification). All students are required to submit:

  • official transcripts
  • two letters of recommendation
  • copy of teaching certificate (only those seeking ESL Program Specialist certification in the state of PA)

Applicants must follow the admissions process as outlined under same link at left. F1 visa holders are not eligible for this program.

Students must apply in order to register for their first course. Online application is preferred unless you are a returning Wilkes graduate student. Returning students please download and complete a paper application.

Schedule for Online Courses

See the latest semester schedule at the top right of this page for details. Registration procedures are outlined under the "Registration" link at left.

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