Wilkes University

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

The TESOL master's degree program prepares teachers for a career in teaching English to non-native speakers.

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 eligible to receive a letter of endorsement after successful completion of the first five courses.

Admissions Requirements

  • An online application
  • Bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA from an accredited institution
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • Two completed graduate recommendation forms

Applying for the Pennsylvania English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Specialist Certificate requires an Instructional Level I or II certificate from PDE.