Jul 24, 2024  
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

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Jian Yang, PhD, Program Director
Michael Silver, PhD, Department Chair


The master’s degree program in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) prepares professional educators for the role of teacher or teacher administrator, primarily in adult programs, in either the United States or in other countries. In the United States, teaching opportunities exist within colleges, universities, community colleges, language institutes, and community organizations. In other countries, teachers may work with either young adults or adult learners in a variety of educational, business and community organizations.

The post-master’s certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages is designed to allow individuals who hold a master’s degree to develop special skills in teaching English. The certificate is not required in Washington community colleges. The courses and required supervised teaching experience provide an overview of teaching methods specific to the field of teaching English to the speakers of other languages; second language acquisition and linguistic theories.

Since being bilingual or multilingual may help improve the effectiveness of an ESL instructor, it is highly recommended that students whose first language is English should be proficient in another language.

Admission Requirements

Admission is selective, and program enrollment is limited. Candidates are evaluated on their individual merits rather than on a comparative basis. Requirements include:

  • Application for Graduate Admission with non-refundable $55 application fee. (Application fee waived for Seattle University alumni.)
  • Official transcripts reflecting four-year equivalent bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.00 calculated from transcripts of all post-secondary educational institutions attended in the last 90 quarter/60 semester credits of the bachelor’s degree, including transfer credit earned during this time, and any post-baccalaureate course work. Applicants with less than a 3.00 GPA may apply but are required to submit official GRE or MAT scores by the application deadline. Scores must be from tests taken within the last five years to be considered official.
  • English proficiency test for any applicant for whom English is not the native language. Minimum TOEFL score of 580 paper-based score or 92 web-based are required. Equivalent MELAB, PTE and IELTS scores also accepted. See policy 2008-01  in Admission Policies for details. Admission through Culture and Language Bridge program is not an option.
  • Two recommendations from recent employers/supervisors/professors using the College of Education form
  • College of Education Self-Evaluation form

Program and Graduation Requirements

  • A maximum of 20 quarter credits at the 400 or 900 level may be applied to the master’s program.
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.00 must be maintained to remain in the program and to graduate from the program.
  • Satisfactory completion of a three credit hour internship. The internship is selected cooperatively by the student and major advisor, and is designed to provide a practical learning experience in an appropriate setting.
  • Satisfactory performance on a comprehensive examination of selected areas within the program of study. The examination may be taken upon completion of Part I, Part II and Part III of the program of study.

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