Master of Arts in TESOL Overview
Prof. Anne Ediger
1011 West Building
The TESOL program is designed to educate people who wish to teach students for whom English is a second or foreign language – either children or adults. The skill of teaching English to speakers of other languages is acquired through studying specialized methods and techniques that differ from those used by teachers of English to native speakers. This preparation is the focus of the MA program in TESOL.
The MA program in TESOL is interdisciplinary. It encompasses courses that provide students with a theoretical and practical background in general linguistics, phonetics, the structure of American English, second language acquisition, related psychological, sociological, and cultural aspects, as well as the methods and materials of English language instruction to various populations. Students must also complete a student teaching/practicum at the level(s) at which they intend to teach. Courses in the TESOL curriculum reflect three levels of hierarchy: introductory, intermediate and advanced. Because introductory courses are prerequisites for more advanced courses, students are to take courses in this sequence.
There are three programs leading to an MA in TESOL, two of which satisfy the requirements for New York State certification and a program that leads to New York State PRE-K-12 TESOL certification, but does not lead to a Masters degree:
1. PROGRAM 1: Leading to Pre-K-12 certification for students without prior certification (38 cr).
2. PROGRAM 2: Leading to Pre-K-12 certification for students with prior certification (33 cr).
3. PROGRAM 3: ADULT TRACK does not lead to certification (36 cr).
4. PROGRAM 4: Leading to Pre-K-12 certification for students with existing advanced degrees in TESOL, Applied Linguistics, or Linguistics but little or no PRE-K-12 education coursework (29 cr).
These tracks are not interchangeable, and students must specify one of them for their applications to be processed. More important, students in the ADULT PROGRAM do NOT qualify for New York State Pre-K-12 certification. There is no New York State certification for ESL teachers of adults.
Students may be exempted from up to eight credits of course work in any of the TESOL programs, subject to program approval, if they have taken similar content elsewhere.
Meeting minimum admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Admission to the program is highly competitive. Each applicant’s grade point average, college coursework, written personal statement and interview, English language proficiency, foreign language credits, letter of recommendation, and quality of experience are all carefully considered for admission to the program.
In all three programs, links to the ESL classroom are emphasized and students are exposed to extensive field experiences and practice. Students should be prepared to spend considerable amounts of time observing and participating in educational settings in addition to attending classes at Hunter. All fieldwork experience must be done in New York City public schools.
Students who are completing their course work have a choice of either (1) writing a master’s essay (EDESL 760) for four credits or (2) taking a three-hour comprehensive examination, which carries no credit and is graded on a pass/fail basis. Those who write a master’s essay are exempt from taking the comprehensive examination.