Prepare for Success
The Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) program draws students from around the world. Some students are native speakers of English who plan to teach in the U.S. or abroad. Many are international students who travel to Idaho to complete the degree program and then return to their country to teach English at a university or other institution.
An undergraduate degree in TESL is not required for the master’s TESL program. Instead, the admission committee will review your transcripts, goals statement and letters of reference for evidence of commitment to international education, analytical thinking skills, and language and communication skills.
Language Requirement: Native speakers of English must complete or have completed two years of college work (or equivalent) in a modern foreign language, with at least one semester in the preceding five years. Non-native speakers must demonstrate proficiency in English equivalent to a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 560 (pbt) or 83 (ibt). They also are strongly encouraged to take an advanced composition course in order to strengthen their skills in written English.
Your First Year
To apply to the Department of English graduate program, you must meet admission requirements and send required materials to the University of Idaho Graduate Admissions Office.
Once you are admitted into the TESL program, you must complete 33 credit hours, which will include courses in the following subjects:
12 credits in linguistics, such as:
- Phonetics and phonology
- Semantics and typology
- Contrastive linguistics
- Advanced English grammar
- Discourse analysis
12 credits in pedagogy, such as:
- Basic TESL methods
- TESL composition
- First and second language acquisition
- TESL practicum/internship
9 credits of electives such as:
- Additional linguistics and/or pedagogy
- Intercultural communication
In the second year, you will take a comprehensive exam on linguistics, pedagogy and TESL theory, and on teaching methodology. You may fulfill the requirements for the degree by taking 33 credits of course work and the comprehensive examination. Or, you may fulfill the requirements by taking 27 credits of course work, the comprehensive examination, and six credits of research/thesis.
English 441, Introduction to the Study of Language, or an equivalent course in linguistics, is a prerequisite or co-requisite of the TESL program and does not contribute toward the credit hours required for the degree.