ESL Master's Degree Programs
A master's degree in English as a Second Language (ESL) would be vital if you are interested in teaching the language to students who have another primary language. Find out the prerequisites and course requirements for this master's degree, and read about the online course options.
What is an ESL Master's Degree Program?
Different types of ESL master's degree programs are available. Some are tailored to teaching in the public school system and have the option for you to obtain certification for the state you wish to teach in. Other degree programs prepare you to teach in private schools, NGOs, government organizations, universities or private companies.
|Program Options||Programs may be geared towards teaching in school settings or in governmental and non-governmental organizations|
|Prerequisites||Bachelor's degree; GRE scores, teaching licensure and related experience required by some programs|
|Common Courses||Instruction planning, language assessment, linguistics|
|Online Availability||Fully and partially online programs available|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||15% growth (for postsecondary teachers)|
|Median Salary (2018)||$78,470 (for postsecondary teachers)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Are the Prerequisites?
An undergraduate degree is standard for admission to most graduate programs. Some programs require that you have taken the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) and passed with competitive scores. You may also be asked to provide letters of recommendation that outline why you would be a good fit for an ESL program. Some programs that are geared toward K-12 teachers require you to already have a teaching license and two years of related professional experience.
What Classes Will I Take?
You can expect to take a broad range of courses in a master's degree program in ESL. Possible course subjects include assessment of English language learners, language acquisition and theory, instruction planning, research, curriculum development, linguistics and educational psychology. You may have to complete a capstone project. Some programs allow you to choose a focus of teaching or curriculum development.
What Are the Online Options?
Online, partially online and low residency master's degree programs in ESL can be found at various universities and private colleges. Some schools may offer a summer intensive on-campus portion designed to augment your online studies. Various state schools may allow you to pay in-state tuition, regardless of where you live.
Online formats vary from one school to another. You may have access to a virtual classroom where you can interact with the instructor and other students. Though you'll be able to work a somewhat flexible schedule, deadlines for assignments still apply. A computer and Internet connection are standard requirements; you may also be asked to equip yourself with a microphone or Web camera for live classes.