Graduate Degrees in Teaching ESL Education
Graduate degree programs in ESL education will develop your skills and knowledge in language acquisition instruction, assessment and curriculum design. Read on to learn more about what courses you'll take in master's and doctoral programs, prerequisites and online availability.
What Courses Will I Take in an ESL Education Master's Degree Program?
Master's degree programs are designed for licensed working teachers with a bachelor's degree in education and will prepare you to effectively teach ESL at the primary, elementary and high school levels. These programs typically focus on the three essential topics in ESL education: language learning, instructional design and research fundamentals.
You will use research-based practices to learn how to plan, manage and implement ESL instructional programs. You will develop a strong foundation in linguistics, and your coursework will emphasize teaching pedagogy. Coursework in a master's program can include:
- Applied linguistics
- Curriculum and assessment
- Language acquisition
- Writing in a second language
- Diversity in education
- Research methods
- Instructional strategies for ESL education
|Master's Degree Courses||Curriculum and assessment, diversity in education, instructional strategies for ESL education, applied linguistics|
|Doctoral Degree Courses||ESL program management, issues in language education, course design for second language learners, ESL classroom learning|
|Program Prerequisites||Typically must have a lower-level teaching degree, teaching license, GRE scores, professional goal statement and letters of recommendation|
|Online Availability||Master's programs available online; doctoral programs online are rare|
|Job Outlook (2019-2029)||6% growth (instructional coordinators)*|
|Median Salary (2020)||$66,970 (instructional coordinators)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Courses Will I Take in a Ph.D. Program?
Doctoral degree programs in ESL are designed to prepare you for a career in research, program administration or academia. Most programs require you to complete a set of courses within an ESL specialization of your choosing. Courses may include:
- Issues in language education
- Course design for second language learners
- Fundamentals of second language assessment
- Designing materials for second language learners
- ESL program management
- ESL classroom learning
Most Ph.D. programs will require you to prepare a final project based on your chosen area of research. In addition, you may have to take a series of comprehensive exams that demonstrate the depth of your research in your area of specialization.
Are There Any Prerequisites?
Both degree programs typically require students to have a teaching degree and a teaching license. Generally, master's degree programs require you to have a bachelor's degree, and doctoral programs require a master's degree. Additional prerequisites include GRE (Graduate Record Examination) test scores, professional goal statement, resume, letters of recommendation and transcripts.
Can I Earn These Degrees Online?
Master's degree programs in ESL education are available as online programs. You will take the same courses as on-campus students and be required to complete rigorous assignments, tests and papers. Most programs assign online learning students an advising mentor that will work closely with you to develop a personal academic plan and ensure your courses and thesis research is on track. Courses and tutorials are delivered via the Internet. Ph.D. programs are usually not available in an online format due to the depth of research these programs require. You can earn a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) online in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.