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College of Arts and Letters | Michigan State University

About the TESOL Program

Administered through the Michigan State University Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages (henceforth LGSAAL), the Master of Arts degree program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (M.A. TESOL) seeks to prepare individuals for professional careers in language teaching with an emphasis on the teaching of English. Through the program, our students gain knowledge of and experience in general areas of language teaching, language learning, materials development, and assessment.

It is believed that professionals in the field of TESOL should have a combination of theory and practical experience. The MA TESOL program at Michigan State University seeks to maintain that balance by providing coursework that focuses on the link between theory and practice. In this way, students gain understanding of the principles of the field as they prepare to develop their careers in the field of language learning and teaching.

Requirements for the degree stress many facets of language study. Students are given a strong foundation in the current theory and practice of the field and are given opportunities to put their knowledge to use. At the end of the program, students will be able to:

  • understand the nature of second language learning
  • understand and interpret current research as it applies to language teaching
  • examine and evaluate current language teaching materials and practices
  • think creatively about language teaching issues and challenges
  • understand and apply principles of language teaching in a variety of contexts
  • critically examine their own teaching
  • develop a coherent statement of teaching philosophy
  • provide leadership in their instructional settings and to the field of language teaching.