Study Format

  • Online
  • On Campus

Program Length

  • 30 Credit Hours
  • 12 or 24 Months

Application Deadlines

Aug, 19

Domestic Students

Fall 2020 Completed File Due. Classes start August 24, 2020.

Jul, 06

International Students

Fall 2020 Completed File Due. Classes start August 24, 2020.

Concordia University Chicago's master of arts in TESOL is available both online and on campus and is designed for those who want to pursue a career teaching English to both adults and children. Graduates will be prepared to demonstrate competency and proficiency as ESL/EFL (English as a Second Language / English as a Foreign Language) teachers in any of the following settings, whether in the US or overseas:

  • community organizations
  • intensive English programs
  • college/university settings
  • private language companies or corporations

Coursework in educating both adults and children, mobile/distance learning, and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) will provide the theoretical framework and practical knowledge important to teaching English to adults and children.

Because so many kinds of ESL/EFL teaching jobs are available worldwide, TESOL is an important field in an ever-shrinking world. International schools are opening up worldwide and every year more Americans move abroad to teach or work in global settings as companies shift their headquarters transnationally.

Learning Objectives and Competencies

  • Apply the pedagogical framework of adult and child learning theory in contemporary learning environments
  • Acquire essential subject knowledge and familiarity with the principles of effective teaching of adult and child learners
  • Acquire a range of practical skills for teaching English to adult and child learners
  • Be viable candidates in a variety of ESOL teaching contexts around the world

Program Information

­­Introduction to Distance Education for TESOL

This course provides an overview of the theoretical framework, historical development and practical applications of distance education for TESOL education and language training environments. In addition, the course examines the application of distance learning technologies, online pedagogy, and ethical practice in distance education focused on English language teaching and learning.

Applied Philology and World Englishes

Familiarity with both standard and non-standard varieties of English in countries where English is spoken as a first language, as an official language, and as an influential foreign language. Examination of the conditions and contexts surrounding the development and expansion of English as a global language through historical, linguistic, social, cultural, political, and literary concerns. Selected studies of sociolinguistic variables, language change, code-switching, and universal grammar to inform discussion of such variation as found in African-American English, Indian English, British dialects, and English-based pidgins and creoles. Will also include the fundamentals of philology in applied areas.

Teaching ESL/EFL to Adult Learners

Introduction to adult learning theories and contexts for teaching the adult language learner. Examination of goals, principles, and best practices for teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language, and ways to evaluate adults’ second language development. Exploration of the influence of varying backgrounds on adult language learning to promote an effective, communicative language classroom for students of varied ages and levels in various adult language teaching situations.

TESOL Curriculum Planning and Methodology

Introduction to curriculum theories and their application toward the process of curriculum development, from needs analysis to course evaluation, utilizing a needs-based, learner-centered approach to selecting, adapting, and designing curricula, courses, and materials. Emphasis is on ESOL curricular design and appropriate instructional planning to address the socio-cultural, physical, and educational needs of students in Pre-K-12 and university settings. Attention is given to English for Academic Purposes and Content-Based Instruction.

Second Language Acquisition

Intensive examination of how humans learn second languages. Review of the theories and key concepts of first and second language acquisition. Examines theoretical models and research on such issues as differences between L1 and L2 acquisition, the variables that may affect the language development processes, the effect of age on language acquisition, cognitive factors in second language acquisition, and learner variables. Exploration of sociocultural factors included.

Issues in Second Language Rhetoric and Composition

Examination of theories and practices underlying the teaching and learning of second language writing. Inquiry into rhetorical, political, linguistic, and pedagogical issues in teaching writing at English language institutes or at the college or university level to learners whose first or strongest language is not English. Emphasis on developing the background necessary to examine and refine one’s pedagogical position on the teaching of academic writing to linguistically and culturally diverse learners that includes English for Specific Purposes. Attention given to Contrastive Rhetoric and Computer-Mediated Communication.

Language and Linguistics

Analysis of the symbolic systems and the cultural bases of English in relationship to other languages through exploration of structure and history, language development and variation and communicative competence in the context of language use.

Cross Cultural Studies for Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

This course provides an overview of the theoretical framework, historical development and practical applications of distance education in education and training environments. In addition, the course examines the application of distance learning technologies, online pedagogy, and ethical practice in distance education

Teacher as Researcher

This course prepares students for the implementation of an action research project in the second course of a two-course sequence that serves as a requirement for the capstone experience in the curriculum and instruction master’s degree. Through the collection of data, the analysis, and reflection on their collaborative action research, students can participate in gaining a deeper understanding of their own teaching identity, enhanced modes of inquiry, and improving the quality of education.


Capstone Experience

A master’s capstone is required for all master of arts candidates. This culminating project highlights the candidate’s mastery of content throughout his or her studies. Capstones are traditionally a summary of work demonstrating overall growth and specific understandings of the professional standards. The capstone serves as a performance-based evaluation and promotes reflective practice. It also demonstrates the professional’s proficiency in integrating technology and his or her ability to interpret theory into practice.

TESOL Teaching Practicum I

This course is required for all MA TESOL students. Designed for students to engage in teaching, observation, and reflection, students will engage in focused observation of teachers of English to non-native learners and serve as volunteer teachers of English to non-native learners. The teaching experience will be used to support theoretical and practical applications of the planning, implementation, and evaluation of an ESOL curriculum. Completion of weekly modules during the experience is required as well as a final culminating project.

Seminar in Higher Education (EDU 6015)

In addition to the base program curriculum, international students attending face-to-face classes on the CUC campus are required to take the Seminar in Higher Education, a 3-credit course.

Course Description

This course will serve as an introduction to the U.S.-based higher education learning environment. Students will work to understand Concordia University Chicago’s academic conventions, technological systems and communication culture while developing English grammar, reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

The Seminar in Higher Education is an excellent opportunity for students to further develop critical skills to help them to be successful in their academic program. This 3-credit course is mandatory for international students attending face-to-face classes on the CUC campus. 

Course Objectives

  • Developing knowledge about local and academic culture
  • Building grammar, reading, writing, speaking and listening skills
  • Conducting graduate-level research with the use of electronic and library resources
  • Developing note-taking strategies for coursework
  • Reflecting on the U.S.-based education system

Academic support for work in students’ current coursework will also be provided during or after class. Guest speakers include representatives from the campus library, writing center and technology services.

Student feedback for the Seminar in Higher Education

  • After taking the Seminar, I have the ability to perform more professionally in my assignments.

  • The instructor was very dynamic and a good listener. He gave feedback and made sure all the students understood.

  • The hands-on activities after the lessons helped my learning experience.

  • The professor truly cares for the students. He helps students individually and encourages us to support our peers.

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