Teaching English as a Second Language (MA)


2014-2015 GRADUATE STUDIES CATALOG
Effective 1 June 2014 through 31 May 2015

Please see the Graduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This program offered by School of Education

Program Description

The master of arts in teaching English as a second language (MA in TESL) at Webster University is designed for individuals who seek to develop the English skills of non-native speakers living either overseas or in the United States. The program allows candidates to develop a solid theoretical background in critical aspects such as culture, language structure, first and second language acquisition theory, curriculum and materials development, teaching methodology, assessment and research, while preparing them to become effective language teachers.

The MA in TESL offers two tracks:

  • Adult Education Emphasis – designed to meet the needs of future educators of adults. In this case, prior teaching experience is not required;
  • K-12 English Language Learner (ELL) Education Emphasis – designed to meet the needs of existing content area educators interested in expanding their knowledge of teaching ELLs. In this case, a certificate of license to teach is required.

As part of the MA in TESL – the K-12 ELL Education Emphasis, we offer the Missouri ESOL Certification, an optional 21 credit-hour program issued through Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The certification is designed for preK-12 teachers faced with non-English speakers in regular, bilingual or English Language Learner (ELL) U.S. classrooms. A valid Missouri permanent or professional certificate of license to teach (participants in the TESL program at Webster may be working toward the initial certificate, but will not receive the ESOL Certificate until the basic certificate is awarded) and two credit hours (which may be undergraduate credit) of Psychology and/or Education of the Exceptional Student and Teaching Reading in Content Fields are required in order to obtain the Certification.

A Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate* may also be issued alone or in conjunction with the MA in TESL degree – the Adult Education Emphasis. This program is designed for students interested to teach overseas in both adult and K-12 settings. Students seeking this graduate certificate must have earned a recognized baccalaureate degree and meet the admission and acceptance criteria, as outlined in the graduate program’s Academic Policies and Procedures. Students may receive the Webster University TEFL certificate by completing a minimum of 21 credit hours.**

*All students pursuing the Missouri ESOL Certification or the Webster TEFL Certificate will be considered degree-seeking students and will have the option to pursue one of the MA in TESL tracks within 5 years from the start of their TESL coursework

**Students cannot pursue both the Missouri ESOL Certification and Webster TEFL Certificate within the same MA program.

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Learning Outcomes

Program Goals –The following program goals are built on a conceptual framework of knowledge, implementation and reflection.

Candidates will demonstrate knowledge of:

  • the English language system, its components (i.e., phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, etc) and issues of linguistic variation (i.e., dialects, discourse, slang, humor, etc)
  • the major theories, key concepts and research in first and second language acquisition (SLA)
  • modern and traditional teaching approaches, as well as the legal processes and policies that have influenced the English as a Second Language field
  • multicultural aspects and personal variables (i.e., background experiences, values, beliefs, gender) that affect the process of language acquisition and cultural integration
  • effective learning and communications strategies
  • curriculum design and appropriate materials/textbooks
  • current and historical aspects of assessment design and implementation, as well as their implication for various stakeholders

Candidates will practice in their classroom:

  • various standards-based instructional strategies to support effective educational practices that value individual and cultural differences
  • standards-based curriculum designed on modern teaching theories and meaningful, authentic content and language materials (i.e., experiences that model social and academic contexts by integrating all language skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing)
  • multiple culturally-informed, valid, reliable, authentic, pragmatic and non-biased assessment techniques that measure learning progress and teacher/program/content effectiveness
  • technology-centered activities that promote content and language learning, following a constructivist model that allows ample language input and practice

Candidates will reflect on:

    • the roles educators take in collaboration with colleagues, school administrators, paraprofessionals, parents and community members to advocate for the needs of their community of learners and their direct access to resources
    • personal growth through on-going participation in personal development activities
    • effectiveness of instructional and assessment approaches in the classroom with the view of achieving equitable education for their ELL students
    • curriculum appropriateness in compliance with national and regional standards, as well as program expectations and student diverse needs, preparedness, resources and ability
    • the need to support and encourage ESOL students and families in their journey of social, cultural and linguistic accommodation

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K-12 ELL Education Emphasis

33 credit hours

Required Courses (24 credit hours)

  • TESL 5230 Second Language Acquisition * (3 hours)
  • TESL 5139 English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Methods * (3 hours)
  • TESL 5220 Curriculum Development in Second Language Classrooms* (3 hours)
  • TESL 5350 Language and Culture * (3 hours)
  • TESL 5030 Language History, Planning, and Policy *  (3 hours)
  • TESL 5311 Principles and Practices of Language Testing * (3 hours)
  • COMM 5270 Visual Communications
    or COMM 5530 Visual Communications (3 hours)
  • TESL 5040 Practicum in ESOL* (3 hours)

*Course contains a key assessment for data collection purposes.

Electives (9 credit hours)

  • COMM 5199 Teaching Writing
    or COMM 5280 Written Communication (3 hours)
  • COMM 5440 Integrated Language Arts (3 hours)
  • COMM 5340 Language Arts Seminar: Teaching Language and Language Issues (3 hours)
  • COMM 5290 Interpersonal Communication (3 hours)
  • TESL 5710 Grammar for ESL/EFL Teachers (3 hours)
  • TESL 5720 Teaching English Pronunciation (3 hours)
  • COMM 5820 Foundations in Reading Instruction (3 hours)
  • EPSY 5490 Seminar in Immigrant and Refugee Experiences (3 hours)
  • EPSY 5510 Psychosocial Aspects of Migration (3 hours)
  • SPED 5030 Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities (3 hours)
  • SPED 5318 Global Issues in Special Education (3 hours)
  • SPED 5480 Learning and Behavior Problems in the Classroom (3 hours)
  • SPED 5414 Children and Youth with Learning and Academic Disorders (3 hours)
  • EDTC 5630 Advanced Topics in Classroom Technologies (3 hours)

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Adult Education Emphasis

33 credit hours

Required Courses (24 credit hours)

  • TESL 5230 Second Language Acquisition (3 hours)
  • TESL 5139 English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Methods (3 hours)
  • TESL 5220 Curriculum Development in Second Language Classrooms (3 hours)
  • TESL 5350 Language and Culture (3 hours)
  • TESL 5030 Language History, Planning and Policy (3 hours)
  • TESL 5311 Principles and Practices of Language Testing (3 hours)
  • TESL 5710 Grammar for ESL/EFL Teachers
    or TESL 5720Teaching English Pronunciation (3 hours)
  • TESL 5040 Practicum in ESOL (taken at the end of the program) (3 hours)

Electives (9 credit hours)

  • TESL 5710 Grammar for ESL/EFL Teachers (3 hours)
  • TESL 5720 Teaching English Pronunciation (3 hours)
  • COMM 5199 Teaching Writing
    or COMM 5280 Written Communication (3 hours)
  • COMM 5440 Integrated Language Arts (3 hours)
  • COMM 5340 Language Arts Seminars: Teaching Language and Language Issues (3 hours)
  • COMM 5344 Introduction to Linguistics (3 hours)
  • COMM 5270 Visual Communications
    or COMM 5530 Technology and Teaching (3 hours)
  • SPED 5030 Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities (3 hours)
  • SPED 5318 Global Issues in Special Education (3 hours)
  • SPED 5330 Legal Issues in Special Education (3 hours)
  • EPSY 5510 Psychosocial Aspects of Migration (3 hours)
  • EPSY 5490 Seminar in Immigrant and Refugee Experiences (3 hours)
  • EDTC 5630 Advanced Topics in Classroom Technologies (3 hours)

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Missouri ESOL Certification

21 credit hours

All students pursuing the Missouri ESOL Certification or the Webster TEFL Certificate will be considered degree-seeking students and will have the option to pursue one of the MA in TESL tracks within 5 years from the start of their TESL coursework.

Required courses (18 credit hours)

  • TESL 5230 Second Language Acquisition  (3 hours)
  • TESL 5220 Curriculum Development in Second Language Classrooms (3 hours)
  • TESL 5139 English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Methods (3 hours)
  • TESL 5350 Language and Culture (3 hours)
  • TESL 5030 Language History, Planning, and Policy (3 hours)
  • TESL 5040 Practicum in ESOL (3 hours)

Electives (3 credit hours)

  • TESL 5311 Principles and Practices of Language Testing (3 hours)
  • TESL 5710 Grammar For ESL/EFL Teachers (3 hours)
  • TESL 5720 Teaching English Pronunciation (3 hours)
  • COMM 5440 Integrated Language Arts (3 hours)
  • COMM 5340 Language Arts Seminars: Teaching Language and Language Issues (3 hours)

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Admission

Students who are interested in applying to this degree program should also see the Admission Section of this catalog for general requirements.

Admission Requirements

  • Receipt of official transcripts from the baccalaureate granting institution.
  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Non-native speakers need to pass TOEFL, paper-based score of 575 and above (International students – see graduate catalog).
  • Native speakers at least two semesters of a foreign language (with a grade of B or better) is strongly recommended.
  • Essay: Describe your teaching philosophy in terms of the kind of knowledge and values that will make a teacher a more effective English as a Second Language/English as a Foreign Language instructor.

Send all admission materials to:

Office of Admission
Webster University
470 E. Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119

Completed application files will be reviewed by the Communication Arts, Reading and Early Childhood Department

Advancement to Candidacy

Students must complete 12-15 hours or core TESL coursework at the beginning of their program of study and maintain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA (B average).

Required Coursework for Advancement to Candidacy (6-9 credit hours)

  • TESL 5230 - Second Language Acquisition
  • TESL 5220 - Curriculum Development in Second Language Classrooms
  • TESL 5139 - English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Methods

Other Coursework toward Advancement to Candidacy (3-6 credit hours)

  • TESL 5350 - Language and Culture
  • TESL 5030 - Language History, Planning, and Policy
  • TESL 5311 - Principles and Practices of Language Testing

The candidacy requirements are the same for both the K-12 ELL Education Emphasis and the Adult Education Emphasis.

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