MA in Teaching English as a Second Language

The master's degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from Webster 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 you 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 you to become effective language teachers.

You can choose from two tracks of study: the Adult Education Emphasis designed to meet the needs of educators of adults, with no prior teaching experience required; or the 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. The ELL emphasis requires a license to teach.

While pursuing your master's, you'll learn 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.). You'll study the major theories, key concepts and research in first and second language acquisition (SLA), and explore modern and traditional teaching approaches, as well as the legal processes and policies that have influenced the English as a Second Language field. And you'll develop curriculum and materials to promote effective learning and communication.

Points of Distinction

  • Webster's ESL classes use a four-skills communicative approach to learning language. Classes are interactive, lively and small to encourage more participation and to give instructors more time with each student.
  • Instructors have master's degrees, most in TESL/TEFL. Many work as a teacher trainers, and have years of experience teaching English both in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Many technological tools are available for language learning, including blogs, electronic classrooms, online discussion tools and video and audio equipment.
  • Webster University's worldwide context allows interaction with learners from around the world through online education and/or study at one of the university's many international campuses.

Academic Program

Additional Information