Master of Science in TESOL

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The English language connects the world.

English is the international language of business, politics, art, and culture. The M.S. in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) online degree program from St. Thomas University prepares you for exciting and rewarding job opportunities, at home and around the world, helping children and adults master the English language.

Our 30-credit TESOL master’s degree program is ideal for experienced teachers who want to specialize in TESOL, new teachers seeking specialized TESOL training, or anyone seeking a strong foundation in the principles and practices of TESOL.

At the heart of the TESOL master’s program is a deep understanding of the science of learning a new language. Our experienced TESOL practitioners will lead you through standards-based methods for assessing language proficiency as you explore the cognitive differences between acquiring a first and second language.

Florida residents are eligible to apply for the Florida English for Speakers of Other Languages Endorsement at the successful completion of this program. For states other than Florida, please check your state’s requirements for endorsement on an existing, valid certificate.

Because we are based in Miami, one of the most richly diverse cities in the world, the St. Thomas TESOL program reflects decades of experience teaching English to speakers of over 70 other languages.


The online M.S. in TESOL from St. Thomas University prepares you to work effectively with English language learners in a wide variety of professional settings. By completing the online master’s degree, you will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Discuss the major concepts and theories of first- and second-language acquisition
  • Analyze the impact of culture and cultural identity on language acquisition and development
  • Employ standards-based strategies, methods, and materials to manage a TESOL classroom or program
  • Conduct accurate language assessments based on national TESOL standards
  • Collect and analyze research to identify new methods and strategies for improving TESOL instruction


St. Thomas University’s M.S. in TESOL is a 30 credit-hour online degree program. Courses are five weeks in length, and the time to degree completion is approximately 12 months.

MS in TESOL (30 Credits)

Applied Research Methods (3)
This is an introductory course that surveys the variety of research designs used in educational settings with an application of evaluation research. This course is intended to make the student an informed consumer of research.

Social, Philosophical and Historical Foundations of Education (3)
This course will assist student in examining and explaining the differing social contexts of schooling, the diverse value orientations represented in formal and informal education, and the major historical forces shaping schooling in America.

Educational Measurement (3)
This course introduces teachers and educational leaders to elements of assessment that are essential to good teaching. It provides students with an understanding of the role of assessment in the instructional process. Students will learn how to construct effective test questions that are aligned with learning objectives and how to evaluate published tests and properly interpret scores of standardized tests as well as how to make appropriate modifications for ESOL students.

Cross-Cultural Communication and Understanding (3)
This course is designed to develop awareness and understanding of the major cultures represented by the different language minorities within the state. It provides insights that will enable participants to plan and implement curriculum, instruction, and assessment activities that will meet the special needs of limited English proficient (LEP) students who are speakers of other languages.

Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language (3)
A study of the methods of teaching English as a Second Language by reviewing the major methodologies and current trends in ESOL teaching and practicing various speaking, reading, writing, and reading instructional strategies used in the ESOL setting.

Applied Linguistics and Language Literacy Through ESOL (3)
This course provides an overview of the subsystem of language (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatic) and how they vary from language to language (L1 vs. L2 developmental patterns). In addition, students develop the understanding of how first- and second-language acquisition principles relate to the instruction of linguistically and culturally diverse knowledge and understanding of first- and second-language use to enable them to improve and adapt their teaching strategies in order to facilitate learning within diverse populations and environments.

ESOL Curriculum and Materials Development (3)
The course focuses on the teaching of second-language philosophy and methodology. It highlights the development of curriculum and materials for teaching English to limited English proficient students.

Testing and Evaluation of ESOL (3)
The course is designed to develop the knowledge and skills necessary in preparing students to select, adapt, and design assessment instruments and alternative testing techniques reflective of both instructional goals and the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse students in the ESOL classroom. Students will also become knowledgeable of the entry and exit procedures used to appropriately place students as well as the use of alternative assessments to determine the readiness of limited English proficient (LEP) students to make a smooth transition to the regular classroom program.

Effective Teaching and Classroom Management (3)
Practical teaching methods, activities, and strategies will be emphasized to introduce the research on effective teaching. Psychological factors affecting the behavior of students in regular, special, and inclusive classrooms will be studied along with local codes of conduct. Participants must apply knowledge of classroom management practices, school safety, professional ethics, and educational law to meet the instructional needs of all students.

ESOL Issues and Strategies (3)
This course is designed to introduce issues and strategies of teaching English to speakers of other languages through content area instruction. The goal of this course is to develop the foundations of knowledge necessary to prepare teachers to understand the concepts upon which optimal environments for second-language acquisition are based.


The M.S. in TESOL from St. Thomas University is your passport to professional teaching opportunities at home and around the world. With a master’s degree in TESOL, you will qualify for a wide variety of rewarding jobs, including:

  • Teaching K-12 students who have recently arrived in the U.S.
  • Adapting lesson plans to meet the needs of English language learners
  • Working internationally as an English teacher or tutor
  • Training employees of global corporations in business English
  • Directing English language instruction for a nonprofit organization serving immigrant communities
  • Teaching at a community college or adult education organization

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