Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)


Prepare for a range of teaching opportunities and a rewarding career with a master's in teaching English as a second language (TESL).

Why Earn a Master's in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)?

A master's degree in teaching English as a second language (TESL) opens many doors. If you’re considering a long-term career in teaching English, it’s a strong foundation.

The M.A. in TESL is internationally recognized as the terminal degree in the field of teaching English as a second language. Job opportunities for graduates of TESL master's degree programs are diverse and rewarding and include many different academic sectors and geographic locations.

A master's degree in TESL focuses on theory more than a TESL certificate does. Master's programs dig deeper into areas of study such as language pedagogy, acquisition and assessment.

Why Study Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) at CSUN?

Committed to Your Success

We are committed to our students' success and are focused on equity and inclusion. Our faculty members are dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and service, with the knowledge that an appreciation of linguistic and cultural diversity is a crucial aspect of an inclusive society.

A Rigorous Education

Our curriculum will give you an understanding of how theories of language structure and of language in context can be applied in teaching language. You will become skilled in the design of TESL testing and assessment, as well as TESL curriculum development.

What You'll Learn

The M.A. program provides an advanced level of understanding of the core areas of TESL. You'll learn linguistic theory in phonetics, phonology, morphology and syntax plus gain a solid knowledge of TESL theory and methodology. You'll take such core courses as:

  • Seminar in Second Language Acquisition
  • Foundational Concepts of Phonetics and Phonology
  • Foundational Concepts in Linguistics
  • Foundational Concepts of Language Development and Acquisition
  • Issues in ESL Reading and Writing
  • Issues in ESL Listening and Speaking
  • TESL Testing and Assessment

In consultation with your advisor, you'll choose from a wide range of electives, including:

  • Language and Social Interaction
  • Semantics and Pragmatics
  • Bilingualism in the U.S.
  • Structure of the Spanish Language
  • Computers in the Instructional Program
  • Language and Culture

In order to complete your degree, you'll submit a comprehensive graduate project, presenting it publicly during your last semester.


Careers & Outcomes

Our graduates find fulfilling careers in a variety of settings. Below are sample job titles.

Job Titles

  • K-12 ESL Teacher
  • Adult ESL Instructor
  • ESL Program Administrator
  • International ESL Program Instructor
  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Academic Advisor
  • Private Tutor
  • Consultant

Admission Information

To be considered for admission to CSUN as a master’s student, you will need to:

Learn more about applying for a master's program at CSUN.

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