Department of Languages and Literature

The M.A. in Linguistics: TESOL Concentration

With globalization, English language teaching as a field continues to grow. The MA in Linguistics with a concentration in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) opens doors to teaching opportunities worldwide, preparing students to teach English as a second or foreign language in the United States or abroad. The TESOL concentration is especially suitable for applicants with previous teaching experience who now wish to specialize in TESOL in the United States or abroad.

Students who pursue the program's concentration in TESOL will learn about key concepts in the field of linguistics, gain an understanding of the larger social context in which language is used and studied, and discover how to connect specific practices and issues in language usage and acquisition to professional activities.

Note: At this time, the MA in Linguistics with TESOL concentration does not satisfy State of Illinois requirements for K-12 ESL certification. Also, this course does not offer a practicum, so it is not suitable for students without previous teaching experience. However, it is suitable for anyone wishing to teach in the higher education sector, or abroad.

Program of study

Required courses

  • StudentLING 501/511: Introduction to Linguistics
  • LING 502: Second Language Acquisition
  • LING 503: Materials and Methods for Teaching ESL
  • LING 504: Assessment of ESL and Bilingual Students
  • LING 599: Thesis


Elective courses (choose 3)

  • LING 505: Sociocultural Studies in ESL
  • LING 506: World Englishes
  • LING 507: Modern English
  • LING 508: Style
  • LING 520: Research methods: TESOL
  • LING 521: TESOL and the Adult Learner
  • LING 523: English for Specific Purposes

For more information on these courses, please see about the Department's curriculum page for Linguistics.

Language is an anonymous, collective and unconscious art; the result of the creativity of thousands of generations.

– Edward Sapir