Master of Arts in English as a Second Language (ESL)

The Department of Linguistics offers an MA in Teaching English to speakers of other languages which prepares students for careers in teaching English as a second language and/or foreign language and language arts instruction for K-12 (with additional certification and course work from the College of Education). Our MA programs also serve as an excellent foundation for doctoral studies in second language acquisition and the teaching of English as a second language.

Degree Requirements

The MA in ESL degree is a 36-hour program.
The deadline for Spring admission is October 15th. The deadline for Fall admission is June 15th.
Course requirements include:
24 hours of core courses
6 hours of foundation courses
3 hours of electives
​3-hour research seminar (which must be taken during the last 9 hours of coursework)
Students who elect to write a thesis will take 3 hours of thesis LING 5950, in lieu of 3 elective hours.

Core Courses – 24 hours

*LING 5040 - Principles in Linguistics - Needed prerequisite if your degree does not have a background in Linguistics
LING 5060 - Second Language Acquisition
LING 5070 - Bibliography and Methods of Research in Linguistics/ESL
LING 5075 - Quantitative Research Methods in Linguistics
LING 5080 - Teaching English as a Second Language
LING 5090 - Pedagogical English Grammar
LING 5300 - Phonology I
LING 5310 - Syntax I
LING 5340 - Practicum in Teaching English as a Second Language


Foundation Courses – 6 hours

(Choose two courses from the following)
LING 5305 - Morphology
LING 5330 - Sociolinguistics
LING 5530 - Semantics and Pragmatics I
LING 5550 - Corpus Linguistics


Electives – 3 hours


(Choose two courses from the following)
LING 5020 - Historical Linguistics
LING 5030 - Languages of South Asia
LING 5305 - Morphology
LING 5350 - Typology
LING 5315 - Annotation through Squibs
LING 5370 - ESL Writing Pedagogy
LING 5380 - Linguistic Field Methods
LING 5390 - Psycholinguistics
LING 5400 - Tools for Lexicography
LING 5410 - Computational Linguistics I
LING 5540 - Endangered Languages
LING 5560 - Discourse Analysis
LING 5570 - World Englishes
LING 5580 - Language and Gender
LING 5590 - Linguistics and Literature


Research Seminar

LING 5990 - Professional Development for Linguists