Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language

Director of Graduate Program: James D. Hunter, Ph.D.
Associate Professor: M. Jeannot, Ph.D.
Assistant Professors: R. Harris, Ph.D; M. Runyan, MA; J. Hunter, Ph.D; M. Savage, Ph.D.
Instructors: J. Akins, MA; H. Doolittle, MA; J. Sevedge, MA


Applicants are required to have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university. Students from other countries must have the equivalent of an American Bachelor’s degree. The undergraduate GPA should be at least a 3.00 on a 4.00 scale. Applicants should also have two years of successful university-level instruction in a modern language, or other evidence of second language competence deemed satisfactory by the program director. This requirement is waived for students whose first language is not English. Students may be admitted without this language background, but they will be required to gain it while enrolled in the program.


Each applicant must submit the following materials:

  • 1) A completed application form (see appendix) and a nonrefundable fee.
  • 2) A written statement of purpose (750-1000) words addressing the applicant’s interest in graduate studies, outlining the applicant’s current strengths and what the applicant hopes to gain from MA/TESL study.
  • 3) Two letters of recommendation sent directly from the recommending persons using the official confidential recommendation form (see appendix).
  • 4) Two official transcripts from each college or university attended (International applicants must submit foreign transcripts in the original language and in English). International students must also provide official TOEFL score of at least 550 if English is not the student’s native language or a recommendation from Gonzaga University’s English Language Center.  Only degrees and courses from a regionally accredited institution will be accepted.
  • 5) Completed Financial Declaration form (see appendix) with original supporting bank statements.
  • 6) Upon completion of all above requirements, students will be asked to come to campus for an interview. When this is not possible, applicants are asked to submit a video responding to the interview questions, which will be provided to the applicant via email. Interviews and the procedures for the interviews will be arranged by invitation by the program director.

Program Outline: 35-36 credits

Required Courses: 32-33 credits

One of the following two options:
MTSL 500 Methods and Materials for ESL Teachers* 3 credits
MTSL 501 and MTSL 580 Summer Institute* 4 credits
MTSL 502 Pedagogical Grammar* 3 credits
MTSL 504 Introduction to Sociolinguistics* 3 credits
MTSL 508 Principles of Second Language Acquisition* 3 credits
MTSL 510 Testing, Evaluation and Assessment in the English as a Second Language 3 credits
MTSL 514 (EDTE 566) Literacy and the English Language Learners* 3 credits
MTSL 517 Phonology
1 credit
MTSL 570 History of the English Language 3 credits
MTSL 600 Research Perspectives in Second Language Education 3 credits
One of the following two courses:
MTSL 602 Thesis 3 credits
MTSL 604 Master’s Research Project 3 credits
MTSL 610 Practicum in Teaching English as a Second Language
3 credits
MTSL 680 Professional Seminar 1 credit
Elective 3 credits

ESLK-12 Endorsement *

In conjunction with Gonzaga’s School of Education, the MA/TESL Program also offers a 15 credit ESL endorsement which consists of a combination of the asterisked courses shown above. In consultation with an advisor, the K-12 teacher candidate will design a hands-on course of study that examines the following:

  • 1) Contexts and orientations for TESOL and bilingual education.
  • 2) An introduction to fundamental concepts of first and second language acquisition.
  • 3) Ideas for teaching language through content and developing materials for the content-based classrooms
  • 4) Strategies for working with English language learners in classrooms.
  • 5) Cross-cultural training for working with diverse populations.
  • 6) Strategies for incorporating state standards into instruction and assessment for English language learners.

TESL Summer Institute

In conjunction with the public schools, Gonzaga MA/TESL also offers a three-week intensive Summer Institute each year. The institute consists of coursework (MTSL 501) and a language camp for ESL students (MTSL 580). Students receive a certificate of attendance at the completion of this institute.