MA-TESL Teaching English as a Second Language


Gonzaga University’s MA|TESL offers a program of studies and a practicum for students who are interested in the learning and teaching of English to speakers of other languages.

The MA|TESL degree is designed to prepare professional and knowledgeable ESL teachers as well as language specialists who help students develop competencies for participating in diverse and global societies. In addition to persons interested in pursuing TESL education preparation, current and future teachers of foreign languages are also invited to enroll in coursework dealing with language acquisition and language teaching methodology, which have broad applicability in a variety of settings.

MA TESOL Gonzaga University

The MA|TESL knowledge base examines these areas:

  • Knowledge about language, language use, and culture and their interrelationship; understanding of how the target language is taught
  • Knowledge of both the theoretical and practical bases for language teaching and learning in schools and communities
  • Knowledge of the process of language acquisition as it concerns first and subsequent language learning and an understanding of the principles of language pedagogy.

Field and Activity-Based

In the Gonzaga University MA/TESL Program, theory and practice are integrated rather than sequenced. Courses and projects aim to provide authentic, holistic, and integrated opportunities to plan, teach, reflect, research and lead in schools, community and within the university.

Multilevel and Multicultural

MA|TESL courses and experiences are rich and complex enough to support students from diverse backgrounds, with diverse goals, at varying stages of development. In addition, students from the diverse cultures and perspectives represented in the program are important resources, helping us to better understand issues of second language acquisition and learning and teaching in a global society.

Collaborative and Supportive

Students and faculty work together to explore new ideas on learning and teaching. Students work with ESL faculty members on classroom projects. Students are introduced to, and encouraged to participate in professional organizations, other ESL programs and schools.

Meaning and Learner-Centered

In consultation with a faculty advisor and peers, students select experiences and courses that will meet their own goals, the stated goals of the MA|TESL program, and the University requirements for a Master’s degree.

Reflection Oriented

The program encourages the students and faculty to engage in research and critical reflection on the form and substance of language learning and teaching in order to understand the factors of communication and community building.