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Course Catalog

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Chairperson: Dr. Anny Case
Director of Graduate Program: Dr. James D. Hunter  

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

The Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages degree is designed to prepare competent and knowledgeable English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers as well as language specialists who help students develop linguistic and intercultural communication skills. 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.
The MA/TESOL 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.

Courses integrate theory and practice to build students’ knowledge regarding language, the interrelationships of cultures, teaching methods, and language acquisition. Students work collaboratively with faculty and classmates to explore new ideas on learning and teaching.  Hands-on projects and other field-based learning opportunities prepare students to plan, teach, reflect, conduct research, and lead in schools and the community.  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/TESOL program, and the University requirements for a master’s degree.

It is important to note that the MA/TESOL degree is not the same as K-12 teacher certification.  Students interested in becoming K-12 teachers are encouraged to consider the Gonzaga Master’s in Teaching (MIT) program. The MIT program leads to certification as an elementary or secondary teacher. 

Admission Requirements:

  1. Students applying to Gonzaga University must submit Gonzaga’s Graduate Application, which can be accessed online at
  2. Along with the application for graduate study, each program at Gonzaga has distinct admission requirements. Please refer to the table below to view that detailed information.

Program Name

How To Apply Link
M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages 

Program Outline: 35-36 credits

Required Courses: 29-30 credits

One of the following two options: 3-4 credits
MTSL 500 Methods and Materials for ESL Teachers (3 credits) (on sufficient demand) 
MTSL 501 & MTSL 580 Theory and Practice of Language Teaching and TESOL Practicum 
MTSL 502 Pedagogical Grammar 3 credits
MTSL 504 Introduction to Sociolinguistics 3 credits
MTSL 508 Principles of Second Language Acquisition 3 credits
MTSL 510 Course Design, Evaluation and Assessment in ESL Classrooms 3 credits
MTSL 514/EDTE 566 Literacy and the English Language Learners 3 credits
MTSL 517 Phonology 1 credit
MTSL 600 Research Perspectives in Second Language Education 3 credits
MTSL 610 Practicum in Teaching English as a Second Language 3 credits
MTSL 680 Professional Seminar 1 credit
One of the following two courses:
MTSL 602 Project/Thesis
3 credits
MTSL 604 Master’s Portfolio
3 credits
Students are required to take 6 credits of elective courses and can choose from the following or other by arrangement with the MATESL Director.
6 credits
MTSL 503 Immigrant and Refugee Perspectives 3 credits
MTSL 505 Intercultural Competence Development 3 credits
MTSL 509 Academic Writing for Graduate Students  3 credits
MTSL 516 Technology in Second Language Education 3 credits
MTSL 570 History of the English Language 3 credits

ELL K-12 Endorsement *

The MA/TESOL Program also offers a 14-credit English Language Learner (ELL) endorsement which consists of a combination of the courses listed below. This is not a stand-alone endorsement.

Any student interested in pursuing this endorsement must be:

  1. Already certified as a teacher in the State of Washington.
  2. Pursuing certification in conjunction with Gonzaga University’s Teacher Certification program. For more information regarding this endorsement please contact the MA/TESOL program director.
MTSL 501& MTSL 580 Theory and Practice of Language Teaching and TESOL Practicum 4 credits
MTSL 503 Immigrant and Refugee Perspectives
3 credits
MTSL 508 Principles of Second Language Acquisition
3 credits
MTSL 514 or EDTE 566 Literacy and the English Language Learners
3 credits
MTSL 550 Language Awareness
1 credit

TESOL Summer Institute

In conjunction with the public schools, Gonzaga MA/TESOL also offers a three-week intensive Summer Institute each year. The institute consists of coursework (MTSL 501) and a Field Experience for ESL students (MTSL 580). Students receive a 120-hour TESOL Certificate upon successful completion of this institute.

MTSL 501 Theory & Prac of Lang Teaching
3.00 credits
This course investigates current theories in second language acquisition and ESL/EFL methodology. Students learn how to apply these methods to the specific needs of language learners while observing, assisting and teaching. The summer offering is an intensive 4 week course where students apply specific methods during a field experience co-requisite course (MTSL 580).
MTSL 580
MTSL 502 Pedagogical Grammar
3.00 credits
This course will focus on language analysis for ESL teachers Issues and insights of interlanguage development, contrastive analysis, discourse, analysis, and pedagogical grammar will be interwoven throughout this course. Students will apply this knowledge to some of the tasks of teaching a second or foreign language including providing corrective feedback, selecting and designing presentation materials, and form-focused activities.
MTSL 550 Minimum Grade: B
MTSL 503 Immigrant & Refugee Perspect
3.00 credits
Designed for students interested in sociocultural perspectives on identity and language and their intersection in diverse cultural communities, this course looks at the experience of immigrant populations in the USA and in the Spokane area, through the lens of their cultural and linguistic adjustment. An average of one hour of service per week is expected of all participants in this course.
MTSL 504 Intro to Sociolinguistics
3.00 credits
This course will examine how communication in ESL education shape relationships with non-members and members of a community. In particular, it will examine how the control of communication in bilingual and ESL education affects cognitive, social-cultural, affective, and linguistic development in bilingual and ESL classrooms. Theories studied in this course will help build an understanding of how to observe and analyze the effects of communication patterns on learning opportunities for ESL students.
MTSL 505 Intercultural Comp Development
3.00 credits
This course addresses social justice by introducing students to a developmental process of acquiring cultural self-awareness, developing knowledge and skills that build intercultural competence, and engaging in meaningful reflective self-evaluation. This process begins with recognizing new perspectives about personal cultural beliefs, values, and assumptions; and exploring others’ cultures and worldviews.
MTSL 508 Prin Sec Lang Acquisition
3.00 credits
This course will investigate some of the major theoretical concepts that have developed in the field of second language learning and teaching with emphases on the concepts of interaction, learner strategies, routines, negotiating meaning, motivation and developmental processes within sociocultural contexts.
MTSL 509 Academic Writing Grad Students
3.00 credits
MTSL 509 is designed for international graduate students concurrently enrolled in one of Gonzaga’s graduate programs. This course focuses on U.S. scholarly writing and research expectations and the development of the skills necessary to meet those expectations.
MTSL 510 Design, Eval & Assess in ELL
3.00 credits
This course will familiarize students with the principles of test design and construction for all language skills at various levels including both standardized and teacher made tests for a variety of purposes. The course will include reading and testing theories and opportunities to create and administer testing instruments and practice in interpreting the results.
MTSL 514 Literacy & Engl Lang Learner
3.00 credits
This course will involve discussion and review of relevant research in second-language reading and writing. It also includes a critical investigation of research to implementation in the language classroom.
EDTE 566 - OK if taken since Fall 2004
MTSL 516 Technology in Second Lang Ed
3.00 credits
This course explores current trends in technological approaches to second-language teaching and learning. It familiarizes students with tools available on the Internet and World Wide Web. Hands on components will enable students to practice searching and retrieving information for classroom use. Student projects include student produced web pages and materials.
MTSL 517 Phonology
1.00 credit
Introduces the International Phonetic Alphabet and covers basic techniques for improving second-language learners' pronunciation, using recording analysis to plan strategies and design materials.
MTSL 550 Language Awareness
1.00 credit
This course will cover the basics of syntax along with the common metalanguage that enables teachers to talk about grammar, as well as broader issues of language structure in general.
MTSL 570 History of the English Lang
3.00 credits
This course will provide background in basic concepts of linguistics, principles of language change and historical linguistic study and the development of the English language.
MTSL 580 TESOL Field Experience
1.00 credit
An integral feature of the Summer Institute (MTSL 501) is the TESOL Field Experience which provides a unique opportunity for its participants to work with ESL students of various ages, nationalities, and proficiency levels. Included in this enhanced hands-on experience are opportunities for observation, teaching, and participation in social activities with ESL students.
MTSL 501
MTSL 600 Research Persp in Sec Lang Ed
3.00 credits
Introduces research methods and resources in the discipline with a focus on qualitative classroom-based approaches. A required prerequisite for MTSL 602 and MTSL 604.
MTSL 602 Thesis
1.00- 3.00 credits
This course involves the identification and in-depth exploration of a topic or issue in TESL. The thesis will include a comprehensive literature review, statement of purpose, description of methodology, presentation of findings, and discussion of implications and relevance of the research.
MTSL 604 Master's Portfolio
3.00 credits
This course involves the identification and in-depth exploration of a topic or issue in TESL for the final oral presentation. The project is one that contributes to TESL, multicultural, multilingual development. The project must be completed and submitted in written form or as a manuscript suitable for publication.
MTSL 610 Practicum in TESL
3.00 credits
The culminating experience of MA/TESL study, the Practicum is a 10 to 14 week exercise in applied TESL. Having completed all prerequisites, students are assigned to a Gonzaga University ESL faculty member for the duration of the practicum. Following a period of observation, the intern moves to increased levels of responsibility for planning and teaching.
MTSL 611 Continuing Research
1.00 credit
MTSL 680 Professional Seminar
1.00 credit
This course (ProSem) is a complementary course to either MTSL 610 (Practicum) or MTSL 602 (Thesis) or 604 (Project). Students meet to discuss practical and theoretical issues related to their teaching or research site. Students also develop a professional portfolio consisting of a philosophy of teaching, a videotape of lesson, an ESOL curriculum unit with assessments and evaluations.
MTSL 690 Independent Study
.00- 6.00 credits
MTSL 691 Independent Study
.00- 6.00 credits