Program Outline

The degree requirements for the 36-credit MA/TESOL degree at Gonzaga University comprise a carefully curated series of courses that provide a foundation for your teaching, leading to the application of your knowledge and skills in hands-on coursework. As you develop as a professional, you will engage in the publication or dissemination of your ideas through professional presentations and publications. 


Required Courses for the MA/TESOL Program (30 credits)


*MTSL 404/504 Introduction to Sociolinguistics (3 Credits)

This course examines how communication in ESL education shapes relationships with non-members and members of a community. In particular, it will examine how the control of communication in education affects cognitive, social-cultural, affective, and linguistic development in both mainstream and ELL 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 ELL students, as well as issues pertaining to English as a global language, with its multiple uses and contexts.

*MTSL 408/508 Principles of Second Language Acquisition (3 Credits)

Examines major theoretical concepts in the field, such as input and interaction, language learner strategies and routines, negotiating meaning, L2 motivation and investment, and linguistic, cognitive and social developmental processes within sociocultural contexts.

*MTSL 514/EDTE 566 Literacy and English Language Learners (3 credits)

This course examines literacy practices as complex activities related to English as second language learners. Students will create classroom materials for K to adult learners to support multiple literacies.

 *MTSL 450/550 Language Awareness (0/1 credit)

This course is an overview of basic concepts in linguistics and language acquisition to provide a background for those who are unfamiliar with the terminology and concepts. It is a pre-requisite for MTSL 402/502 Pedagogical Grammar and a required part of the ELL Endorsement.



MTSL 510 Design, Evaluation, and Assessment in ESL Classrooms (3 Credits)

Focuses on familiarization with the principles of test design for language instruction at various levels. Includes readings in testing theory and opportunities to create and evaluate testing instruments.

MTSL 517 Phonology Workshop (1 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 610 Practicum (3 Credits)

The culminating experience of MA/TESOL study, the Practicum is a 10 to 14 week exercise in applied TESOL. Having completed all prerequisites, students are assigned to a Gonzaga University English Language Center 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 680 Professional Seminar (1 Credit)

Professional Seminar (ProSem) is a complementary course to either MTSL 610 (Practicum) or MTSL 602 or 604 (Thesis or 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 ELL curriculum unit with assessments and evaluations.

*MTSL 402/502 Pedagogical Grammar(3 Credits)

Focuses on language analysis, dealing with issues of interlanguage development, contrastive analysis, and discourse analysis. Students learn how to approach grammar from a variety of pedagogical perspectives.


TESOL Summer Institute or TESOL Abroad

In conjunction with the public schools, Gonzaga MA/TESL offers a three-week, four-credit intensive TESOL Summer Institute each July. The Institute consists of coursework (MTSL 401/501) and a Language Camp (MTSL 480/580) for ELL students. Summer Institute participants receive a TESOL certificate upon successful completion of the course.

*MTSL 401/501 Theory and Practice of Language Teaching (3 Credits)

This intensive course investigates current theories in second language acquisition and ESL/EFL methodology. While observing, assisting and teaching in MA/TESL Language Camp, students focus on their particular teaching situations, areas of interest, or research field.

*MTSL 480/580 TESOL practicum (1 Credit)

An integral feature of the Institute is a one-credit language camp. In conjunction with Spokane Public Schools, the Camp 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.


TESOL Abroad

In addition to the on-campus TESOL Summer Institute, Gonzaga MA/TESOL offers a three-week intensive TESOL Abroad certificate course in various cities worldwide, including Florence, Italy; Nagoya, Japan; and Krakow, Poland; Cusco, Peru; Leon, Mexico. Check the website for future locations: The program offers a survival language component, as well as practical teaching experience with local students, and cultural excursions!

MTSL 401/501 02 Theory and Practice of Language Teaching (2 Credits)

MTSL 480/580 01 Language Camp Practicum (1 Credit)



MTSL 600 Research Perspectives in Second Language Education (3 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 Master's Research Thesis (3 Credits)

Involves the identification and explanation of a topic or issue in TESOL. Includes a comprehensive literature review, statement of purpose, description of methodology, presentation of findings, and discussion of implication and relevance of research. When approved, the thesis must be printed and bound to standards appropriate for graduate publications. Upon completion, the candidate will be required to give an oral presentation.


MTSL 604 Master's Research Project (3 Credits)

Involves the identification and explanation of a topic or issue in TESOL for the final oral presentation. The project is to contribute to TESOL, multicultural, and/or multilingual development. The project must be completed and submitted in written form suitable for publication. Upon completion, the candidate will be required to give an oral presentation.


Elective Courses (6 credits)

*MTSL 304/503 Immigrant and Refugee Perspectives (3 Credits)

A hands-on introduction to the lives of immigrants and refugees in the local area, with emphasis on second language learning and teaching. Students also visit local refugee and immigrant organizations.

MTSL 516 Technology in Second-Language Education (3 Credits)

Explores current trends in technological approaches to second-language teaching and learning. Hands-on component will enable students to practice searching for and retrieving information for classroom use with a focus on teaching with technology in the language classroom.

MTSL 570/ENGL 570 History of the English Language (3 credits)

This course provides background in basic concepts of linguistics, principles of language change and historical linguistic study and the development of the English language.

MTSL 509 Academic Writing for International Graduate Students (3 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. 


Total Credits for MA/TESL Degree Program = 36