MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) (Field-Based)

APU’s M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages prepares students to teach English to nonnative speakers in U.S.-based institutions and around the globe.

For more information: (626) 815-3844

The field-based TESOL program offers in-service teachers the opportunity to earn the 6-unit TEFL certificate, the 18-unit TESOL certificate, or the 33-unit Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) while teaching abroad. A tuition discount applies to students in this program.

The master’s degree can be completed in two years. Students meet for two weeks of face-to-face sessions each July on the APU campus and reunite for two weeks of sessions each January in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Courses in the field-based program are completed in a sequential “A, B, C” format: three 1-unit courses are taken in sequence over three 8-week sessions, allowing students 24 weeks to complete the entire course. Three of the 11 courses in the program are completed online with no face-to-face sessions required. In lieu of writing a thesis or compiling a portfolio, teachers demonstrate their competence through an Action Research Project course.

In addition to the foreign language and professional conference attendance corequisites listed on the department’s catalog homepage, candidates must also have secured a teaching contract abroad.


Required Courses for the Field-based Master of Arts in TESOL
TESL 505ASecond-language Acquisition: Part I 11
TESL 505BSecond-language Acquisition: Part II 11
TESL 505CSecond-language Acquisition: Part III 11
TESL 515ATeaching English Grammar: Part I 11
TESL 515BTeaching English Grammar: Part II 11
TESL 515CTeaching English Grammar: Part III 11
TESL 525ATeaching English Pronunciation: Part I Phonetic Description1
TESL 525BTeaching English Pronunciation: Part II Teaching Materials1
TESL 525CTeaching English Pronunciation: Part III Needs Assessment1
Select either the TESL 530A/B/C or TESL 535A/B/C group 1, 23
Intercultural Communication and Language Teaching: Preparing an Ethnographic Inquiry 1,2
Intercultural Communication and Language Teaching: Implementing an Ethnographic Inquiry 1,2
Intercultural Communication and Language Teaching: Writing up and Reporting an Ethnographic Inquiry 1,2
Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching: Part I 1,2
Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching: Part II 1,2
Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching: Part III 1,2
TESL 537ACritical Perspectives on Christianity and English Language Teaching: Part I 31
TESL 537BCritical Perspectives on Christianity and English Language Teaching: Part II 31
TESL 537CCritical Perspectives on Christianity and English Language Teaching: Part III 31
TESL 545ASecond-language Pedagogy I: Part I 1,41
TESL 545BSecond-language Pedagogy I: Part II 1,41
TESL 545CSecond-language Pedagogy I: Part III 1,41
TESL 550ASecond-language Pedagogy II: Part I 11
TESL 550BSecond-language Pedagogy II: Part II 11
TESL 550CSecond-language Pedagogy II: Part III 11
TESL 557AReflective Teaching: Part I 1,41
TESL 557BReflective Teaching: Part II 1,41
TESL 557CReflective Teaching: Part III 1,41
TESL 560ALanguage Program Design: Part I1
TESL 560BLanguage Program Design: Part II1
TESL 560CLanguage Program Design: Part III1
TESL 570ASecond-language Assessment: Part I1
TESL 570BSecond-language Assessment: Part II1
TESL 570CSecond-language Assessment: Part III1
Action Research Project3
Action Research: Part I
Action Research: Part II
Action Research: Part III
Total Units33

Courses needed for the 18-unit certificate.


Students must take either the TESL 530A/TESL 530B/TESL 530C or TESL 535A/TESL 535B/TESL 535C group of courses.


TESL 537 (the A/B/C sections) is an elective and may be replaced with a course that is transferred in from an M.A. in TESOL program at an accredited university.


Courses needed for the 6-unit certificate.


University graduate admission and program-specific requirements must be met before an application is complete (see Admission to the University). Program-specific application requirements are available online.

International students should contact Graduate and Professional Admissions for application procedures.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program shall be able to:
  1. Speak and write English at a level appropriate to their anticipated English teaching context.
  2. Reflect upon and apply the experience of learning a foreign language to one’s teaching of English.
  3. Analyze their own and other cultural and/or language systems and how this affects the teaching of English.
  4. Articulate a coherent understanding of the process of language acquisition and the effect on language acquisition of individual and contextual variables.
  5. Interact with Christian views of language learners, language teaching, and the nature of language.
  6. Describe the grammatical and phonological structures of English and analyze learners’ production to create appropriate/related learning activities.
  7. Evaluate and use technology in teaching English.
  8. Apply, through anticipated or actual teaching, the principles of classroom language pedagogy to teach oral and written English.
  9. Apply the techniques and principles of second language assessment, and to interpret the results of such assessments in determining language proficiency and student progress.
  10. Evaluate language teaching materials and design a course of language instruction based upon an articulated working philosophy of language learning and teaching.
  11. Use various classroom research procedures and integrate the TESOL literature with their work.
  12. Identify and discuss ethical issues entailed in English language teaching.
  13. Articulate how one’s worldview/faith, identity, and teaching philosophy impact one’s pedagogy and professional activities.
  14. Participate in the professional TESOL community, including the abilities to give and receive collegial feedback, participate in professional conferences, and apply insights gained to future or current teaching contexts.