2014-15 Catalogs


M.S.Ed. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

The Master of Science in Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages provides students with the knowledge base and practical skills related to English as a Second Language (ESL) acquisition by English language learners (ELLs). The emphasis is on developing proficiency and literacy in English as a Second Language and/or English as a Foreign Language. The program provides practitioners with the skills needed to assess language and implement instruction to improve learners' proficiency for competent second language use.

The M.S.Ed. in TESOL is the only degree of its kind in Maine and is designed to accommodate the needs and goals of a wide range of ESL professionals working with culturally and linguistically diverse students, including K-12 teachers, adult educators, and those who teach or want to teach abroad. International students are encouraged to apply. This 30-credit program may be completed in one year with careful planning alongside a faculty advisor. Many courses are offered fully online or in blended formats. The TESOL practicum (EDU 623) provides students with numerous and varied placement opportunities and can be completed in the United State or overseas.

Program Requirements (30 credits)

First Tier Courses (24 credit hours)
EDU 557 Teaching Writing to Multilingual Learners*
EDU 558 Content-Based Curriculum for English Language Learners*
EDU 559 Aspects of Reading for Multilingual Learners*
EDU 561 Aspects of the English Language*
EDU 562 Linguistic and Cultural Diversity in the Classroom*
EDU 563 ESL Testing and Assessment*
EDU 600 Research Methods and Techniques
EDU 607 Teacher Research in Literacy OR
EDU 643 Inquiry in Education

Second Tier Courses (6 credit hours)
EDU 635 Seminar in Second Language Literacy
EDU 623 TESOL Practicum (3 credits)

* These courses meet state requirements for endorsement as an ESL teacher, K-12. State endorsement in ESL requires prior teacher certification and a passing score on the Praxis II exam (0361) for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. The master's degree in TESOL does not qualify graduates for Maine literacy specialist certification; however, additional courses may be taken beyond this master's degree to qualify. Students should consult with their advisor for more details.

Minimum Requirements: Applicant must have a bachelor's degree and have earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in a baccalaureate degree program; Applicants who do not have a 2.5 overall GPA must enclose a letter asking for special consideration, in which they provide evidence of an ability to complete graduate studies successfully. Without such a letter, applicants who fail to meet eligibility requirements may be automatically denied.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are up to the discretion of the admitting program.

Application Deadline

May 1 for fall matriculation, October 1 for spring matriculation, and March 1 for summer matriculation.

Candidates should submit all application materials to the USM Office of Graduate Admissions, P.O. Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104-9300 by the application deadline.

Application must include:

  • A submitted online graduate admission application;
  • The application fee of $65.00;
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine system. A transcript is official when it comes directly from the institution. If an applicant is submitting an official transcript, it must be in a sealed envelope from the institution indicating that it is an official document. If the envelope has been opened prior to arriving at the Office of Graduate Admissions, it is no longer considered an official transcript.
  • Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant's knowledge of current scholarship, capacity to connect theory and practice in posing and solving educational problems, achievement of excellence in educational practice, and demonstrated capability and motivation to engage in advanced graduate study. Recommendations are submitted using our online application form. You will need to provide the name and email address for each of your recommenders during the application process. Once you submit your application, an email will be automatically generated to your recommenders directing them to fill out the electronic letter of recommendation.
  • Essay: see essay question below;
  • Certification of finances (international students only);
  • Submission of official TOEFL or IELTS scores (if English is not first language); and
  • Current resume.
  • In addition to the above submitted materials, applicants must complete a free Tk20 Application in order for your application to be reviewed. The link to the instructions can be found here: http://usm.maine.edu/sites/default/files/educatorpreparation/How-to-Create-Free-Admission-Application-Account-in-Tk20.pdf

Special Essay Question

Type a brief essay (300-500 words) stating your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals. You may include a statement of any special interest you would like to pursue in your study.

Testing Requirements

Submit official TOEFL scores of 550 or higher on the paper-based test, 79 or higher on the Internet-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test, or an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher if the applicant is an international student whose first language is not English. International students who have received their undergraduate degree from an English-speaking institution may apply for a waiver of this requirement.

Transfer Credit

Previously completed graduate courses may be approved for transfer into a graduate program within the literacy education program if credits for the courses were earned no more than five years prior to matriculation, with grades of B or better.

For previous work completed through the University of Maine System, up to twelve credits may be accepted if the courses meet the requirements above and are equivalent to core courses or elective courses in the relevant USM program of study. Up to six graduate credits completed at institutions outside of the University of Maine System may be accepted if the courses meet the requirements above and are equivalent to core courses or elective courses in the relevant USM program of study. A syllabus for each course submitted for transfer credit from outside the University of Maine System must be provided upon application.

Transfer of more than twelve University of Maine System credits or six non-University of Maine System credits may be approved by the program coordinator and faculty. These credits may include certificate of graduate study program courses and professional development in-service graduate courses. Requests for the transfer of credits taken more than five years prior to matriculation may also be evaluated and approved by the program coordinator and faculty.