TESOL: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

About Our Degrees and Certificates

University of Southern Maine students sitting at tables and talking in the campus center.The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program offers degrees and certificates that meet the needs of both aspiring and practicing teachers in the state of Maine, elsewhere in the U.S., and abroad. Read below to determine which program is right for you.

Master’s Degree Program: Initial Teacher Certification

Degree: Master of Science in Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL): Initial K-12 ESL Certification (English as a Second Language)

  • Those who are not yet certified to teach.
  • Those seeking to teach K-12 students in ESL.
  • Those seeking to teach adults in the community.
  • Both in-state and out-of-state residents.
  • International students.
  • Career Advancement: Upon earning your master’s degree, you’ll be qualified to serve as a K-12 ESL teacher.
  • Program format: A blended format, with some sessions online and some sessions held on-campus.
  • Completion timeframe:
    • Studying full-time: You can complete this master's program in one year and six months over eleven sessions. Courses are offered each semester in Fall I, Fall II, Spring I, Spring II, Summer I, and Summer II.
    • Studying part-time: You can take up to two years to complete the program. Courses can be spread out over multiple sessions. This includes Fall I, Fall II, Spring I, Spring II, Summer I, and Summer II.
  • Field experience: You’ll gain experience teaching English language learners (ELL), and linguistically and culturally diverse students through a practicum and internship. Learn more.
  • Program approval and accreditation: This MSEd program is Maine-state-approved and accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
  • This program will prepare students to be eligible for licensure within the State of Maine. Visit the UMS State Authorization and Licensure page to learn more about the licensure requirements in other states and territories, and for contact information to inquire further about the licensure requirements associated with this program.
  • In addition, K-12 ESL Certification students must meet Maine's Initial Teacher Certification Standards  and  1 ISTE (Technology) Standard:

      Standard #1: Learner Development

The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

     Standard #2: Learning Differences

The teacher uses an understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.

     Standard #3: Learning Environments

The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

     Standard #4: Content Knowledge

The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.

     Standard #5: Application of Content

The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.

     Standard #6: Assessment

The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.

     Standard #7: Planning for Instruction

The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.

     Standard #8: Instructional Strategies

The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop a deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.

     Standard #9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice

The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

     Standard #10: Leadership and Collaboration

The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

     Standard #11: ISTE Technology Standards for Teachers

Effective teachers model and apply the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards for students as they design, implement, and assess learning experiences to engage students and improve learning; enrich professional practice; and provide positive models for students, colleagues, and the community.

Learn more: Read about our program requirements, course sequence, and application information.

Master’s Degree Program: Advanced Teacher Certification

Degree: Master of Science in Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

The MSEd in TESOL for practicing teachers offers two options for program completion:

  • Fully online program format
  • Blended program format
  • Certified teachers, including K-12 classroom teachers and adult educators, seeking to increase their education and advance their career.
  • Both in-state and out-of-state residents.
  • International students.
  • Those seeking to teach K-12 students in ESL.
  • Those seeking to teach adults in the community.

Launch the Maine Online site to learn more about our fully online program. 

  • Career advancement: This program leads to Maine K-12 ESL endorsement. Upon earning your master’s degree, you’ll be qualified to serve as an adult and community TESOL educator, ESL program director, K-12 ESL teacher, and TESOL instructors overseas.
  • Program format: A blended format, with some courses online and some courses held on campus.
  • Completion timeframe: 
    • Full-time study: You can complete this degree program in one year when you begin in the fall and work closely with your advisor to select courses. This includes three to four courses each semester, including summer.
    • Part-time study: You can take up to two years to complete this degree program. This would include two to three courses each semester, including summer.
  • Field experience: You’ll gain experience teaching English language learners (ELL) and linguistically and culturally diverse students through a practicum experience. Learn more.
  • Reduced tuition for out-of-state and international students: For online learners, the University offers a low e-tuition rate to non-residents of Maine that is less than the standard out-of-state tuition. Maine residents benefit from the lower in-state tuition.

Learn more: Read about our program requirements, course sequence, and application information.

Certificate of Graduate Study in English as a Second Language

 

  • Those currently earning their master’s degree to teach.
  • Certified teachers including K-12 classroom and special education teachers and educational technicians.
  • Both in-state and out-of-state residents.
  • International students.
  • Those seeking to teach K-12 students.
  • Those seeking to teach adults in the community.
  • Career advancement: Through this program, you’ll be prepared to plan effective instruction for English language learners. You may earn state endorsement in ESL if other requirements are met.
  • Program format: Fully online program.
  • Flexible delivery: There is a combination of both asynchronous and synchronous courses. Asynchronous courses provide you the flexibility to choose when and where to complete your course work each week. Synchronous courses offer the opportunity to connect with your professor and classmates in real-time.
  • Completion timeframe:
    • Full-time study: You can complete this certificate in one year. Courses can be completed in two to three semesters. This includes fall, spring, and summer.
    • Part-time study: You can take up to two years to complete this certificate. Courses can be spread out over three to four semesters. This includes fall, spring, and summer.
  • Field experience: We’ll work with you to find opportunities for volunteering in the community and practicing your teaching skills with English language learners (ELLs). Learn more.
  • Reduced tuition for out-of-state and international students: For online learners, the University offers a low e-tuition rate to non-residents of Maine that is less than the standard out-of-state tuition. Maine residents benefit from the lower in-state tuition.
  • Future degree planning: Interested in earning your Master’s in TESOL in the future? The credits you earn through this certificate program can be transferred to our MSEd in TESOL program. Some restrictions may apply.


Learn more: Read about our program requirements, course sequence, and admission information.

Post-Master’s Certificate of Advanced Study in English as a Second Language

 

  • Certified teachers who hold a master’s degree.
  • Teachers, administrators, and other educators seeking to elevate their awareness and education, and advance their careers.
  • Those seeking to earn Maine endorsement as a K-12 ESL teacher.
  • Those seeking to teach K-12 students.
  • Those seeking to teach adults in the community.
  • Career advancement: We’ll provide guidance for you to self-design your course of study according to your career goals. You can design a course plan that leads to Maine endorsement as an ESL teacher.
  • Program format: A blended format with some sessions online and some sessions held on campus.
  • Completion timeframe:
    • Full-time study: You can complete this certificate in one year. Courses can be completed in two to three semesters. This includes fall, spring, and summer.
    • Part-time study: You can take up to two years to complete this certificate. Courses can be spread out over three to four semesters. This includes fall, spring, and summer.
  • Field experience: We’ll work with you to find opportunities for volunteering in the community and practicing your teaching skills with English language learners (ELLs). Learn more.

Learn more: Read about our program requirements, course sequence, and application information.