TESOL: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

MSEd in TESOL

MSEd 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 MSEd 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 and summer or fall matriculation. The TESOL practicum (EDU 623) provides students with numerous and varied placement opportunities and can be completed in the United State or overseas. Many courses are offered fully online or in blended formats.

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 Subject Assessment exam (5362) 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, and EDU 607 should be selected during the MSEd in TESOL for those interested in pursuing this certification. Students should consult with their advisor for more details. Students interested in initial K-12 ESL certification in Maine should also consult with their advisor for more details.

Tk20 

All undergraduate and graduate students who matriculate into an Educator Preparation program at USM and are accepted as a candidate for their internship year are required to subscribe to Tk20 (Watermark), a comprehensive web-based, assessment management and reporting system. Students use Tk20 (Watermark) to provide evidence they have mastered state and professional standards for their profession. The subscription fee of $103 covers some of the expenses related to the administration and assessment of the program.  For loan purposes, TK20 (Watermark) is eligible for consideration as part of educational costs.  The subscription is a one-time payment and must be made by each student after they have passed their candidacy process and before the first semester of their internship year.  Subscription instructions are posted on the Office of Educator Preparation website at http://usm.maine.edu/educator-preparation

Please note Professional Education Council Policy:  In order for USM’s Education Preparation Unit program-completers to be recommended by the institution to the state for certification or licensure, the candidate must provide evidence of meeting all certification requirements including proficiency on the standards relevant to his/her state approved professional program and this evidence must be compiled and assessed within the context of the Unit’s data management system (i.e., Tk20). 

Applicant 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 Procedures and Required Materials

Application Deadline: Rolling

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

  • Application: Online Application
  • Application fee: $65.00 paid through the online application.
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
    • International College transcripts: In addition to an official copy of the transcript, an official evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency is required
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Essay: see below for details.
  • 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.
  • TOEFL or IELTS: Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information below regarding test scores.

International Applicants

In addition to the standard application materials, international students must also provide the following materials:

  • College transcript evaluation: official course-by-course evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency
  • Declaration of Finances form accompanied by the appropriate financial documentation
  • International students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.

Applicants whose first language is not English 

Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.

Where to send transcripts and application materials

Official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:

Application Processing Center
University of Maine System
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412

Colleges and universities that participate in electronic submission of transcripts can send official transcripts to edocs@maine.edu. Resumes, essays, and other documents can also be sent to edocs@maine.edu.

For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation.

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.

Transfer Credit

Previously completed graduate courses may be approved for transfer into a graduate program within the Literacy, Language, and Culture programs 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.