Linguistics and Language Development Department

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

The MA- TESOL prepares students to assess and systematically build the listening, speaking, reading and writing skills of students from other language backgrounds who wish to learn English or to improve their skills in English. The department strikes a balance between theory and practice. Graduates from the MA- TESOL program staff many of the area's English as a Second Language programs at the community college, adult school and private program level. In addition, a number of TESOL graduates have chosen careers in international settings, teaching English as a Foreign Language in universities, schools and companies in Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Hungary, Mexico and other countries. MA- TESOL graduates are also eligible to teach abroad through the U.S. government sponsored Fulbright and English Teaching Fellow programs. Any undergraduate major is appropriate preparation for this degree.

Culminating Experience

Plan A (with Thesis)

Completion of 30 units; approved thesis proposal and thesis. The thesis option allows a student to pursue research in an area of common interest to the student and a faculty member. A thesis proposal may grow out of a course or be developed in LLD 298, and must be approved by the student's advisor and thesis committee members. For Master's Thesis requirements please visit

Plan B (without Thesis)

Students are required to complete a total of 30 units (27 required; 3 electives); in addition, students must pass a comprehensive examination.

Course Requirements

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). For information on the GWAR, please see
Requirements of the Masters27
Core Courses24
LLD 250W. Becoming a Professional in Linguistics/TESOLGWAR3
LLD 260. English Structures for Teaching I3
LLD 261. English Structures for Teaching II3
LLD 270. Second Language Acquisition3
LLD 271. Intercultural Communication and Second Language Acquisition3
LLD 280. Methods and Materials for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages3
LLD 282. Practicum in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages3
LLD 283. Curriculum and Assessment in TESOL3
LLD 293. Teaching College-level Reading and Writing3
Additional Courses3
Plan A (with Thesis)3
LLD 299. Master's Thesis or Project1-3
Plan B (without Thesis)3
One Elective3
Comprehensive Exam0

Total Units:30

Elective courses must be planned in consultation with the Graduate Advisor.

The maximum number of upper-division undergraduate units that can be applied toward the master's degree is 15.

Upon completion of the degree requirements, the student must have achieved minimum candidacy and SJSU Cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 in order to graduate.