Frequently Asked Questions – Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Program

What are the benefits of earning a master’s in TESOL versus a certificate?

The master’s program offers more opportunities for professional growth, marketability and employment than the certificate alone. Many employers will not hire for full-time employment without a master’s degree. A master’s degree is also required to teach at the community college level and beyond.

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How many classes do I have to take each term?

On-campus students can choose to take 1 or 2 courses per term. Each course meets twice per week. Note that financial aid and international student F-1 visa requirements may dictate a minimum number of classes that a student must take.

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Is there an internship requirement?

There is no internship requirement. For students who are interested in gaining experience in the classroom, it is recommended that they do a classroom observation for their final project. Faculty can help students find a classroom where they observe classes taught to learners of English as a Second Language.

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Is a thesis required?

Students must complete a capstone practicum project in a chosen area of focus that best meets their career goals and interests. Examples of practicum projects include curriculum development, original research, or extended classroom observations and reflective journals.

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How long will the program take?

The TESOL program takes approximately 12-18 months to complete, depending upon the number of classes students choose to take each semester.

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I already have a master’s degree in a related field. How many units can I transfer into the program?

A maximum of six transfer units is allowed. Transfer units are evaluated for each student based upon their transcripts and past coursework.

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Do I have to have a teaching credential to enroll in this program?

A teaching credential is not required to enter this program, nor does the program result in a teaching credential.

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Do I have to have an English degree or prerequisite to enroll in this program?

There is no prerequisite major or specific courses required for admission. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution is required, as well as English proficiency. Non-native English speakers are required to meet the published English proficiency requirement.

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Can I work throughout the program? When are on-site courses typically held?

Yes, the program is suitable for working adults. On-site, evening courses are typically held during the week from 5:30-8:45.

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If I enroll in the online program, do I have to be online at specific times?

Although students will have specific due dates to post discussion board comments and to submit assignments, students do not have to be online at a specific time.

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I’m not highly skilled with computers. Is the online program right for me?

Alliant has implemented a very user-friendly program to facilitate online course instruction and participation. No special technical skills are required other than basic computer skills and Internet access.  If you can open and download files and photos  and upload them to an email  then you will be able to navigate the online format. Students will have an orientation that informs them of online expectations and requirements. Additionally, Alliant’s IT Department is always available to answer questions and offer assistance. If you believe you might have difficulty with the online component for any reason, then the on-campus program in San Diego would be recommended.

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What is the difference between linguistics and TESOL programs?

TESOL is an applied discipline focused on teaching strategies and techniques for teaching second language learners of English. As a result, TESOL is very hands-on and focused on professional practice. Linguistics program are typically more theoretical in nature and less focused on the application of teaching English as a Second Language.

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What is the TESOL career outlook?

TESOL is experiencing growth as a profession due to the increasing globalization of our world economies, societies and cultures. In addition to opportunities within diverse school systems with significant and/or emerging non-native English speaking student populations, there are tremendous opportunities within ESL/EFL adult education both in the USA and in countries abroad. Please note that this program does not result in a California K-12 teaching credential.

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Does the university provide alumni support?

There are TESOL events throughout the year to which alumni are invited and encouraged to attend for professional growth and networking. In addition, graduates are able to access Alliant’s general alumni benefits. Please visit our Alumni page for more information.

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Can students select a mix of online vs. on campus classes?

Due to class size and availability, students are encouraged to stay in their program plan and only attend online courses or on-campus courses.

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