The Online TESOL Master’s: A Truly Global Degree

TESOL teacher leading a lesson in classroom of ESL students
TESOL teacher leading a lesson in classroom of ESL students

It’s become almost a rite of passage for many recent university graduates to take a quick intensive English as a second language (ESL) teaching program and spend a semester abroad in countries like South Korea and Thailand, where English-language education is in high demand. Although most of these new teachers view the experience as a means of briefly traveling the world while chipping away at their student loan debt, for some teaching ESL becomes a calling.

Whether you’re looking to make a real career out of the global journey you’ve embarked on, or are inspired to help ESL learners here in the United States, Spring Arbor University’s Master’s in TESOL online program can be a great fit. Thanks to its remote, self-directed nature, you can complete your courses no matter where (or in what time zone) you happen to find yourself.

Let’s look at how an online master’s in ESL teaching can help your career.

What Does TESOL Stand For?

The abbreviation TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Why Get a TESOL Master’s Online When I Can Already Get Hired With Just a Certificate?

As anyone with experience teaching overseas can tell you, new teachers do not always have their pick of the best assignments. Thanks to the number of ESL teachers on the market, the best-paying positions in cosmopolitan cities are seldom available without years of experience. For certificate-holding ESL teachers, your future can be somewhat insecure career abroad, or the persistent request by potential Stateside employers to upgrade your education. You’ll also be limited in the age and proficiency-level of the students you’ll be allowed to teach.

By contrast, holding a master’s in ESL from an online program opens up opportunities for steadier, better-paying work, and the freedom to define your own path.

The Online TESOL Master’s: Two Paths

At Spring Arbor University, for example, we offer two streams for students, depending on your interests and professional background:

  1. Master of Arts in TESOL in K-12 Education
  2. Master of Arts in TESOL Adolescent & Adult Education

The K-12 track is intended for certified teachers seeking to become better at supporting the needs of ESL students in their classrooms, or who intend to become an ESL specialist at their school. Completing credit hours in the K-12 stream will qualify graduates for a formal ESL endorsement in whatever state you choose to teach.

Meanwhile, the Adolescent & Adult stream is open to students with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline. Your online ESL master’s will qualify you to teach in intensive English programs, at community college ESL programs, or community-based ESL programs for adults, among other venues. This will allow you to teach speakers up to the middle- and high-school level, including at international colleges.

The curriculum for both streams will hone your pedagogical skills in key areas such as communication,  linguistics, assessment, evaluation and ethics. You will learn effective approaches to help non-native speakers master the intricacies of English grammar and how to support their growth in the classroom.

You will also undertake a capstone project. In this project, you will create an e-portfolio which will allow you to demonstrate how you have met the criteria of various professional organizations, including the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, NCATE/TESOL and the Michigan ESL Endorsement.

Spring Arbor University Online

For more information about Spring Arbor University’s online TESOL Master’s curriculum, contact us for a brochure. A representative will be happy to answer your questions, and break down how our simple online portal makes distance learning easy.