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What you’ll learn

Every course in our program addresses these five core dimensions. Certain courses have a stronger focus on one dimension over the others, but you will be able to grow substantially in each area throughout your online TESOL coursework at MU.

Linguistic Knowledge

This involves learning the patterns and pieces of language—grammar, pronunciation, morphology, semantics, syntax, phonetics, phonology, etc. Skills in linguistics better equip you to teach language and learn language.

Pedagogical Skill

This involves the principles and practices of teaching language. We study how languages are learned and how to utilize a communicative language teaching approach to optimize student learning and progress in the classroom. You’ll learn practical skills like how to plan lessons, units, curriculum, and make assessments.

Cultural Competency

This dimension acknowledges the diversity among learners of English and equips you to identify key cultural dimensions that may play out in classroom behaviors, learners’ expectations, and learners’ beliefs. We also address the connections between culture and language through studying sociocultural linguistics. This allows us to explore the issue of carefully and appropriately infusing cultural awareness into language lessons.

Professional Development

This involves connecting you to professional organizations and resources to help you continue learning and growing in your craft even after you finish the program. We engage in research projects and also networking projects designed to help you grow as a professional English teacher. Through your coursework you set up an electronic portfolio (website) in which you keep an annotated bibliography of resources. These websites are shared among your classmates so you can continually help each other beyond the time frame of the program. This also becomes a clickable link on your cover letters as you apply for jobs. Prospective employers can access this to view your lesson plans, CV, and resources.

Spiritual Formation

This dimension is one of our distinctives at Multnomah. We want to help our students be able to connect who you are in Christ with who you are in the classroom and process what that means in a variety of contexts and cultures. We examine issues of ethics and advocacy as we explore what it means to teach a language of power while rooted in a gospel of humility.

Online Practicum & Internship

MA TESOL students complete LIN 558 TESOL Practicum (3 credits) and LIN 600 TESOL Internship (3 credits). Both of these involve actual practice teaching English to language learners.

Online students are responsible for finding a context where they can teach a class of students at least once a week for at least 30 weeks (15 weeks for the practicum and 15 additional weeks for the internship). MA TESOL students will upload weekly lesson plans and get feedback on those from their instructor before they teach. They will also get to debrief and reflect on the lesson with their instructor who can offer resources and encouragement. For beginning teachers, these experiences provide rich opportunities to gain valuable teaching experiences in the classroom while also receiving direct support from their instructor. While all our online courses are all delivered in an 8 week format, LIN 558 and LIN 600 are required in a 15 week format. This allows students to capitalize on their teaching experience and work with a group of students over time. It is crucial that MA TESOL students work with their advisor to have their practicum and internship context approved one semester prior to enrolling in these courses.

Applying to the program

To apply, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a graduate with a B.S. or B.A. from an accredited college or university
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • Submit the application with all required forms

Residential TESOL options

If you’re more interested in traditional, on-campus options, we offer the following programs at our campus in Portland, Oregon.

  • Foundations in TESOL Certificate
    This three-credit hour (one course) introductory certificate course provides instruction for those wishing to gain initial exposure to TESOL theory and practice. Content includes a broad overview of general principles of language learning and teaching and an introduction to the teaching of each skill area
  • Advanced Certificate
    Any Multnomah student completing the 6 TESOL core courses (18 semester-hours)  earns an Advanced Certificate in TESOL.  This certificate program is available for students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree and are not seeking a full degree from Multnomah.
  • BA with a major in TESOL
    The major consists of 30 semester hours of Intercultural Studies and Linguistics in addition to the Bible and General Education requirements.
  • BA with a minor in TESOL
    The minor consists of 18 hours of TESOL and Intercultural Studies coursework Linguistics in addition to the Bible and General Education requirements.
  • MA in TESOL
    Our residential Master of Arts in TESOL program offers a Continued Studies Track (32 hours) for those who already have a bachelor’s degree in TESOL, and a Standard Track (39 hours) for those with limited TESOL experience.

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