[Adult (ESL/EFL) Ed Requirements] [Missouri ELL Certification] [TEFL Certificate] [Order of Classes] [Advancement to Candidacy] [Sequential Masters] [Transferring Credits]

TESL Degree and Program Requirements[Note that course offerings may differ between the St. Louis and Kansas City campuses and also with Online TESL program. See your adviser to make an individualized plan of study.]


K-12 ELL Education Emphasis of the MA in TESL

[Availability: the St. Louis Home Campus, the Kansas City Metropolitan Campus, and the Online TESL program]

8 courses (24 credit hours) of required coursework PLUS 3 courses (9 credit hours) of elective coursework

  • TESL 5230 - Second Language Acquisition (also required for Missouri ELL Certification)
  • TESL 5139 - English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Methods (also required for Missouri ELL Certification)
  • TESL 5220 - Curriculum Development in Second Language Classrooms (also required for Missouri ELL Certification)
  • TESL 5350 - Language and Culture (also required for Missouri ELL Certification)
  • TESL 5030 - Language History, Planning, and Policy (also required for Missouri ELL Certification)
  • TESL 5040 - Practicum in ESOL (also required for Missouri ELL Certification)
  • TESL 5311 - Principles and Practices of Language Testing (also an ELECTIVE for Missouri ELL Certificatio)
  • COMM 5270 - Visual Communications OR COMM 5530 - Technology and Teaching

Available course listings for the current and the next term (if available yet) may be found HERE.

Adult (ESL/EFL) Education Emphasis of the MA in TESL
[Availability: the St. Louis Home Campus and the Online TESL program]
8 courses (24 credit hours) of required coursework PLUS 3 courses (9 credit hours) of elective coursework
  • TESL 5230 - Second Language Acquisition
  • TESL 5139 - English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Methods
  • TESL 5220 - Curriculum Development in Second Language Classrooms
  • TESL 5350 - Language and Culture
  • TESL 5030 - Language History, Planning, and Policy
  • TESL 5040 - Practicum in ESOL
  • TESL 5311 - Principles and Practices of Language Testing
  • TESL 5710 - Grammar for ESL/EFL Teachers OR TESL 5720 - Teaching English Pronunciation [TESL 5270 is currently not available online; Online TESL students must take TESL 5710]

Available course listings for current and the next term (if available yet) may be found HERE.


Certificate Requirements

Certificates may be done separately or awarded along with the full master's degree.

Missouri ELL Certification (formerly ESOL Certification) [K-12 ELL Education Emphasis Only]

[Availability: the St. Louis Home Campus, the Kansas City Metropolitan Campus, and the Online TESL program]

DESE requires that candidates seeking the ELL Certification have a permanent Missouri elementary or secondary certificate AND have completed the following three pre-requisite courses: Psychology of the Exceptional Student (SPED 5860), Teaching Reading in the Content Fields (COMM 5920), and Reading Assessment and Interventions (COMM 5905). If you need any of these three courses you may take them and use them as electives toward your MA in TESL degree.

7 courses (21 credit hours) of required coursework

  • TESL 5230 - Second Language Acquisition
  • TESL 5139 - English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Methods
  • TESL 5220 - Curriculum Development in Second Language Classrooms
  • TESL 5311 - Principles and Practices of Language Testing
  • TESL 5350 - Language and Culture
  • TESL 5030 - Language History, Planning, and Policy
  • TESL 5040 - Practicum in ESOL


TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Certificate [Adult (ESL/EFL) Education Emphasis Only]

[Availability: the St. Louis Home Campus and the Online TESL program]

6 courses (18 credit hours) of required coursework + 1 elective (3 credit hours)

  • TESL 5230 - Second Language Acquisition
  • TESL 5139 - English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Methods
  • TESL 5220 - Curriculum Development in Second Language Classrooms
  • TESL 5350 - Language and Culture
  • TESL 5710 - Grammar for ESL/EFL Teachers (available online only) OR TESL 5720 - Teaching English Pronunciation (available face-to-face only)
  • TESL 5040 - Practicum in ESOL
  • And ONE of the following three courses as an elective
    • TESL 5030 - Language History, Planning, and Policy
    • TESL 5311 - Principles and Practices of Language Testing
    • TESL 5710 - Grammar for ESL/EFL Teachers [online only]
    • TESL 5720 - Teaching English Pronunciation [not online]
    • COMM 5340 - Teaching Language and Language Issues [online only]
    • COMM 5344 - Introduction to Linguistics [not online]
    • COMM 5199 - Teaching Writing

Available course listings for the current and the next term (if available yet) may be found HERE.


Order of Classes

TESL candidates are advised to take classes according to this plan whenever possible:

Beginning of Program
  • TESL 5230 - Second Language Acquisition
  • TESL 5139 - ESOL Methods
  • TESL 5220 - Curriculum Development in Second Language Classrooms

Middle of Program
  • TESL 5311 - Principles and Practices of Language Testing
  • TESL 5030 - Language History, Planning, and Policy
  • TESL 5350 - Language and Culture
  • TESL 5040 - Practicum (only if doing ESOL Certificate)

End of Program
  • Any Other Required Courses (Adult and K-12 tracks)
  • Three Elective Courses (for the MA in TESL)
  • TESL 5040 - Practicum or Credit by Exam


Advancement to Candidacy

TESL candidates must complete 12 hours of core TESL coursework at the beginning of their program of study and maintain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA (B average). TESL candidatrs will automatically be advanced to candidacy upon completion of these requirements. TESL candidates who attempt to take courses out of order will have a hold placed on their account and not be allowed to register for future courses on their own. Note that Advancement to Candidacy is an automatic process (no form is needed).

Required Coursework for Advancement to Candidacy (6-9 credit hours)
TESL 5230 - Second Language Acquisition
TESL 5220 - Curriculum Development in Second Language Classrooms
TESL 5139 - English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Methods

Other Coursework toward Advancement to Candidacy (3-6 credit hours)
TESL 5350 - Language and Culture
TESL 5030 - Language History, Planning, and Policy
TESL 5311 - Principles and Practices of Language Testing

The candidacy requirements are the same for both the K-12 ELL Education Emphasis and the Adult Education Emphasis.


Sequential (Second) Master's Degree

Sequential Master’s Degree in the School of Education (from the Graduate Catalog)

  1. A student who holds an MAT, MA, or MET from Webster’s School of Education may earn a sequential MA or MET by completing the required courses (ranging from 21 to 24 credit hours depending on the sequential program) detailed in the declared major curriculum. [The MA in TESL has 24 credit hours of required coursework.]
  2. A student who holds a master’s or doctoral degree in an education-related field from another regionally accredited college or university may earn a sequential MA or MET by completing the required core courses (ranging from 21 to 24 credit hours depending on the sequential degree program) detailed in the declared major curriculum.
  3. No transfer of credit may be applied toward the minimum required courses. [This means that a minimum of 24 credit hours must be completed through Webster University to obtain the MA in TESL as a sequential master's degree.]
  4. Students working on a sequential MA/MAT are required to complete the School of Education ATC (Advancement to Candidacy) process for their sequential degree.
  5. If a student has completed any required courses as part of a previous Webster University master’s degree, approval for substitute coursework must be requested and approved prior to enrollment. [Schedule an appointment with the MA in TESL adviser, Dr. DJ Kaiser, to set up a course plan for a sequential master's degree. Please note that to successfully complete a sequential master's that a student must complete at least eight courses (24 credit hours) above and beyond the required credits that were completed for the first master's, even if some of the courses from the first master's overlap with the required courses for the MA in TESL.]
  6. Prior graduates of a master's program in the School of Education also qualify for reduced tuition for up to six credit hours of coursework toward a second/sequential master's degree. See your adviser or the School of Education staff for more information on this. [See the following form.]


Transferring Credits

  • The School of Education allows candidates in MA programs to transfer in a maximum of nine credit hours of graduate credit (this usually equates three courses) into a master's program at Webster University.
  • While the School of Education allows a maximum of 9 credit hours to be transferred in to degrees, the TESL program has only allowed a maximum of 6 credit hours of transfer of credit to be used for elective courses. This is to ensure that all TESL students take the same core of required TESL courses, which have been aligned to the TESOL Standards and to state ELL requirements.”
  • If a course was used for credit as part of a prior degree, it may not be transferred in and used for the MA in TESL.
  • If you want a prior course to count as a required course for the MA in TESL, you will need to supply a syllabus from the course. A course description is not enough and links to websites will not be accepted as syllabi.
  • Please note that you may not combine transfer of credit with a sequential master's degree.

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