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MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

The World is Your Classroom

English is the current lingua franca of international business, education, science, technology, diplomacy and entertainment. According to the British Council, by 2020, two billion people will be speaking English or learning to speak it.

Consequently, there is a tremendous demand domestically and worldwide for qualified English language instructors. NC State University is poised to meet that demand by offering a Master of Arts degree with a concentration in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), which will not only give candidates the terminal degree in the field but also the option to design their specialty areas according to their interests and career goals. In our program, you’ll have an opportunity to:

  • Design your own course of study. You can take elective courses from NC State’s prestigious colleges of Education and Humanities and Social Sciences. 
  • Design your own culminating M.A. research project to best align with your career goals.
  • Have unique and rewarding networking opportunities as members of the Wolfpack. Our candidates have field experiences with students and teachers in NC State’s TESOL Certificate Program, free community ESL classes, Intensive English Program and the FLE courses, and credit-bearing academic courses for international undergraduate and graduate students.   
  • Be among an outstanding community of international students. NC State is home to approximately 4,000 international students. Candidates have the opportunity to work with NC State’s international student population through field experiences and as interns or as volunteer teachers.

Our program prepares students for a wide variety of ESL/EFL teaching and related careers. Graduates will be qualified to research and teach English in university-intensive English programs, community colleges, private schools and adult education programs, here and abroad. Indeed, it is a pathway to a world of opportunity, exploration, and service. 

Non-native speakers of English outnumber native speakers by almost 2:1

Source: Ethnologue, 21st Edition

TESOL Faculty

  • Jennifer Despain, TESOL Coordinator and Senior Lecturer, has taught English to Speakers of Other Languages in the Raleigh area and globally since 2006 and has taught Spanish at NC State since 2002. Jennifer is a teacher trainer and teaches the Context and Culture course and the Linguistics course for the NCSU TESOL Certificate Program and is the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) minor advisor. Her specialty is developing and implementing needs-based curriculum. 
  • Professor Mary Michaels Estrada is a teacher trainer in NC State’s TESOL Certificate Program and the ESL Add-On Program. Her degree and area of specialization is linguistics. Professor Estrada’s approach to teaching American English Pronunciation to international students has drawn campus-wide attention due to the incorporation of WolfTales. She is a 2020 DELTA grant recipient and nominee for Outstanding Lecturer in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Robin Kube, Senior Lecturer has been an ESL teacher trainer at NC State since 2002. She has coordinated and supervised hundreds of internships in the highly successful TESOL Certificate Program. She has overseen innovative outreach programs such as free ESL Conversation and Pronunciation classes and ESP courses for housekeepers and groundskeepers. Her area of expertise is cross-cultural awareness and communication.   
  • Dr. Alison Turner, Assistant Professor, has taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in a variety of contexts including community colleges and universities. She has also done teacher training for a number of years including in her work with the TESOL Certificate Program and the ESL Add-On Program. She specializes in working with teacher candidates to develop pedagogy and culturally responsive teaching strategies to engage learners. Dr. Turner is a member of the Carolina TESOL Executive Board.