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MCLLC Programs / MCLLC Graduate Programs / M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)

M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)

MA in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)

The TESL Program is dedicated to developing professional English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers for a career in education.  The faculty work closely with learners to deepen their understanding of the English language, second language acquisition and teaching methods.  We orient teachers to learner-centered and culturally responsive pedagogy which require teachers to be empathetic to learners’ needs, understanding of how and why people learn and skilled at implementing research-based second language teaching methods.   

We offer a range of graduate-level, second language teacher education programs: 

TESL Master’s Degree (36 cr.)

TESL Graduate Certificate (12 cr.)

ESL Endorsement K – 12 with Master’s Degree (36 cr.)

ESL Endorsement K – 12 (21 cr.)

Note:  The Endorsement programs are designed for teachers who are already certified to teach a subject area in a Kentucky public school and would like to add ESL Certification K - 12. 

Note:  Applications for 2023-24 academic year are due by April 15, 2023.  All applications must be submitted through UK's Graduate School.  

Goals:  We have three primary goals for this program:

  1. Develop effective, professionally trained ESL/EFL teachers;
  2. Develop teachers who are reflective and inquiry-based practioners;
  3. Develop teachers who have the skill to manage the complex  linguistic, cultural and identity issues central to second language learning. 

Guiding Principles

Teacher Education as Praxis:  Teacher education at its best is a form of praxis in which theory and practice are applied to the dynamics of a specific classroom and its unique set of learners.  

Learn by Doing:
Opportunities for Practica and a supervised Internship

Themes:  The program is organized around the following themes:

* Inquiry:  Course research projects ask students to inquire into the nature of language, learning and teaching. 

* Reflective Practice:  Reflective Practice refers to a set of professional dispositions and activities that promotes educators actively seeking to improve their own professional competence. 

Experiential Learning:  The program creates opportunities for students to gain classroom teaching experiences and then use those experiences to dig deeper into core issues of language, learning and teaching. 

Interim Director, TESL Program:  Dr. Stayc DuBravac (

Officers of the Department of Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures are: