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M.Ed. in Teaching English as a Second Language

Program Coordinator

Dr. Sarah Hesson
(401) 456-8789
For program inquiries, please email​.


The M.Ed. in TESL Program at Rhode Island College prepares language educators to teach ESL to children, adolescents and/or adults. For K-12 practitioners, the program assists candidates in obtaining the ESL certificate. By pursuing a graduate degree in TESL, candidates are stating that they embrace the beautiful linguistic and cultural diversity of our state and nation and are prepared to support English Language learners in their acquisition of their new language. This program also enrolls candidates preparing to teach English as a Foreign Language in countries around the world.

Learning Objectives

Students pursuing a Master of Education in Teaching English as a Second Language at Rhode Island College can expect to acquire:

  • Knowledge of second language acquisition, English linguistics and of the socio-cultural contexts in which English is learned as an additional language
  • Experience in designing and delivering ESL instruction, including the delivery of responsive reading and writing instruction for students who are developing English literacy in their second language
  • The ability to conduct assessments of ESOL students to plan responsive curriculum and instruction
  • The ability to collaborate with others, including the families of ESOL students and other educational personnel working with the student
  • The written and oral communication skills and cross-cultural skills necessary to interact effectively with families of ESOL students

Admission Requirements

Admission to graduate study at Rhode Island College's Feinstein School of Education and Human Development is dependent on several factors. Primary consideration is given to a candidate's academic record, standardized test scores, a current resume, a statement of professional goals as included in an application essay and a performance-based evaluation. A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university is required for admission to all graduate programs. Final acceptance is based on the combined decision of the appropriate academic department and the associate dean for graduate programs and assessment. The M.Ed. in TESL Program accepts applications for March 1st for fall admission and November 1st for spring admission, but students are allowed to take up to three courses prior to matriculating into a program.

Adobe PDFClick here to download Plan of Study

  1. Application and $50.00 nonrefundable fee.
  2. One copy of all official transcripts of each undergraduate and graduate record.
  3. A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of B (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) in all undergraduate course work. Applicants with undergraduate GPAs less than 3.00 may be admitted to degree candidacy upon submission of other evidence of academic potential.
  4. Teaching certificate.(See note: adult educators need not provide this)
  5. Official standardized test scores (Graduate Record Examination or the Miller Analogies Test), unless you currently hold a graduate degree.
  6. Three candidate reference forms WITH 3 accompanying letters of recommendation.
  7. Professional goals essay.
  8. Performance-based evaluation.
  9. A current resume.

Note: If you plan to teach ESL to adults or you plan to teach internationally, a teaching certificate is not required for entry into this program. However, a suitable undergraduate minor (e.g. languages and linguistics; English; international studies) is required to take graduate courses in this program.

International Applicants must also submit:

  • Official translated copies of all academic credentials.
  • Score of Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or certification of English proficiency.
  • Statement of financial ability (i.e. how the tuition will be paid).
  • A copy, if applicable, of current visa.

With the assistance of the graduate TESL advisor, prior to beginning graduate coursework the student develops a proposed program of study outlined on the Plan of Study Form. The student's advisor, the chair of the Department, and the graduate Dean for the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, must approve this form. Any time a student's program changes, the student must submit an approved Change in Plan of Study Form.

Course Requirements

Click here for course details.​​​​​​​​​​

Page last updated: August 28, 2018