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M.A. in Education – Teaching English as a Second Language

Prepare for Career Advancement as a TESL Specialist

Learn specialized skills for teaching non-native English speakers and finish your degree in just 18 months.

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Complete the form to learn more about this program.

  • Duration As few as 2 Yrs
  • Cost per Credit $488
  • Credit Hours 30

Program Benefits

  • Customize your studies with a career-focused concentration
  • Earn a degree from an ISBE-approved continuing education provider
  • Attend class when and where it’s convenient
  • No entrance exams

Gain Skills for Success in the TESL Classroom

The online M.A. in Education – Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) from Greenville University is a flexible program designed for working educators with busy schedules. It features a comprehensive curriculum grounded in faith-based learning and Christian values. You will learn student-centered teaching methods as you prepare to work with culturally and linguistically diverse populations.

The master’s of teaching English as a second language degree, which includes an Illinois TESL approval or endorsement option, trains you to communicate effectively with students across cultures using the latest research and approaches. Greenville University is an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)-approved continuing education provider, so you can be confident you’re earning the right credential for ongoing success as an educator.

Career Outlook: Qualify for Positions in the US and Abroad

Employment in education and training occupations is expected to grow 5% through 2028 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. During that same time period, 512,900 new education and training jobs are expected to be added to the market.

When you focus your skills with the master’s of teaching English as a second language degree, you can teach English overseas or qualify for specialist roles in the U.S. No matter which career path you choose, a Greenville University degree can help you reach your professional goals.

Adult Literacy Teacher:


These educators teach their students to read, write, and speak English. They work with adults whose first language is not English, assessing their skills and adapting teaching methods to fit diverse cultural backgrounds and learning styles. Adult literacy teachers often prepare students for the citizenship exam or focus on vocabulary for jobs and daily living.

ESL Teacher:


ESL teachers are employed in schools, teaching young students whose native language is not English. They help students understand coursework in other subjects while teaching them to read, write, and speak their new language. ESL teachers are also responsible for typical classroom duties like grading assignments and proctoring tests.

Career and salary information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and

Additional careers with a master’s of teaching English as a second language:

  • Language Program Administrator
  • Language Tester
  • Writer for Educational Materials
Explore Career Outlook

Curriculum: Advance Your Knowledge of Cross-Cultural Teaching

Greenville University’s master’s of teaching English as a second language combines theoretical and hands-on learning to prepare you for teaching in cross-cultural contexts. You will study linguistics, educational methods, and evaluation for students whose primary language is not English. Our practitioner-oriented courses are taught by expert faculty who bring years of education experience to the online classroom.

If you hold an Illinois teaching license, you can also complete 100 hours of field experience needed to meet Illinois State Board of Education requirements for TESL approval/endorsement.

Course Spotlight: ENGL 515 Linguistics

Total Credit Hours: 3

Gain a broad context of linguistics, including understanding the theory of modern linguistics and application of linguistic theory in the ESL classroom. Develop an understanding of the basic concepts relating to linguistics in relationship to the ESL classroom.

Course Spotlight: ENGL 518 Cross Cultural

Total Credit Hours: 3

Understand cultural values systems, norms, and expectations. Demonstrate cross-cultural teaching and learning skills and strategies, as well as an understanding of teaching content area curriculum for the multi-cultural classroom.

Explore More Concentration Options

M.A. in Education: Coaching

Prepare for a successful career in coaching and athletics as you learn to lead sports teams and develop winning organizations.

M.A. in Education: Curriculum and Instruction

Become an education expert as you create meaningful learning opportunities for your students using proven research, methods, and techniques.

M.A. in Education: Special Education

Prepare to make a positive impact as an educator and advocate in special education.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our dedicated admissions team is here to help. If you have additional questions that aren’t covered here, contact us or call (855) 582-1233.

Students can complete this program in 2 years or less, depending on transfer credits and which concentration option you choose.

Total tuition is $14,640-$16,104 and only covers the expenses related to course enrollment.

If you are looking for total costs related to earning your degree, you will need to account for textbook purchases or rentals, as well as any application or technology fees. Read more about tuition and costs.

Greenville University is an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) approved continuing education provider, so you can be confident you’re earning a valuable credential for continued success. Courses in the master’s in education online program are delivered in a flexible format so you can study while maintaining your daily teaching responsibilities.

Yes, the M.A. in Education is based on four concentrations: Coaching, Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education, and Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). Read more about the curriculum for the M.A. in Education on the courses page.

Yes! You can save time and money by transferring up to 6 credits to the online M.A. in Education program. Contact an enrollment counselor for more information.

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