Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL, Low Residency)

Acquire the theoretical knowledge and develop the professional competencies essential for effective language teaching.

SIT’s low-residency MA in TESOL comprises online coursework; two three-week summer sessions on SIT’s campus in Vermont; an Interim-Year Teaching Practicum; and an Independent Professional Project (thesis), for a total of 34 credits.

The program is based on SIT’s vision of English language teachers as reflective and informed practitioners who—through the completion of the program—acquire competencies in six key areas:

  • Language
  • Culture
  • Learners and learning
  • Teachers and teaching
  • Self and other
  • Educational institutions, communities, and professional life

Sample coursework
All students must complete a set of core courses. Sample coursework:

  • Approaches to Teaching Second Languages
  • Teaching the Four Skills 
  • Language Analysis for Lesson Planning 
  • Intercultural Communication for Language Teachers 
  • Beginning Language Study (undergraduate credit) 
  • Interim-Year Teaching Practicum 
  • Intercultural Communication for Language Teachers 
  • Curriculum Design and Assessment 
  • English Applied Linguistics 
  • Second-Language Acquisition 

Students earn between five and six credits each term. All students in the program are required to take a beginning language study course during the first summer session.

Teaching practicum
The Interim-Year Teaching Practicum takes place in your classroom in the academic year following the initial summer session.

An integral part of the program, the practicum is best described as an 8-month seminar through which you develop a reflective practice where you are teaching. You are encouraged to build the skills and awareness for describing what happens in your classroom, separating observation from judgment, finding valid explanations for what happens, and devising informed and workable solutions to enhance your learning and improve your teaching.

For several days during the practicum period, an SIT advisor will observe you as you teach. This period of onsite mentorship is a time to examine your work and to act purposefully to improve your effectiveness as a teacher with input and engagement from your advisor. Visit the practicum page for more information about this part of the degree.

You will continue with your coursework online throughout the practicum period.

Independent Professional Project
The Independent Professional Project, or thesis, is the final component of the Master of Arts in TESOL low-residency program. In addition to being a significant personal achievement, the project should be of interest and value to others in the profession and of publishable quality.

Projects may take a variety of formats:

  • An academic research paper
  • A classroom-based action research project
  • A materials development project
  • An exchange group leadership project
  • A language/culture study abroad project

This range of options allows students to focus on a topic that will benefit them in their development as a second-language teacher.

Review past Independent Professional Projects completed by students in SIT’s MA in TESOL programs.

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