Master of Arts in Teaching - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages online

The Master of Arts in Teaching - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages online (MAT–TESOL online) program prepares both aspiring and experienced educators to teach English to speakers of other languages of all ages. Students completing their MAT–TESOL online are prepared to teach English in a range of settings, both in the U.S. and internationally, using rigorous and culturally responsive teaching strategies. By completing additional requirements, students may also pursue a California Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential in the area of English Language Development (ELD).

The MAT–TESOL online program features the same curriculum and instructional approach used in our on-campus program. Through readings, assignments, group-work and interactive class discussions, students explore critical foundations, contemporary issues and evidence-based strategies in English language teaching. Structured fieldwork experiences in various settings allow students to put theory into practice and to constantly apply new knowledge and skills.


Courses and fieldwork in the MAT–TESOL online program offer a developmental and integrated learning experience that equips students to provide systematic and effective English language instruction. Throughout the curriculum, students gain theoretical knowledge, practice and apply concepts in actual classrooms, and have opportunities to demonstrate mastery. Read more about fieldwork.


Develop foundational knowledge about core theories, concepts and critical issues in the field.


Apply theory through practice teaching, observations and action research in classrooms.


Master instructional strategies in collaboration with guiding teachers, faculty and peers.

The goal of the curriculum is to produce graduates who exhibit rigorous teaching in combination with critical and innovative thinking in order to identify and close opportunity gaps for underserved students around the world. As students advance through the program, they acquire knowledge and skills in four broad categories: instructional approaches, how languages are acquired, how languages are structured and used, and the importance of social context in learning and teaching.

The following is a sampling of concepts and skills across these categories that are addressed in the program.

Instructional Approaches

  • Sociocultural learning theory
  • Communicative language teaching
  • Task/problem-based learning
  • Culturally sustaining approaches
  • Learner centered teaching
  • Cultural consciousness
  • Inquiry and reflection
  • Online learning
  • Technology-enhanced language instruction

Language Acquisition

  • First language acquisition
  • Second language acquisition
  • Multilingualism
  • Translanguaging
  • Language socialization
  • Investment
  • Learner identity
  • Bilingual education
  • Immersion models

Language Structure and Use

  • Phonology and phonetics
  • Morphology, grammar and syntax
  • Vocabulary
  • Pragmatics
  • Critical discourse analysis
  • Language awareness
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Corpus linguistics
  • The four skills — reading, writing, listening, speaking

Social Context

  • Sociocultural theory
  • Activity theory
  • Social capital theories
  • Funds of knowledge
  • Community wealth
  • Critical race theory
  • Intercultural competence
  • Language policy
  • Global education reform efforts

View a list of course descriptions.

Credential and Certificate Options

English Language Development (ELD) Credential

Students who pursue the ELD Credential add-on will complete an additional 4 units of coursework for a minimum of 28 units. Students who live domestically must reside in California in order to be eligible to pursue an ELD credential. International students may also pursue the California ELD Credential track. Please note that both domestic and international students pursuing TESOL's credential track may need to travel more than 20 miles for an eligible site/ELD credentialed master teacher, depending on the placement location.

Gifted Education Certificate

The Gifted Education Certificate is designed to help educators develop the specialized knowledge and skills needed to recognize and respond to individual differences among gifted and talented students and to address the varying needs, interests and abilities of all students.

The certificate requires 6 units of additional coursework and is available as an add-on for students.

Summative Assessment

As the culmination of their coursework, MAT–TESOL online students not pursuing a credential complete a summative assessment. This comprehensive teaching demonstration provides an opportunity for students not pursuing a TESOL credential option to showcase their skills as a teacher and to synthesize and expand upon what they have learned in the program. The summative assessment prepares students for ongoing reflection and continuous improvement in their teaching in order to become professionals who exert leadership in the field.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Master of Arts in Teaching–TESOL online program pursue teaching positions in a variety of settings and locations around the world. Many become ESL teachers or advance into leadership roles in English schools. The MAT–TESOL online courses and field experience prepare graduates to teach English to a diverse set of students of all ages, from elementary to university levels or beyond traditional educational settings. ESL instructors often benefit from the flexible option of advancing their careers in the U.S. or internationally.

Program Specifications

The Master of Arts in Teaching–TESOL online program requires a minimum of 24 units and is tailored to work with working professionals' schedules. The program offers both full-time and part-time options and can be completed in one to three years.