Teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language


M.A. in TEFL/TESL Joint M.A.s in TEFL/TESL and Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Graduate Certificate in TESOL Education


There are several options for pursuing graduate study in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language (TEFL/TESL) in the Department of English. One option is the M.A. in English with a graduate curriculum exclusively focused on TEFL/TESL. A second option is the Joint M.A. with the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures which allows students to pursue two graduate programs combined, leading to two M.A. degrees—one in English with a specialization in TEFL/TESL, and one in foreign languages. The third option is a 15.0 credits graduate certificate in TESOL Education.

The TEFL/TESL Master’s Program, as well as the TEFL/TESL portion of the Joint MA Program at CSU, is a WICHE Western Regional Graduate Program. Residents of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada,New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota,

Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are eligible for in-state tuition.

TESOL Certificate students are not eligible for the WICHE Program.

The TEFL/TESL and Joint M.A.s offer numerous benefits for students, such as a low faculty-to-student ratio ensuring personal interaction, a diverse student population, multiple opportunities for formal supervised teaching, internships, and assistantships, a collaborative partnership with INTO CSU (an intensive English language program), and participation in the TEFL/TESL Student Association. Students who complete our program often pursue careers as ESL teachers (within the US and abroad), language program administrators, materials developers for publishing companies, assessment specialists, translators, and linguists. Others continue their education in doctoral programs.

M.A. in English - Teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language

The TEFL/TESL graduate program offers a professional degree that is designed to enable graduate students to teach English as a foreign or second language, evaluate the relative utility and validity of diverse teaching methodologies and assessment procedures, adapt and/or develop materials for unique teaching/learning situations, evaluate recent research in applied linguistics and its relevance to EFL/ESL teaching and learning, and assist in the supervision of classroom teachers and in the administration of EFL/ESL programs. The program prepares graduates for employment opportunities in the U.S. and abroad, as well as for advanced studies in applied linguistics.

Please note, this degree is for TEFL/TESL. If you are interested in English Education (teaching English language arts), you can find that degree program here.

Joint-M.A. in English (TEFL/TESL) and Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

The Joint M.A.s require concurrent study in two Master’s degree programs, one in English (TESL/TEFL) and the other in Languages, Literatures and Cultures (Spanish). The two sponsoring departments provide an interdisciplinary curriculum to enhance both theoretical and applied competencies in the learning and teaching of English and foreign languages as expressions of their respective cultures.

Admission to the Joint M.A.s requires admission to both M.A.s. Admission to the Languages, Literatures, and Cultures M.A. requires an undergraduate major or equivalent proficiency in the relevant foreign language; graduation requires a reading knowledge of an additional foreign language. For admission to the M.A. TESL/TEFL non-native speakers of English must achieve at a minimum: a TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based) or 80 (internet based), a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, or a PTE Academic score of 53.

Graduate Certificate in TESOL Education

The Graduate Certificate in TESOL Education provides graduates with practical, theoretical, and critical knowledge of the English language and of methods for teaching it in various social and academic settings. The program features a comprehensive understanding of the form and communicative functions of English, combined with both general and skill-specific (reading, writing, listening, speaking) pedagogical theories and applications.

To obtain the certificate, students must complete 15.0 credits of graduate-level TESL/TEFL courses. The required 3.0 credit courses include: Theories of Foreign/Second Language Learning; Teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language; Syntax for ESL/EFL; Phonology/Morphology for ESL/EFL; and Professional ESL Teaching: Theory to Practice.

For additional information about the program, please contact Tatiana Nekrasova-Beker at t.nekrasova_beker@colostate.edu.

TESL/TEFL Student Association

You can get involved in the community and exercise leadership skills through the TESL/TEFL Student Association–a CSU registered student organization. 

The purpose of the TESL/TEFL Student Association (TTSA) is “to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and raise awareness about the field of TESL/TEFL in the Colorado State University community and the greater Fort Collins community.” Members are active throughout the year arranging social and professional events, and organizing their annual “Advocacy Week” event, which takes place during the spring semester and features a keynote speech from a leading figure in the TESOL field. This event offers students an opportunity to conduct events on and off campus to advocate for the field of TESL/TEFL and English language learners. Past speakers who have delivered talks during this event have been Andrew Cohen, Dana Ferris, Eli Hinkel, Paul Matsuda, Fredricka Stoller, and Bill Van Patten.

To find out more, contact Anthony Becker at tony.becker@colostate.edu.