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As researchers have studied the way that brain processes and understands language, as well as the way that language is formed within the brain, it has become clear that this acquisition can have a very big impact on this area of the body. It is believed that by learning a new language while a child is yo... Read More

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Fennema-Bloom, Director of Graduate TESOL at The University of Findlay, joins us today to discuss Teaching English to Speakers of Other...
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Kitty Purgason, Professor of Applied Linguistics and TESOL at Biola University, joins us today to discuss Teaching English to Speakers of...
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Lisa Murray-Roselli, EdM, Program Director for the Canisius College Graduate Online TESOL/Bilingual Education Program, joins us today to ...
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Mary Shepard Wong, Professor and Director of the TESOL Field-based Program at Azusa Pacific University, joins us today to discuss Teachin...
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Elizabeth O'Dowd, PhD, Director of TESOL Programs at Saint Michael’s College, joins us today to discuss Teaching English to Speakers of...
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Lesley Painter-Farrell, Associate Director, MATESOL at The New School, joins us today to discuss Teaching English to Speakers of Other La...

Why Earn a Master’s Degree in TESOL?

Many jobs to teach English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) have become available in recent years. No matter if you want to find a job in the US or abroad, earning your master’s in TESOL can often be a smart career move that is financially rewarding as well. Earning your TESOl degree presents several benefits:

Higher Salary

Teachers who get their Master’s degree in TESOl will often earn a higher salary overall than many other types of teachers. They tend to have a higher level of training in how people acquire second languages, so their pay is usually higher. They also often have a

Indeed.com states that the average salary for TESOL teachers is $62,000:


The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the median salary for all adult literacy teachers is $48,590 per year. The top 10%, many of whom have a master’s degree, is $82,490.

High Job Availability

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that there will be a nine percent increase in job demand for adult literacy teachers by 2022, which is about average. However, there will be a higher demand for highly skilled teachers with master’s degrees who are teaching English as a foreign language.

Top countries that want more US TESOL teachers include:

  • China

  • Turkey

  • Japan

  • Poland

  • Saudi Arabia

  • South Korea

More Teaching Positions in the US

Earning your master’s degree in this field can mean you will have more avenues to teaching employment in the US. The educational requirements for teachers in this field are quite strict in the US. You may be able to to be eligible for a teaching position at the community college or university level with your master’s degree.

Learn Online

Many TESOL master’s degrees can now be earned mostly or entirely online. As a working adult with a bachelor’s degree, it is now possible to earn your master’s degree in two years without ever stepping on a college campus.

Some of the recommended online TESOL master’s programs include these:

Program Management Potential

Many teaching professionals with a master’s degree in TESOL can eventually become a department or district supervisor for English as a foreign language programs. If you want to move out of teaching eventually and into administration, having your TESOL degree already can give you a major advantage over other applicants.

Requirements for TESOL Programs

The majority of TESOL master’s students already hold a bachelor’s degree in education or a related subject. Many of them already how their teaching certificates, but you also can earn your teaching certificate concurrently with your master’s degree (be sure to check with your university for this option).

Most TESOL programs will teach you the skills that you need to be an advanced teacher of English in the classroom. You also will be taught curriculum development, how to train teachers, administration and how to write TESOL materials.

TESOL Master’s Specializations

There are a number of focus areas you can study in TESOL, and you will likely take classes in many of these areas. Depending upon your program, you may be able to specialize in one of these areas:

  • Teaching English to Teenagers

  • TESOL for Non-Native English Teachers

  • Teaching English for Use on the Computer

  • English Grammar

  • Early Childhood Education

  • Curriculum Design

  • Linguistics

  • Bilingual Education

  • Phonology

  • Teaching English to Children

  • Teaching Business English

TESOL Certification

One option is to take a 130 hour TESOL Core Certification Program which will give you a complete foundation in the theory and practice of teaching English. This program is designed for teachers or administrators who need TESOL training, and may want to eventually earn a master’s degree in the subject. This certification can be completed online.


The general English as a second language (ESL) programs have had many changes in names over the years. Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) has changed over the years into TEFL, or Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Then the TESOL name came into being. All of these programs are very similar, and different terminology may be used depending upon your program.

Related TESOL Video

Getting Trained for TESOL