Jihyun Nam, PhD, Lead Professor of the MATESOL Program at Campbellsville University


Jihyun Nam, PhD, Lead Professor of the MATESOL Program at Campbellsville University, joins us today to discuss Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

1. Can you tell us about the Masters in TESOL (MATESOL) programs offered at Campbellsville University?

The Campbellsville University’s Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program offers both a thesis (39 credit hours) and a non-thesis (36 credit hours) option, both of which consist of 12 different courses. These courses are offered in blended format with some courses available online and others in a face-to-face setting. The MA TESOL program does provide advanced knowledge and skills for professionals who are seeking to enhance their abilities or are preparing to enter a new career in English education to second/foreign language learners.

2. How long does a typical MATESOL program take at Campbellsville University? What is the maximum and minimum time of completion?

Most MA TESOL students need 2 years to complete their degrees by taking three courses each semester. But theoretically, students can complete their degrees within one and a half years by taking some summer courses and/or four courses in some semesters, which might be tough and challenging.

3. What do you think makes the Campbellsville University MATESOL stand out from other similar programs?

Campbellsville University offers one of the lowest tuition rates in the US, for example, $385 per credit hour for the 2014-2015 MA TESOL program. As a comprehensive Christian institution, it also offers a safe, open, multicultural and welcoming environment for international students, who make up nearly 10 percent of the entire student population.

4. How important would you say accreditation is when choosing a MATESOL program?

Accreditation is extremely important because it provides assurance that the MA TESOL program in which students are enrolled or are considering enrolling is engaged in continuous review and improvement of its quality. Campbellsville Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award certificates, associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees.

5. What are the advantages to earning a MATESOL degree in general?

The MA TESOL degree from Campbellsville University opens career opportunities for candidates both at home in the United States, and internationally by preparing students to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) in the United States, and also English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in an international setting at elementary, secondary and Campbellsville University levels.

6. Does Campbellsville University offer job placement for students who graduate in MATESOL?

The MA TESOL program at Campbellsville University is very unique in the sense that its current students as well as graduates could have hands-on teaching experiences by having the opportunities to teach students in the ESL program, also offered by Campbellsville Campbellsville University, and thus practice the knowledge and skills they have learned from a variety of MA TESOL courses. I think not many US colleges have both the MA TESOL program and the ESL program.

7. What type of financial aid packages are available for students in TESOL? Are there any fellowships, grants and scholarships available?

Quite a few MA TESOL students receive financial aid by working as part-time instructors in the ESL program at Campbellsville Campbellsville University or participating in a work study program on campus.

8. Do you have any advice for students enrolling in a MATESOL program for the first time?

I have a strong belief that a teacher’s true domain is not knowledge to give to students but “the students” who need the knowledge. MA TESOL students, who would teach in the ESL classroom, have to have an eagerness to learn new professional knowledge and skills needed to teach ESL students and, more importantly, an open heart and mind to the voices of the students with different cultural backgrounds.

9. What do you enjoy most about your position at Campbellsville University?

I feel so blessed to teach in the field of TESOL, which necessarily involves people from a variety of language and cultural backgrounds, as I have become aware that experiencing different cultures and people can greatly help extend the scope of our understanding, tolerance, and knowledge and further appreciate the value of hearing others’ different perspectives.

For more information on the MATESOL programs offered at Campbellsville University, visit them online.

Thank you Jihyun, for sharing and participating in this piece.

That concludes our interview!