Course Descriptions

Teaching English Language

TEL 6000
Theories of Language Learning
3 credits

This course focuses on research about how languages are learned.  Topics include input, output, interaction, developmental sequences, age, the Critical Period Hypothesis, correction, individual differences, and the classroom environment.  Students will identify and learn about common myths related to language learning and examine the research that refutes such misconceptions. Students will complete a structured external assignment as part of the course requirements.

TEL 6110
Foundations of TESOL Methods
3 credits

This course introduces students to a brief and relevant history of teaching English language with emphasis placed on current, effective approaches and issues.  Students will examine strengths and drawbacks of a variety of approaches, while also considering the role of concepts such as agency, interaction, and identity.  The course will also explore contexts of learning that take into account age, proficiency, culture, and social aspects of learners’ identities and how these affect the teaching and learning dynamic. Students will acquire the foundational knowledge that will allow them to understand the rationale and process of designing and implementing instruction. Students will complete fieldwork as part of the course requirements.

TEL 6220
Application of TESOL Methods
3 credits

Building on the foundation established in the previous course, students will learn about effective curriculum design, lesson planning, material development, and facilitating interaction. Through course assignments, students will learn to apply various planning and implementation techniques to teaching and learning contexts which are relevant to their own interests and experiences. The course will also introduce students to specific strategies in the teaching of the four skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The course also addresses the basics of assessing language learning in the classroom. Students will complete fieldwork as part of the course requirements.

Prerequisite(s): TEL 6110

TEL 6500
Linguistics for TESOL
3 credits

This course provides an overview of the field of linguistics and its central role in the teaching of English.  The focus will be primarily on three major domains of linguistics, namely phonology, syntax, and pragmatics.  Students will learn about oral communication and the sound system of English (phonology).  They will also examine the major views of grammar and language structure (syntax), as well as language use in context (pragmatics). The course will focus on how these three domains impact English language teaching and learning. Students will complete a structured external assignment as part of the course.

TEL 7210
Academic Reading & Writing
3 credits

This course emphasizes the skills and strategies needed to teach English language reading and writing skills to students planning to pursue post-secondary studies in an English environment. This course will focus on major theories and practices in academic reading and writing pedagogy, including intercultural rhetoric, connections between reading and writing, the role of grammar, academic integrity, and effective feedback. The course will focus heavily on lesson planning, material development, and assessment of academic writing tasks. Students will complete fieldwork as part of the course requirements.

Prerequisite(s): TEL 6110 and TEL 6220

TEL 7215
Academic Listening & Speaking
3 credits

This course emphasizes the skills and strategies needed to teach English language listening and speaking skills to students planning to pursue post-secondary studies in an English environment. The course will focus on the differences between general English language teaching and English language teaching for academic studies.  Students in the course will learn about the challenges of listening and speaking in an academic setting and will develop appropriate lesson plans, materials, and assessments to address these challenges. Students will complete fieldwork as part of the course requirements.

Prerequisite(s): TEL 6110 and TEL 6220

TEL 7330
Technology & Language Learning
3 credits

Students will learn about how technology in language learning has evolved over recent years in order to understand the current state of this field. The majority of the course will address both skills-based technology applications and integrated approaches to technology use in language learning. The course will also take into account technology’s role in language learning depending upon accessibility, context, and technological advancements. Students will complete fieldwork and a structured external assignment as part of the course requirements.

Prerequisite(s): TEL 6110 and TEL 6220

TEL 7440
Language Assessment
3 credits

In this course students will learn about major principles of assessment such as reliability, validity, and bias. They will understand the benefits and drawbacks of various testing types, including standardized testing. Emphasis will be placed on designing authentic and reliable classroom assessments for the four skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students will also examine issues in grading and consider the value of non-testing measures as ways to assess learning. Students will complete fieldwork as part of the course requirements.

Prerequisite(s): TEL 6110 and TEL 6220

TEL 7575
Culture in Language Learning
3 credits

English language classrooms are crucial points of cross-cultural interaction and communication.  In order to create a culturally responsive classroom, instructors must be aware of and sensitive to cultural differences both in terms of language and expectations.  In this course, students will become aware of their own cultures and those of others.  They will learn how culture impacts discourse, the notion of face, non-verbal communication, individuals’ roles, expectations in the classroom, and adjustment issues.  The information and activities in the course will be applicable to all contexts of English language teaching and learning. Students will complete a structured external assignment as part of the course requirements.

TEL 7770
Global Contexts of ESL
3 credits

This course will consider English instruction and learning and the questions who, what, when, where, why, and how.  Who is learning English and who is teaching it?  What are the current trends in terms of both content and variety? When is English being taught? Where are significant changes to the learning of English taking place? Why do individuals and countries pursue English language education? How is English being studied around the world? Students will learn about language policy, multilingualism, English-medium education, language varieties, motivation, and the native/non-native speaker debate. Students will complete a project that will require in-depth analysis of a particular country’s English language policy and the realities of its implementation. Students will complete a structured external assignment as part of the course requirements.

TEL 8100
Capstone: Teaching English
3 credits

The culminating capstone for the MS TESOL program will allow students to demonstrate their knowledge of key theories and strategies of TESOL that they have studied throughout the program.  Students will be assigned an ESL/EFL classroom scenario which will reflect their career intentions.  Based on the scenario, students will prepare an annotated reading list of scholarly readings that fall into four subcategories of TESOL: Methods, Second Language Learning, Language and Culture/Policy, and Linguistics.  Students will then design a course to address the needs specified in their scenario, taking into account theory from the annotated reading list.  Students will write a reflective paper that presents the course including rationale, activities, lesson plans, and assessments.  Students will receive feedback on sections of the assignment through required journal/discussion board entries. Through the completion of the course, students will demonstrate their capability in TESOL research, theory, practice, and reflection. Students will complete fieldwork and a structured external assignment for the course.

Prerequisite(s): Program Chair Approval