Master of Arts: English: Teaching English As A Second Language

Kent State University's Program in Teaching English as a Second Language is a two-year course of study culminating in the master's degree in English with a concentration in TESL. In addition to directed coursework, TESL students may gain experience teaching English to international students in one of the many courses offered through the ESL Center, a large program that serves a variety of international students from more than thirty different countries.

Our program represents a unique, communication-based approach to TESL. Graduate students receive strong grounding in language theory while also developing the interpersonal skills necessary to provide intensive instruction to ESL students.

Degree Requirements

There are three requirements for the TESL MA:

  1. Thirty-six hours of coursework drawn from several fields, including linguistics, English grammar, second language acquisition, language teaching, sociolinguistics, cultural studies, and computers in language teaching.
  2. A Final Portfolio or Final Exam. Each student receives hands-on training and works closely with faculty in the preparation of the student’s choice of a professional portfolio or culminating exams.
  3. Foreign Language Requirement. Students must demonstrate an intermediate level of proficiency in a foreign/second language prior to graduation. International Students (non-native speakers of English) can use English for this requirement; others must document completion of intermediate or advanced foreign language courses, or they can complete a language exam in the department and demonstrate intermediate level knowledge of a second/foreign language.


Graduate Assistantships are available on a competitive basis. As Graduate Assistants, most graduate students in the TESL program serve as ESL instructors. Limited opportunities for research assistantships and non-teaching fellowships are also available. Stipends are competitive and include a waiver of tuition and fees.

Additionally, students have the opportunity to teach abroad at one of several partner institutions in Japan, Germany, and Turkey, or to teach during our Intensive Summer Program.

TESL Faculty


Jessie Carduner: (Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh) Language Pedagogy and Acquisition, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis


Rebecca L. Chism: (Ph.D., The Florida State University) Literature in Language Teaching, Technology in Language Teaching, Language Teacher Education


Klaus Gommlich: (Ph.D., University of Leipzig) Teaching English as a Second Language, Second Language Acquisition, Functional Linguistics, Translation Studies


Kristen Precht: (Ph.D,. Northern Arizona University): Corpus Linguistics, Register Studies, Sociolinguistics


Sarah Rilling: (Ph.D., Northern Arizona University) Applied Linguistics, Computers in Language Teaching, Sociolinguistics, Second Language Research


Gregory M. Shreve: (Ph.D., Ohio State University) Translation Studies, Second Language Acquisition, Applied Linguistics, Computers and Language Teaching, Language and Culture

Course Requirements: 36 Hours of Coursework


Required Courses

ENG 63040 Linguistics for the Language Professions

ENG 63041 Descriptive Grammar of English

ENG 63033 Second Language Acquisition

ENG 63001 Methodology of TESL

ENG 68492 Practicum in Teaching International Students

Choose One:

ENG 63034 Literate Practices and Sociolinguistics

ENG 63037 Teaching Conversation Strategies


Select electives from the following, including up to six credits in appropriate graduate courses in other departments (check with your advisor):


ENG 63034 Literate Practices and Sociolinguistics

ENG 63035 Computers for L2 Teaching

ENG 63037 Teaching Conversation Strategies

ENG 63039 L2 Curriculum and Testing

ENG 63038 Teaching Literature and Culture

ENG 63098 Research in L2 Pedagogy

ENG 66895 Special Topics Courses in Linguistics and Language Teaching



The application deadline for fall admission with assistantships is February 1. Applications for admissions only will be considered throughout the year. Domestic application forms may be obtained online at For international student applications or details on admission requirements contact:


Ms. Dawn Lashua
Department of English
Kent State University
PO Box 5190
Kent, OH 44242-0001
Phone: (330) 672-1708 E-Mail:


For specific academic information, please contact:

Dr. Sarah Rilling
Phone: (330) 672-1725