Foreign Language Education

Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Dual Master's

A Dual-Certification, Dual-Continental Degree 

Become a teacher of Spanish for grades 7-12 and a teacher of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) for grades K-12 in this master of arts program. Spend two semesters in Madrid immersed in Spanish language and culture, working closely with Spanish experts in the field of foreign language acquisition, and two semesters in New York City, learning pedagogical theories and student teaching at two different schools. You’ll procure practical teaching experience to advance your career and gain eligibility for initial teaching certification in New York State. 

The program is offered jointly by NYU Steinhardt’s Foreign Language Education program and the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Science’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures and their NYU Madrid program.

All students enrolled in this master's program receive a 30% tuition reduction. You may also be eligible for a federal TEACH grant, which provides $4,000 a year for those willing to teach in low-income areas. Merit-based scholarships are available as well. 

What you'll learn
  • Second language acquisition and research, the contemporary theory and practice of teaching foreign languages, and inquiries in teaching and learning
  • Spanish grammar, phonetics, and linguistics
  • Intercultural perspectives and communicative teaching methods
  • Language assessment and second language acquisition research
  • Adolescent development and teaching students with special needs
  • How to effectively address the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse students
  • A full immersion into Spanish cultural life through study trips, visits, and events – all students receive a membership to Madrid: Cultura y Arte, which provides significant discounts on cultural activities, screenings, and exhibitions

See the curriculum and degree requirements for this master's program. 

See a sample sequence of courses and read course descriptions.

Teaching and learning in Madrid

Spend your first year in the program as a full-time student in this culturally vibrant city. Intensive language study at NYU Madrid will expose you to Spanish in all its variations, uses, and accents. You’ll study with Spanish pedagogues from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and spend eight hours each week in a paid and fully supervised education assistantship as an English teacher in Spanish charter schools. 

  • Pedagogical learning
    You'll be mentored and guided through a critical reflection of teaching and learning by faculty from NYU Madrid and from Spanish universities who are specialists in foreign language acquisition and authors of language textbooks. Their areas of academic inquiry include foreign language instruction, grammar, phonetics, socio- and psycho-linguistics, contemporary Spanish civilization, Spanish literature, the history of ideas, teaching pedagogy, and the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language in Spain.
  • An inter-American focus
    Language study at NYU Madrid exposes MA students to Spanish in all its variations, so that aspiring Spanish teachers can be familiar with different language uses and accents, and prepared to work in classrooms with learners from different backgrounds and cultures. Our faculty and curricula bridge traditional divides between Spain and Spanish America, North and South America, and Spanish America and Brazil. You will rethink historical, literary, and linguistic boundaries from new perspectives.
  • Cultural experiences
    A young, ethnically diverse, and culturally vibrant city, Madrid is home to growing Latin American communities, a focal point where the Iberian and Latin American worlds meet. The program takes full advantage of the vast range of cultural activities and events in Madrid, which form an integral part of the curriculum. Students are encouraged to explore and immerse themselves linguistically and culturally in Madrid life. 
Teaching and learning in New York

You will spend your second year in the program as a full-time student at NYU’s founding campus in New York City, taking courseworkin language education and TESOL and student teaching in New York City schools. You’ll receive professional training in three areas: mastery of the Spanish language, teaching Spanish as a foreign language, and teaching English as a Second Language. You also have an option to take an additional summer course to extend your certification to include teaching foreign languages at the K-6 level.

  • Pedagogical learning
    Core courses cover general pedagogical issues as well as knowledge critical to foreign language teaching and learning. These include: inquiries in teaching and learning, adolescent development, teaching students with special needs, and content-based pedagogical courses including intercultural perspectives, methods and techniques of communicative teaching, language through content, language assessment, and second-language acquisition research.
  • Student teaching in New York City schools
    You’ll complete two semesters of student teaching at New York City schools – teaching Spanish in a middle or high school and TESOL in an elementary school. Cooperating teachers and NYU faculty will help you refine your own teaching techniques, and as the year progresses, you will assume increasing responsibility for your classroom. 
Admissions requirements
  • In order to apply for admission to this program, you must hold a baccalaureate degree with a minor or major in Spanish language or literature or an equivalent degree from an accredited college or university.
  • To be recommended for teacher certification upon completion of this program, you must have completed at least 24 college credits in Spanish prior to admission and have taken at least one course each in math, science, and social studies. If you do not meet this credit requirement, you may take the CLEP exam to earn an equivalency of 12 college credits, NYU SCPS's language proficiency test to earn an equivalency of up to 16 college credits, or the ACTFL Language Assessment (OPI and WPT) to earn up to 30 credits (for more information, see NYSED ACTFL Information).
  • As part of your application, you should submit three letters of recommendation and an academic writing sample in Spanish that may not exceed 25 pages.
  • The GRE is required. See how to submit a score for the GRE.
  • The admissions process includes an interview by phone or Skype with the Teaching Spanish program coordinator in the GSAS Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures.

For application deadlines, a full list of requirements, and detailed information how to apply, see the Graduate Admissions Application Guide for this program. 

Prepare for a career as a
  • Spanish and English language teacher in public, charter, and independent schools or community organizations
  • Curriculum developer, specialist, or evaluator
  • Researcher, teacher educator, trainer, or program coordinator in governmental and non-profit educational agencies and multinational corporations
For more information about this MA program, please contact

Lorena Llosa
Coordinator, Joint MA Programs
Associate Professor, Department of Teaching and Learning
NYU Steinhardt

James Fernandez
Associate Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures
NYU Graduate School of Arts and Science

Robert Lubar
Interim Director, NYU Madrid
+34 91-590-2923