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MA, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Grades K–12, Initial Certification

Prepare to teach English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) at elementary and secondary levels by honing your pedagogical strategies and improving your knowledge of language, literacy, culture, and linguistics. You’ll acquire hands-on teaching experience in New York City schools, and have the opportunity to study abroad. This program leads to eligibility for New York State initial teaching certification for TESOL.

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Degree Details

Official Degree Title

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Grades K–12, Initial Certification

Professional Licensure or Certification
Full-time or Part-time
Start Date
Application Deadline

The MA in TESOL combines core foundation classes and content electives with fieldwork and student teaching. You’ll study teaching methods, the second-language classroom, second language research, foundations in linguistics, the structure of American English, intercultural or multicultural perspectives in education, teaching students with special needs, and adolescent learners in urban contexts, and complete a culminating project.

Elective courses focus on topics such as language assessment and evaluation, teaching second language in a technological society, and teaching second language across content areas.

Throughout your curriculum, you’ll learn:

  • Second-language teaching approaches that can be adjusted to suit the needs of learners from diverse linguistic, educational, and ethnic backgrounds
  • An understanding of urban educational environments and the social, cultural, and economic factors that influence learning
  • Second language pedagogy, second language acquisition research, linguistics, English grammar, and intercultural or multicultural studies
  • How to develop and implement innovative classroom strategies and curricula
  • An appreciation for cultural diversity in global educational settings

Student Teaching in New York City Schools

You’ll complete two semesters of student teaching English to speakers of other languages in New York City schools at the elementary and secondary grade levels while simultaneously taking a student teaching seminar. Cooperating teachers and NYU faculty will offer feedback and guidance so you can develop and refine your teaching techniques.

A Community of Scholars

As a graduate student in our program, you’ll be welcomed into a strong, supportive learning community that takes an additive view of second language and culture acquisition, and believes that fluency in multiple languages is better than fluency in one. Our faculty members are recognized leaders in the field, and are always available to students both through the courses they teach as well as through individual advisement.

Study Abroad Opportunities

You'll have unique opportunities to study the interrelationship among language, culture, and learning from an intercultural perspective in the Dominican Republic and China and Hong Kong, or take part in other NYU Steinhardt global study programs.

This program leads to eligibility for New York State initial teaching certification for teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), grades K–12, and prepares you for careers including:

  • Teacher of English to speakers of other languages in elementary and secondary schools, community colleges, universities, community organizations, and immigrant resettlement agencies
  • Curriculum developer, specialist, or evaluator
  • Researcher, teacher educator, trainer, or program coordinator in governmental and nonprofit educational agencies and multinational corporations

Learn more about teacher certification and our degree's accreditation.


If you have any additional questions about our degree, please feel free to contact Shondel Nero, Program Director at

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Advance your personal and professional journey – apply to join our community of students.

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