Teach English and open up a world of opportunities.
Saint Mary’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program is a dynamic and comprehensive training experience enabling you to pursue a master’s degree as you earn a K-12 ESL Minnesota license.* Whether you are seeking initial or additional licensure, you’ll learn through extensive hands-on experiences, with a strong focus on global competencies and how language and culture affect learning in English reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
Inclusivity, educational equity, and social justice are emphasized throughout the program. Practical, real-world coursework allows you to help English learners in meaningful ways, enhancing your own intellectual, moral, civic, and performance virtues.
All courses are taught by faculty who bring relevant knowledge and classroom experience to the program. The M.A. in ESL program at Saint Mary’s is distinguished by its strong literacy foundation. With so many similarities in literacy and language, literacy development is crucial for English learners in how they acquire literacy because of language, learning, and cultural differences.
The M.A. in ESL program is designed for current or aspiring educators, and it allows you to pursue a K-12 ESL Minnesota license* — whether it’s your first teaching license or an additional license to help you advance your career. Immerse yourself in hands-on learning, teaching, and observing at Saint Mary’s.
credits (initial licensure)
M.A. degree with Initial Licensure: 53
Additional Licensure: 27
M.A. degree with Additional Licensure: 30
Fall Term 1
Fall Term 2
What Makes It Special
Complete this program in as little as two years
Pursue an M.A. in ESL and/or K-12 ESL Minnesota license
Strong global focus
What You'll Learn
What You’ll Learn
Employ methods, techniques, and program models for second language instruction
Use content-based methodologies and integrate language acquisition functions
Develop communication instruction in the second language context
Communicate effectively with students, parents, colleagues, and community members.
Analyze the contributions of general and applied linguistics to second language education.
Synthesize existing research and create original research for ESL educational practices.
Take your Saint Mary's education as near — or as far as you want. ESL teachers* work in K-12 schools in the U.S. and international schools. Pursue a career in education policy, teach at a community college, or teach ESL to adults. A world of career opportunities is waiting for you.
Post-secondary ESL teacher (post licensure)$79,640 per year*
Interpreter or translator$49,110 per year*
Curriculum specialist$63,740 per year*
Interpreter or translator job growth 2020-2030
Licensure preparation* includes a variety of requirements, including foundational coursework and field experience/student teaching.
Licensure preparation includes one year of foundational coursework pertaining to curriculum design, educational technology, classroom management, instructional techniques, and much more. This coursework lays a solid foundation as you move into the ESL coursework. This year of foundational coursework can be completed prior to taking ESL courses, or can also be integrated and completed at the same time as your first year of ESL courses.
It’s critical to be able to put theory into practice. As part of the program, you’ll participate in field experience and student teaching, ensuring you have practiced your skills under guidance of a cooperating teacher and university supervisor. Program staff will work with you to explore field experience, student teaching, portfolio, and testing requirements.
*Saint Mary’s M.A in English as a Second Language program is designed to prepare students to seek a K-12 ESL teacher licensure in Minnesota. This program is approved by the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB). For more information about Saint Mary’s K-12 teaching programs and professional licensure, visit our Professional Licensure page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a bachelor’s degree to apply?
Yes, you must have completed an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and maintained an overall grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale.
When can I apply?
Now! You can apply for admission to a master’s degree program at any time during the year. ESL courses begin each fall (term 2) and initial license candidates may be able to begin courses earlier as schedules allow.