Languages and Cultures

West Chester University

Dr. Jerome Williams
109 Main Hall
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-2700
Fax: 610-436-3048
Jerome Williams

TESOL Programs



Program Brochure

Program Handbook

Please visit the Graduate Studies page to apply!

Course Schedule (Summer I and Fall 14’)

Approved Program of Study Form






Garrett G. Molholt, Ph.D. (English)

Frederick R. Patton, Ph.D. (Languages and Cultures)         

Andrea Varricchio, Ph.D. (Languages and Cultures)


Associate Professors

Maria José Cabrera, Ph.D. (Languages and Cultures)

Charles E. Grove, Ph.D. (Languages and Cultures)  on leave until 2014


Assistant Professors

Mahmoud Amer, Ph.D. (Languages and Cultures)

Jelena Colovic-Markovic, Ph.D. (Languages and Cultures)

W. Keith Corbitt, Ph.D. (Languages and Cultures)

Innhwa Park, Ph.D. (Languages and Cultures), Program Director

Esther Smidt, Ph.D. (Languages and Cultures)

Programs of Study

The Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language is an interdisciplinary program contributed to by the departments of English, Languages and Cultures, Anthropology and Sociology, Communication Studies, and Philosophy. The program is designed for those preparing to teach English to students whose first language is not English; graduates of this program are also prepared to design an ESL/EFL curriculum and to assess the linguistic development of second language students. Students wishing to enter the program must consult the coordinator. Also offered is the Certificate of Preparation in ESL teaching, a graduate program that prepares graduates for EFL or ESL teaching in the U.S. and abroad. The certificate courses may be applied toward the MATESL. Along with required certification in another discipline, this certificate qualifies graduates for public school ESL teaching in Pennsylvania. Both the M.A. and certificate programs provide a background in linguistics, sociolinguistics and culture, and teaching methodology in TESL.


Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the general requirements for admission to a graduate program at West Chester, applicants must document background in the following areas:

1) Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from a college or university accredited in the United States or its equivalent from a school in another country. A minimum 2.80/4.0 undergraduate GPA is required. Provisional acceptance may be possible under some circumstances for applicants who do not meet this standard;

2) Prior “Introduction to Linguistics” coursework (subject to approval by a TESOL program adviser). Applicants who do not meet this criterion will be offered provisional admission to the program and be required to take LIN 501 during the fall semester in order to gain full admission status;

3) A broad liberal arts background with an emphasis on languages, linguistics and other social sciences is expected, e.g., background in a second language, English, linguistics, education, philosophy, communications, anthropology, sociology and/or psychology;

4) Proficiency in English. Applicants whose native language is not English must submit an official report from one of the following organizations:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) - applicants must score a minimum of 580  (218 for the computer-based exam); or
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) - applicants must receive an overall IELTS score at band 6.5 or above, and minimum scores of 6.5 for speaking, listening, reading and writing are preferred; or
  • INTERLINK Language Center. Completion of the INTERLINK program substitutes for TOEFL and IELTS requirements at West Chester University.
  • In addition, for students in the ESL Program Specialist Certificate Program, applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate proficiency in English via the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) test called the "English Language Oral Proficiency Interview" (OPI). Information about the ACTFL test, including test dates and locations in international countries, can be obtained from the

5) GRE scores *are not required* for application or admission to TESOL Programs at WCU. 

6) Students who do not meet requirements upon application for admission may be admitted provisionally and, in consultation with their adviser, will select additional courses in order to satisfy these requirements by the time of degree candidacy (after 12-15 credits).  

7) All students who are US citizens must have all clearances completed before starting any courses which involve field experiences in public schools in Pennsylvania, including LAN 503, ENG/LAN 569, ENG 576, and ENG 587.

M.A in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)

Curriculum (36 semester hours)

Required courses (24 semester hours)

LAN 500 (Methods and Materials of Research in Second Language Education)

LAN 503 (Techniques of Second Language Teaching)

LIN 540 (Sociolinguistics)

ENG 575 (Structure of Modern English)

ENG 576 (Curriculum and Materials for TESOL)

ENG 581 (Teaching Reading and Writing to ESL Students)

ENG/LAN 583 (Second Language Acquisition)

ENG 587 (ESL Practicum)

Students submitting equivalent courses for any of the above may substitute, under advisement, courses from the electives below.


Electives (12 semester hours)

Selected from the electives below. At least one course must be selected from Group 1 and one from Group 2.

Group 1: ENG 577, 579, 582*, 589 (seminar with a linguistic focus); LIN 503, 540; LIN/COM 515 (or other LIN/COM courses)

Group 2: ENG 580, 586, 588, 589 (seminar with a methodology focus), 610, 611; ENG/LAN 612; LAN 504, 505, 580, 590, 600; LIN 504, 505, 512, and 590

*Either ENG 582 or LIN 540 required; the other course may count as a Group 1 elective; additional courses may be used as electives subject to approval by the graduate coordinator.


ESL Program Specialist (PDEEPS) Certificate

Curriculum (18 semester hours)

Required courses (18 semester hours)

LAN 500 (Methods and Materials of Research in Second Language Education)

LAN 503 (Techniques of Second Language Teaching)

LIN 540 (Sociolinguistics)

ENG/LAN 569 (Teaching English Language Learners PK-12)

ENG 575 (Structure of Modern English)

ENG 576 (Curriculum and Materials for TESOL)


Course Descriptions

Symbols: ENG (English), LAN (Languages and Cultures), LIN (Linguistics)

ENG 575 Structure of Modern English (3) Analysis of the details and system of English grammar. Consideration of alternate approaches in analyzing English sentences. Application of analyses to grammar instruction.

ENG 576 Curriculum and Materials for TESL (3) Application of basic second language learning principles to the analysis, development, and implementation of ESL materials, learner assessment instruments, and curriculum design.

ENG 579 History and Dialects of American English (3) Exploration of the historical, cultural, social, and linguistic conditions and processes contributing to the development of varieties of American English. Linguistic and sociolinguistic analysis of varieties of American English, including regional, social, and gender varieties, as well as register. Consideration of implications of nonstandard language varieties for education.

ENG 581 Teaching Reading and Writing to ESL/Second Language Students (3) ESL/second language reading and writing research and theory; connections to first language/literacy models; techniques, materials, and tasks that facilitate the acquisition of ESL/second language literacy.

ENG/LAN 582 Sociolinguistic Issues in ESL/Second Language Education (3) Introduction to social, historical, legal, and cultural issues influencing language use and language learning in language minority communities, schools, and homes. Introduction to issues in bilingual education and language programs for immigrants around the world.

ENG/LAN 583 Second Language Acquisition (SLA) (3) Introduction to key issues in SLA research and theory. Analysis of SLA studies and connection to second language teaching. Design of original mini-study of second language learning.

ENG 586 Field Experiences and Issues in ESL Teaching (3) Provides opportunities for students to observe ESL instruction in a variety of settings, as well as assist ESL instructors in the classroom, including elementary, secondary, university, and adult community programs. Discussion and projects allow students to connect their experiences and observations to current TESL theory and trends introduced in course readings.

ENG 587 ESL Practicum I (1-6) Assists students in developing ESL teaching skills. Encourages reflection on practice and examination of personal beliefs on practice.

ENG 588 ESL Practicum II (1-3) This course is designed for graduate students and ESL professionals who desire additional practical experience in ESL contexts. Special topics covered include some of the following: program design, teacher development and supervision, and materials writing.

ENG 610 Teaching ESL/Second Language to Elementary/Secondary Students (3) Focuses on special language-learning needs of ESL/second language students in elementary, middle, and high school, as well as on trends in teaching second language to these groups, including literature-based, theme-based, and vocationally oriented instruction.

ENG 611 Content-Based ESL/Second Language Instruction (3) Designed for teachers of content areas, as well as for ESL/second language teachers. Examines program models, curriculum design, materials adaptation, and evaluation/assessment that combine language and content. Students consider shortcomings of this second language teaching trend.

ENG/LAN 612 Assessment of ESL/Second Language Students (3) Selection, evaluation, adaptation, and creation of assessment instruments for ESL/second language students. Practice in administering tests and interpreting results. Overview of issues in assessing second language students.

LAN 500 Methods and Materials of Research in Second Language Education (3)

Techniques of research in language education, including sources, design, interpretation, evaluation, and reporting of data.

LAN 503 Techniques of Second Language Teaching (3)

Advanced course in recent theoretical bases, methods for teaching beginning and advanced levels, curriculum design, and evaluation.

PREREQ: LIN 501 or permission of equivalent.

LIN501 Introduction to Linguistics (3) Analysis and characterization of what humans know when they know a language, including knowledge of the sound, word formation, sentence structure, meaning, and pragmatic systems. Development of tools and skills for describing and analyzing language. Application of linguistic principles to such cross-disciplinary studies of language as sociolinguistics, language classification, and language acquisition.

LIN 540 Sociolinguistics (3) The study of language in its social context: the ethnography of communication; language and society, social classes, ethnic groups, politics, sex, and education. PREREQ: LIN 501 or permission of instructor.

tesol logo