Ed Bengtson
Chair, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
206 Peabody Hall
Email: egbengts@uark.edu

Janet Penner-Williams
Program Coordinator
107 Peabody Hall
Email: jpenner@uark.edu

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Website

Degree Offered:
M.Ed. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESL)

Description: The program is designed to prepare teachers in the U.S. and abroad to teach English to learners whose first language is not English; graduates are also prepared to create and implement curriculum and appropriate assessments for English as a second language (ESL). It also prepares individuals for further graduate study (Education Specialist or Ph.D.). Included in the course work for the M.Ed. are the four courses required by the Arkansas Department of Education for endorsement in ESL.

M.Ed. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Admission Requirements:

  1. Students must be officially accepted by the Graduate School and accepted into the M.Ed. TESOL degree program. Once information is reviewed, the Graduate School will submit applicant’s completed packet to the program for review.
  2. Students must complete an appropriate undergraduate degree with a minimum 3.0 grade-point average (or equivalent for international students) on the last 60 hours of the course work for the undergraduate degree. Applicants with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework are exempt from the standardized test requirement. 
  3. Students with a 2.7-2.9 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work may be considered if an acceptable score on the Graduate Record Examination or Miller Analogies Test is obtained and letters of recommendation are submitted.

Degree Requirements:

All students must complete 33 hours of course work

Two graduate research courses approved by adviser6
CIED 5923Second Language Acquisition3
CIED 5933Second Language Methodologies3
CIED 5943Teaching People of Other Cultures3
CIED 5953Second Language Assessment3
CIED 5393Introduction to Linguistics3
or CIED 5543 Structures of American English
CIED 5913Parent/Family Engagement for Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Students3
CIED 6193Teaching English Language Learners in the Content Areas3
CIED 6353Foundations and Issues in Bilingual and ESL Education3
CIED 600VMaster's Thesis3
Total Hours33

Students who do not wish to complete a thesis may choose one elective to complete the 33-credit hour course of study.

Research Requirements:  Students are required to take two research courses approved by their adviser. It is recommended that one be a qualitative research course and one be a mixed methods or quantitative research course. Students wishing not to complete a thesis are required to take a comprehensive exam in the next to last semester of their coursework.

For students who have the experience and desire to complete a formal thesis, this option exists. In such cases, students will form a thesis committee and then propose, write and defend a thesis. The successful defense of the thesis will represent the comprehensive exam for the M.Ed. degree but students must complete at least three hours of master's thesis credit (CIED 600V).

Dismissal based on Unethical or Unprofessional Behaviors from the TESOL program

The University of Arkansas’ TESOL program adheres to the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession as established by the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Code of Ethics, as well as discipline specific codes of ethics and standards found in program handbooks. Violation of these principles may result in probation, suspension, or dismissal of the internship as described:

  1. Any incident of ethical misconduct or concern will be documented by the faculty member(s), discussed directly with the student, and referred to the program’s coordinator.  It may also be reported to the Professional Review Committee housed within the Office of Teacher Education.
  2. The Professional Review Committee evaluates the concerns and recommends a course of action, which may range from a zero score on the academic and/or internship work, a failing grade for the course, probation, up to dismissal from the TESOL program. 
  3. The TESOL Program Coordinator, in consultation with the Professional Review Committee and the Graduate School, has the authority and responsibility to dismiss a student from the TESOL program for unethical or unprofessional behavior and/or not recommend the student for licensure.

Students should also be aware of Graduate School requirements with regard to master's degrees.

“Students who have been dismissed by the program on the basis of unethical or unprofessional conduct may appeal the decision following the procedures outlined under the Unethical and Unprofessional Conduct policy contained in the Graduate Catalog of Studies.”