How do you plan a lesson that reaches all learners? Are children better language learners than adults?

Through research, practicum experience, and hands-on projects, our students consider bilingual challenges and questions, like which "English" should be taught, and what is the proper balance between academic content and language skills in public schools. All MATESL students complete a challenging capstone project — a curriculum plan that demonstrates their knowledge, skills and creativity.

Our program offers preparation for teaching English as a Second Language in three areas: elementary school, middle and high school and adult English language programs. Students who wish to teach in public schools pursue a program of study for initial licensure in grades PreK-6 or 5-12, approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Our non-licensure graduates teach ESL in private schools and adult language programs in the United States and abroad.

Small classes, individual guidance from faculty and supervisors, extensive practicum experience, and a supportive, experiential learning environment ensure a personalized and practical course of study.

Program Requirements

Most MATESL students work full-time while taking two evening or weekend courses per semester. Following this plan, students who study year-round, including during summer semesters, typically complete the degree in 16 to 20 months.


Initial ESL Licensure, Grades 5—12

GEDUC 460 Teaching Strategies for the Inclusive Classroom
ML 408 Second Language Acquisition
ML 410 Introduction to Linguistics and English Grammar
TESL 445 Fundamentals of Reading and Writing in a Second Language
TESL 451 Bilingualism and Language Variation
TESL 479 TESL Methodology and Curriculum Development
GEDUC 444 Research and Evaluation in Schools
TESL 452 Advanced Seminar in TESL Curriculum
TESL 480 Student Teaching Practicum
TESL 500 Special Topics in TESL
Elective Approved course elective
An additional semester of TESL 480 Student Teaching Practicum

Initial ESL Licensure, Grades PreK—6

Students complete above coursework, plus:
GEDUC 464 Reading/Language Arts for the Early Childhood and Elementary Classroom
GEDUC 467 Math for the Early Childhood and Elementary Classroom

Adult Track/Non-licensure Option

Students pursue a set of courses similar to the Grades 5-12 licensure program, but are exempted from GEDUC 460.

Customize Your Program
Simmons offers a MATESL degree, with educator licensure and non-licensure tracks, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (C.A.G.S.). Students who plan to teach in public schools specialize in elementary or middle/high school instruction (40 - 48 credits), with preparation for Massachusetts state licensure as a Teacher of English Language Learners (PreK-6 or grades 5-12). Our non-licensure MATESL track (36 credits) is designed for those who plan to teach in settings such as adult education programs, college-level intensive ESL programs, independent language or secondary schools, and business settings. For those who hold a master's degree but wish to specialize in ESL, the C.A.G.S. option (32 credits) provides preparation in ESL and is designed in consultation with the program director.
    Paul Abraham
    • Paul Abraham
    • Professor, Director of Matesl
    • Phone: 617-521-2575
    • Office: W304D
    Janet Chumley
    • Janet Chumley
    • Associate Professor of Practice
    • Phone: 617-521-2239
    • Office: W303A

With a focus on applied theory, our students explore diverse instructional models and develop skills and knowledge in areas including second language acquisition, multicultural classrooms, curriculum development and language policy. Depending on their area of specialization, students do their teaching practica in public schools or in adult education programs. Our double practicum — two semesters of teaching — is a popular option for all, and many MATESL graduates stress the extended student teaching experience as key to their professional success.

Gainful Employment Disclosure

CAGS in Teaching English as a Second Language

How to Apply
Ready to take the next step? We'll guide you through the requirements and deadlines — and get you started on your way.

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