There are plenty of reasons to get into teaching. It’s a transformational occupation that can change the trajectory of a student’s life, increase equity, and open up new opportunities. But for individuals interested in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), there’s another reason to consider teaching: to see and experience the world. The FSU College of Education has announced a new TESOL online master’s program. Through the TESOL online master’s program, students will gain top-quality training and understanding of important language teaching theory to better prepare them for classrooms both near and far.
So why get a master’s in TESOL? Is it just for teachers with a sense of wanderlust? What kind of jobs do TESOL specialists get both domestically and abroad? And what’s the difference between the FSU TESOL program and the Foreign and Second Language Education (FSLE) program? Here are some answers to those questions and more.
TESOL Master's or Certificate
Like many programs that offer both a certificate and a graduate degree, the choice of which to complete ultimately depends on what you hope to do when you complete the program. The new online TESOL master’s program at FSU opens up plenty of opportunities for students who complete the program, and it is certainly not just for students interested in teaching abroad. While teaching abroad is definitely an option with a TESOL degree, our program’s scope prepares you for a meaningful career, whether that takes you around the world or down the street in your local community.
The master’s program is ideal for current and future teachers and practitioners of English as a foreign language (EFL) or English as a second language (ESL). The concepts learned throughout the master’s program will provide advanced training and will prepare you for careers in the fields of ESL/EFL teaching, language assessment, training other teachers, developing materials and much more.
For years, the FSU College of Education has offered a TESOL graduate certificate, which is often a minimum requirement (along with a bachelor’s degree) for teaching in international classrooms as an English teacher. The certificate will help you gain a grasp of fundamental knowledge for teaching English overseas and can even help you applying for jobs at community colleges and some universities in the U.S. as an ESL teacher.
The best part? You can earn the TESOL certificate at the same time as the master’s in TESOL at no extra cost, since many of the courses in the programs are shared.
The demand for qualified TESOL teachers and professionals has increased around the world, and because TESOL prepares you for both domestic and international classrooms, you’ll have access to jobs that others might not.
You can do much more than teach with a TESOL degree. With a master’s in TESOL, you can serve as a language assessment specialist, an education consultant, program administrator and more. A master’s degree also increases your lifetime earning on average.
TESOL or FSLE?
Finally, you may be wondering how the new online TESOL master’s compares to FSU’s existing Foreign and Second Language Education programs. While there is some overlap, we want to be sure you understand the difference.
First and foremost, the FSLE master’s program is ideal for students interested in taking face-to-face classes. While both programs may benefit future or current teachers, an online program might be easier to accommodate teachers who live overseas or are currently working, as they can learn at their own pace. Second, the online master’s program in Curriculum & Instruction (C&I) with a concentration in FSLE is specifically designed for current K-12 teachers. Students in this program will take electives related to foreign language learning, but majority of the courses are focused on broad educational strategies, such as assessment and teaching pedagogy. The TESOL online master’s, on the other hand, focuses solely on subject matters related to language learning and teaching English as a second/foreign language rather than broad education topics. Third, whereas a degree in FSLE prepares students for teaching different languages, the TESOL degree is exclusively focused on teaching English as a second or foreign language.
If you need help deciding which program is for you, you can always reach out to us and we can help you make the right decision!