M.A. in Second Language Acquisition/Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)

The Department of Modern Languages offers a 30-hour Master’s degree in Second Language Acquisition / Teaching English as a Foreign Language (SLA/TEFL). This program is intended for aspiring teachers of English or for practicing teachers who wish to enhance their credentials. Upon completion of the program, students are equipped to teach English in a wide range of contexts, both abroad and domestically. The M.A. in SLA/TEFL includes coursework in second language acquisition, the teaching of English as a second / foreign language, linguistics, and in an area of concentration of the student’s choice. The program is designed to:

  • Strengthen language skills and cultural awareness;
  • Develop knowledge of second language learning theories and practical experience applying pedagogical approaches;
  • Develop knowledge in an area of concentration (e.g. linguistics, American literature, British literature) that can be used to teach advanced English content courses;
  • Promote individual inquiry in the student’s field of interest;
  • Develop awareness of professional standards.

Check here for admission requirements, and admission process.

Degree Requirements:

With approval of the supervisory committee, each student chooses one of the following two options:

  1. 30 hours of coursework and the M.A. Comprehensive Examinations
  2. 24 hours of coursework and a Master’s Thesis

Required Coursework:

Core courses
MLANG 803: Practicum in Adult TESL / TEFL Oral and Written communication (3 hours)
MLANG 804: Seminar in TEFL (3 hours)
MLANG 600: Principles of Linguistics (3 hours)
MLANG 710: Foreign Language Pedagogy (3 hours)
MLANG 770: Theories of Second Language Acquisition (3 hours)

Area of concentration
Three approved courses from one of the following eleven areas: American Literature, British Literature, Children’s Literature, Communication Studies, Creative Writing, Cultural Studies, Drama, Journalism and Mass Communication, Linguistics, Rhetoric and Composition, Women’s Studies.

Final requirement (according to program of study)
Students choose one of the following two options:
Option 1: Thesis
MLANG 899: Research in Modern Languages (6 hours)
Option 2: Electives
Two approved electives (3 hours each = 6 hours)


  1. The Department encourages students to apply for a position as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) in order to gain practical experience in the classroom. Please note that positions are limited and therefore competitive.
  2. English proficiency for non-native speakers of English must be measured by the Internet Based TOEFL (iBT). A minimum score of 22 is required on the listening, reading, and writing parts, and a minimum score of 24 is required on the speaking part, with a total of at least 90. Students who do not meet this requirement may be awarded provisional acceptance, with the condition that they successfully complete all provisional coursework in order to earn full standing in the program. Additionally, it should be noted that non-native speakers of English may be required to take a diagnostic writing test regardless of their IBT writing score, as deemed necessary by the TEFL committee.
  3. The M.A. Comprehensive Examinations include material from students’ coursework as well as the M.A. Reading List for TEFL.
  4. Students are assigned a graduate advisor upon entry into the program. Upon finalizing their program of study, students will choose a Major Professor and supervisory committee in their area of interest.
  5. Those students who choose the Thesis option will choose their topic in consultation with their Major Professor.
  6. For more information about the SLA/TEFL Program, please contact Dr. Li Yang, lyang1@ksu.edu.