Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages - MA

Systems of Human Language

In support of their teaching knowledge and skills, students will demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the major systems of human language (phonology, morphology, lexicon, syntax, semantics, & pragmatics) and how these are integral to language learning.

Language Learning Theory

In further support of their teaching knowledge and skills, students will analyze and apply theories of second language learning and acquisition.

Teaching Knowledge and Skills

Examine second language teaching strategies and procedures and apply accepted principles of effective lesson planning, materials development and language testing.


Students will analyze, perform, and communicate professional-levels of research associated with their sophisticated levels of teaching knowledge and skills, understanding of the systems of human language, and language learning theories.

Requirements for TESOL MA Degree 

  • Credit hours (37): minimum 22 course work hours plus 6 thesis hours (Ling 699R), or 6 project hours (Ling 698R for 3 hours) and 3 internship hours (Ling 688R). 
  • Required courses: Ling 610, 611, 612, 620, 631, 640, 660, 695, 698R plus 688R, or 699R
  • Elective: 9 elective hours with the possibility of selecting one of the following four specializations:
    • Teaching:  Ling 655, 670  and 671
    • Curriculum & Materials Development:  Ling 677, 678, 670 or 671
    • Program Administration:  Ling 677, 679, 670, or 671
    • Curriculum & Assessment:  Ling 677, plus faculty-directed elective, 670 or 671
  • Thesis - Ling 699R (6 hours)
  • Project - Ling 698R (3 hours), plus Ling 688R Academic Internship (3 hours)
  • Oral defense of project/thesis.


For a more detailed description of the graduate program requirements, see http://linguistics.byu.edu.

Fall Deadline:
January 15
Winter Deadline:

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Additional Requirements:
  1. Ling 401 Introduction to Graduate Linguistics, or equivalent course. This must be completed during summer term, before starting the MA program in the fall. Students who believe they have satisfied the prerequisite with an equivalent course at another university should contact the department office at lorianne_spear@byu.edu. We will need to know where and when you took the course, what grade you received, and a copy of the course syllabus so that we can determine its equivalency to Linguistics 401.
  2. Competency in one language other than English at the 200 level. This requirement may be fulfilled while taking program coursework, but those language credits do NOT count toward the total credits needed for the program.
    • Note:  This requirement can be completed along with regular coursework, but it does not count towards the overall 37 credit program requirement. 

In addition to the requirements listed above, non-native English speakers must complete the following:

  1. LING 501 Advanced Composition must be taken Winter Semester by all non-native English speaking students, but you will be contacted during your first semester about how this requirement may be waived during your first fall semester.
  2. Based on the results of the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) taken the first semester, non-native English speaking students may need to take ESL 301 Advanced Academic English, and/or ESL 302 Advanced English Pronunciation, and/or ESL 305 Applied Grammar.


Required Tests: GRE; TOEFL (Total 90 on iBT -- 23 in speaking, 22 in listening, reading, and writing) or IELTS
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Contact Information

Phone: (801) 422-2937
Fax: (801) 422-0906
Address: 4064 JFSB
Email: linguistics@byu.edu
Website: http://linguistics.byu.edu


The university makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this catalog, but reserves the right to make changes at any time without prior notice.
Since change is a part of university life, curriculum and program changes will likely occur during the time the current Graduate Catalog is in circulation.

Honor Code

The university expects that all students, regardless of religion, will maintain the behavioral standards of the school, including the Honor Code. These include high standards of honesty, integrity, chastity, morality, and dress and grooming, in addition to abstinence from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse. The Honor Code Statement is found here.