Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Program

College of Arts and Humanities

232 Mitchell Hall
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Dr. Smidt, Director and Graduate Coordinator

Programs of Study

The Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages is an interdisciplinary program contributed to by the departments of English, Languages and Cultures, Anthropology and Sociology, Communication Studies, and Philosophy. The program is designed for those preparing to teach English to students whose first language is not English; graduates of this program are also prepared to design ESL/EFL curriculum and to assess the linguistic development of second language students. Also offered is the certificate of preparation in ESL teaching, a graduate program that leads to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s qualification for teaching ESL PK-12 in the public schools. The certificate courses may be applied toward the M.A. in TESOL. Provided that entering students are precertified in a stand-alone area, this certificate qualifies graduates for public school ESL teaching in Pennsylvania. Both the M.A. and certificate programs provide background in linguistics, sociolinguistics and culture, and teaching methodology in TESOL.

All applicants to one of West Chester University’s graduate programs will be held to the graduate admissions requirements. When applicable, additional requirements for admission into specific department program(s) may be listed below.

Admission Requirements for the M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

In addition to meeting the general requirements for admission to a graduate program at West Chester, applicants must document background in the following areas:

  1.  Introduction to Linguistics (subject to approval by a TESOL program advisor)
  2.  Proficiency in English (one of the following three options)1:
    1. TOEFL: 92 for the internet-based exam, 237 for the computer-based exam, 580 for the paper-based exam
    2. IELTS: An overall score at bend 6.5 or above, and minimum scores of 6.5 for speaking, listening, reading, and writing are preferred.
    3. WCU ELS Program
  3.  24 semester hours of a second language/English/linguistics/philosophy/communications2
  4.  Six semester hours of anthropology/sociology/psychology2
  5.  Experience in learning a second language2

Students with a TOEFL score slightly lower than 580 may be admitted provisionally to the TESOL program. Provisionally admitted students will, in consultation with their advisor, select additional English language courses in order to meet this language proficiency requirement by the time of degree candidacy (after 12-15 credits).

Students who do not meet the second language or linguistics background requirements upon application for admission may be admitted provisionally and, in consultation with their advisor, will select additional courses in order to satisfy these requirements by the time of degree candidacy (after 12-15 credits). Students must pass an oral and written comprehensive examination before graduating.

All graduate students are held to the academic policies and procedures outlined in the graduate catalog. Students are encouraged to review departmental handbooks for program tips, suggested course sequences, and explanations of procedures. When applicable, additional policies for specific department programs may be listed below.


Mahmoud Amer (2011)

Chairperson, Languages and Cultures

B.A., Mutah University; M.A., University of Toledo; Ph.D., Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Maria José Cabrera (2007)

B.A., Universidad de Murcia (Spain); M.A., West Virginia University; Ph.D., Rutgers University

Chui Kian Smidt (2011)

Director, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Program

Graduate Coordinator, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Program

B.Ed., University of Exeter; M.A., Iowa State University; Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Associate Professors

Jelena Colovic-Markovic (2013)

B.A., University of Belgrade; M.A., Brigham Young University; Ph.D., University of Utah

William Keith Corbitt (2013)

A.A., Monterey Peninsula College; B.A., High Point University; M.A., University of Delaware; M.A., Ph.D., University of Indiana

Innhwa Park (2013)

Assistant Chairperson, Languages and Cultures

B.A. Seoul National University; M.A., University of California; Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Course titles and descriptions for the TESOL programs are listed under the relevant departments.