Teach Around the World with an Online MA in TESL
Do you want to engage with foreign cultures or equip non-English speakers here in America with life-changing skills for the future? Liberty’s 100% online Master of Arts (MA) in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) can help empower you to work with students at home or abroad who need English communication skills to succeed.
As an English as a second language teacher, you could teach in the United States or travel abroad to teach in Asia, the Middle East, or any other region of the world where English language teachers are in demand. With Liberty’s MA in TESL, you can embed yourself in a foreign culture and share the gift of language while gaining a rich, immersive experience that goes far beyond tourism!
What is TESL?
Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) is a discipline of teaching focused on finding the best ways to help students new to the English language. The goal of TESL is to help students adjust to the unique rules and challenges of learning English from the perspective of many different first languages. For example, learners whose first language is Mandarin Chinese will have unique grammar and pronunciation challenges to overcome compared to a student whose first language is Spanish.
No matter the students’ primary languages, TESL teachers strive to help them read, write, and speak at an advanced level to set them up for success in English-focused industries and careers. Earning a master’s degree in English language teaching can help you engage in this exciting and rewarding field so you can help English language learners thrive.
Liberty’s online MA in TESL will help you face the challenges of cross-cultural and cross-linguistic teaching with a graduate degree designed to help make you competitive in the international market. Taught from a Christian worldview, Liberty’s online MA in TESL will give you biblically based training in teaching the English language while you make an impact for Christ across the globe.
If you are looking for a practical, market-driven approach to teaching that can give you opportunities to touch the lives of people from different cultures — locally, nationally, and abroad — Liberty’s online MA in TESL can help give you the training you need!
*Some exclusions apply. Please refer to our exclusions page for more information.
Our PhD in counseling online degree is taught by professionals with real-world experience in clinical and leadership settings. The PhD in Counseling program curriculum builds on your knowledge and expertise to grow critical thinking, leadership, and clinical skills. Whether you are seeking to expand in your current role or explore other areas within the counseling field, our PhD in Counseling online program is designed to equip you with the knowledge and training you need.
Why Choose Liberty’s MA in Teaching English as a Second Language?
Liberty’s master’s degree in TESL is 100% online so that you can learn in the comfort of your own home or office. Whether you are living in the United States or are currently overseas, you can still earn your degree in as little as 1 year — and put your skills to use right away!
Earning a master’s degree in teaching English as a second language from Liberty is an affordable and flexible way to prepare for teaching students who need to learn English to thrive in their careers and connect with their English-speaking peers.
Frequently Asked Questions
While researching ESL master’s programs and teaching English as a second language online, you may have questions about how Liberty’s online MA in TESL can help you meet your career goals. Below are some common questions about Liberty’s online master’s in English language teaching.
How can I teach English as a second language?
Teaching English as a second language involves a specialized approach to working with new English language learners to meet specific age-appropriate learning goals. Second language acquisition graduate programs like Liberty’s online TESL master’s degree build on your previous teaching experience to help you master the English language teaching process and provide support for new students to adapt and grow.
By assisting them in developing from a basic understanding of English to high proficiency, you can help students gain valuable skills to help them succeed in their careers. If you want to start teaching in an ESL program, Liberty’s MA in TESL online degree can help give you the skills you need.
How much money can you make teaching English as a second language? What salary can TESL teachers make?
Liberty’s MA in TESL degree can help you pursue a rewarding career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary of TESL teachers across all grade levels and settings in 2020 was $59,810.* With opportunities to teach abroad and gain additional certifications, TESL teachers have significant freedom to teach at many age levels, from elementary to college level and in many settings, from schools to hospitals.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, at Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020 – Adult Basic Education, Adult Secondary Education, and English as a Second Language Instructors (viewed online June 24, 2021). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
What is the difference between TESL vs. TESOL programs?
When researching second language acquisition graduate programs online, you will see that several specialties have unique shorthand names. These English teaching master’s programs have similar purposes but vary in their intended audience and in the specific skills you learn:
- TESL – Teaching English as a Second Language: Liberty University’s MA in Teaching English as a Second Language or TESL emphasizes teaching students who have a primary speaking language other than English but who have a daily need for English for communication. These students include immigrants to English-speaking countries and native students who grew up with a non-English first language. Generally, TESL programs are taught in countries that have English as their primary spoken language.
- TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language: Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is another program type that focuses on the challenges of teaching the English language in a foreign country which does not speak English. These programs often have a second language emphasis, which will require the teacher to have proficiency in the second language of the target country so that they can speak well enough to manage a class. Generally, students in these courses have lower day-to-day requirements for English as they live in a country that does not require proficiency.
- TESOL – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages: This program type typically contains elements of both TESL and TEFL and provides more flexibility but less specialization than either TESL or TEFL. Generally, this program type allows graduates to further specialize after having achieved a general foundation as well as proficiency in another target language to provide flexibility for working in non-English speaking environments.
If you are interested in teaching English to international students within an English-speaking country or traveling abroad to a country to teach speakers of other languages, Liberty’s MA in TESL can help provide you with the advanced language training you need.
What Will You Learn in Our MA in TESL?
Gain the broad skill set and practical training you need to succeed as a TESL instructor! In this degree, your online courses can help you gain comprehensive knowledge of applied grammar, linguistics, and second language acquisition.
You will not only learn about the practical use of the English language, but you will also study the syntax and phonology of the major languages of the world so you can better understand how to approach students from a variety of language backgrounds. With Liberty’s MA in TESL, you can create a fun and effective learning environment to help English language learners thrive!
MA in TESL Featured Courses
- ENGL 664 — English as a World Language
- GLST 600 — Cultural Anthropology
- TESL 601 — Methods and Materials for TESL
- TESL 603 — Teaching Grammar, Lexicon, and Pronunciation
Highlights of Our MA in Teaching English as a Second Language
- We are recognized by multiple institutions for our academic quality, affordability, and accessibility. Our commitment to excellence also helped us rank in the top 10% of Niche.com’s best online schools in America. Earning your online degree from a nonprofit university with this kind of recognition can help set you apart from others in your field.
- Tuition for all undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs has not increased in 9 years. While many other online colleges have raised tuition, Liberty has been able to keep costs low as a nonprofit university.
- You can complete our online MA in TESL in as little as 1 year!
Potential Career Opportunities with an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language
- English instructor for domestic and international language learners
- Second language curriculum developer
- Second language linguistics researcher
MA in TESL Degree – Online Program Information
- This program falls under the College of Arts and Sciences.
- Download and review the Degree Completion Plan.
- View the Graduate Arts and Sciences Course Guides (login required).
- This program requires at least 6 credit hours of undergraduate or graduate foreign language courses in order to graduate. These courses can be satisfied by your undergraduate degree or taken while enrolled in the MA in TESL.
Admission Requirements for the MA in Teaching English as a Second Language
A regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 or above GPA is required for admission in good standing. Please visit our admission requirements page for more detailed admissions-related information.
All applicants must submit the following:
- Admission application
- Application fee*
- Official college transcripts
- Unofficial college transcripts may be accepted with a completed official transcript request form**
- Statement of purpose
- Proof of English proficiency (for applicants whose native language is other than English)
*There is no upfront application fee; however, a deferred $50 application fee will be assessed during Financial Check-In. This fee is waived for qualifying service members, veterans, and military spouses – documentation verifying military status is required.
**An official transcript is needed within 60 days of acceptance or before non-attendance drops for the first set of matriculated classes, whichever comes first.
Liberty University is dedicated to providing world-class educational experiences to military students across the globe. Whether you are a current service member, discharged or retired from service, or the spouse of a service member or veteran, we are here to support you every step of the journey.
As a thank-you for your dedication and service to our country, Liberty is honored to serve and support you in your pursuit of online education by offering the following benefits:
- Tuition discounts – $275 per credit hour for graduate courses
- Additional discount for veterans who serve in a civilian capacity as a First Responder (less than $625 per course)
- 8-week courses, 8 different start dates each year, and no set login times (may exclude certain courses such as practicums, internships, or field experiences)