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MA Ed Teaching English Learners vs. MA TESOL?

  • 1.  MA Ed Teaching English Learners vs. MA TESOL?

    Posted 11-04-2017 01:25
    Hi again guys-still looking into online MA options. If I want to teach in credit community college programs, or even in a college overseas, does an MA Ed TEL hold any weight, or should I absolutely go the MA TESOL route?

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    Andrea Sperling
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  • 2.  RE: MA Ed Teaching English Learners vs. MA TESOL?

    Posted 12-04-2017 11:32

    Hi, Andrea Sperling

    Most colleges and universities I know of-would require that you have at least a master's degree with [18-Hr] college credits in the focus area you want to teach, [i,e., English, TESOL, Social Sciences, Engineering, and so forth].  In my state, this is the current requirement at bare minimum-PhD is even better.  But community colleges-nationwide do not usually require a PhD degree in order to teach-at the junior level. 

    A PhD degree might be most helpful if you are seeking employment in the university level-for full-time teaching positions.  I can personally tell you that my college teachers in the community college-where I completed my Associate's Degree didn't have PhDs.  While this is true for a two-year degree completion program, some teachers in my bachelor's degree and master's had PhDs-and a handful of them had master's degrees.   

    Addendum:  You will want to be sure to sign-up for a teaching degree program with a teaching license option-if your goal is to teach in public school-when you are done.  This is a must have requirement-nationwide in public schools.  Avoid procrastination-we do age rather quickly!

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    MerriLee Leonard
    M.A.Ed.,TESL
    United States
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  • 3.  RE: MA Ed Teaching English Learners vs. MA TESOL?

    Posted 12-04-2017 11:44
    I'm finishing up an online master's program at Hamline University - an MA ESL.  Many students are already teaching but others are just starting their careers overseas, in community colleges, and in other adult education programs.  I've found the staff to be top-notch - some leaders in the field.  And, the tuition is reasonable at about $485 per credit.   I encourage you to check it out! www.hamline.edu/maesl

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    Ellen Clore-Patron
    VolunteerTeacher, REEP
    MA ESL Student, Hamline University

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  • 4.  RE: MA Ed Teaching English Learners vs. MA TESOL?

    Posted 12-04-2017 12:34
    Andrea:
    Most community colleges only require an MA to teach.  Many of them might not make a distinction between an MA Ed and an MA TESOL.  However, the focus of the two degrees is quite different from what I have seen.  The MA Ed will probably focus more on general education practice and theory with more of an "interest" area in TESOL.  For example, you might read a text written for general education purposes and then write lessons or do projects with an ESL focus.  The TESOL program should focus more directly on ESL language learners. Yes, you will get some theory but your materials should come from a growing bank of ESL specific literature and research.  Areas such as second language acquisition need to be part of the program as well, which may not be covered in an MA Ed.

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    Nancy McKay
    MA, TESOL and Bilingual Education
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  • 5.  RE: MA Ed Teaching English Learners vs. MA TESOL?

    Posted 12-04-2017 19:36
    Largely community colleges require you have a Master's in the area or 18 - 20 hours on the transcript, so it all depends on how the department and/or human resources for a particular college writes up the requirements. At our community college, both would be acceptable because we've written our requirements to say a Master's in TESOL or a related area with experience in TESOL at the post-secondary level. If the MA Ed TESOL consists of a large number of education classes, that may present issues at some colleges because they wouldn't consider them ESL/Applied Linguistics courses.

    However, be aware that a large number of teaching positions at the community college are part-time and it can be difficult to get a full-time teaching position. Because of that I know a number of teachers who have made the switch to k-12. In that case, an MA Ed ESL might make the transition easier. If you know the community college you'd like to teach at, I'd recommend you ask them directly.

    Terry Pruett-Said
    Macomb Community College
    Michigan

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    Theresa Pruett-Said
    Macomb Community College
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  • 6.  RE: MA Ed Teaching English Learners vs. MA TESOL?

    Posted 13-04-2017 11:28
    Thanks for the great feedback guys! Very helpful! 😊

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    Andrea Sperling
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  • 7.  RE: MA Ed Teaching English Learners vs. MA TESOL?

    Posted 13-04-2017 14:18

    Hi Theresa Pruett!

     

    "However, be aware that a large number of teaching positions at the community college are part-time and it can be difficult to get a full-time teaching position."   Theresa Pruett-Said, Macomb Community College. 

     

    I like reading entries from colleagues in this podium-especially when responses are most helpful to posted questions that are being asked-this is one of those questions.  Many entries are highly resourceful and favorable to our teaching profession-I particularly enjoy reading them. 

     

    The reason why much of the teaching positions in the community colleges are basically part-time or "adjunct" condition is due primarily to the number of students who would enroll in a class-per semester.  Say it another way, the demand to open a classroom would almost always solely be based on the students demand-may it be, [i,e., TESL; Biology; Engineering; Reading; Math, and so forth]. 

     

    Further, many students who are enrolled in a degree completion program, are required to follow-through a "program guide", which is comprised of "courses list" they must satisfy-in order to graduate.  These are the type of students in colleges and or universities who keep teachers in their full-time teaching position.  Whereas, in our field-Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, the teaching opportunity is often sparse and maybe even rare.  This is why I believe-the reason why we're seeing a large number of our colleagues have been deployed and are teaching overseas-as opposed to in the states. 

    I, too, had classmates in my master's program classes who were already in the classroom and many were teaching in the university level, but overseas-in the Southeast Asian region-while a handful of them were teaching in Europe. 


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    MerriLee Leonard
    M.A.Ed.,TESL
    United States
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  • 8.  RE: MA Ed Teaching English Learners vs. MA TESOL?

    Posted 13-04-2017 15:56
    The distinction between an MA-TESOL and an MAEd-TESOL (orMEd-TESOL) is mostly the source of the degree. Usually if your degree program is under the college of education you'll get an MAEd or an MEd (depending on whether you do research) with a specialization in TESOL while an MA-TESOL is probably a program within a linguistics or applied linguistics department (college of arts and sciences or humanities or whatever the university calls it). In my experience, they're generally not viewed differently in the job market but may be viewed differently if you wanted to get a doctorate (especially an MEd as that is typically considered a "terminal" degree).

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    Alyssa Wolfe
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