Learn How to Teach English Online with a TESOL Master’s Degree

by Ana Felce

Building a career helping English learners across the globe doesn’t have to involve packing any suitcases. Join others who are teaching English online and impacting the lives of countless people in remote locations.

With fast, reliable internet available in most places, increasingly students are completing graduate coursework on their computers. Thanks to today’s technology, those studying English as a second language and those training to teach these students can learn from nearly anywhere in the world.

To prepare future language teachers to be as effective as possible, the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) master’s programs (and associated certificate programs) offered at Azusa Pacific University provide significant flexibility, including the ability to study online in your own environment.

If you’re looking for a career where you can make a difference—either at home or abroad—consider how to develop your skills with a TESOL master’s degree from APU. Here are a few ways to get started.

Discover the Benefits of Online Programs

APU’s online program in TESOL has been offered for over a decade using an asynchronous remote learning approach that is well-suited to graduate students worldwide. During that time, the program hasn’t stopped growing and evolving to meet students’ needs, according to Tasha Bleistein, Ph.D., professor of TESOL. Bleistein currently directs APU’s online TESOL program and has been teaching since the first cohort of students.

In that time, Bleistein has discovered that her students thrive while learning in internet-based courses. In fact, she’s found that online students’ work typically demonstrates a thorough understanding of concepts and highly developed skills, evidence that distance is no barrier to learning.

“One of the benefits of studying in an online program is a deep understanding of what being a student online encompasses,” Bleistein noted. “The students are able to reflect on activities, resources, and interactions that were successful for them.” This way, they’re learning how to teach online with each class that they take, she explained.

Learn the Tools to Enhance Online Learning

Focusing on the ways technology and language education can join together ensures that online teaching works effectively—and has a far-reaching impact on students’ education. The course TESL 501: Language Teaching Through Technology illustrates that connection and explores the history, theory, challenges, and opportunities involved in remote teaching. Through these lessons, students develop the skills to be effective online teachers as they create their own websites, analyze and demonstrate different educational apps, and develop lessons that enhance learning with technology.

“Online students often reflect very deeply on content,” Bleistein said. “I believe this is because much of what might be a casual group conversation in a face-to-face class is written and graded in an online program. There is an accountability to comprehend and then move to analysis or creation of new ideas in an online class.”

Along with gaining technical skills, students are able to personalize their projects to match their interests and future goals. For example, individuals who are interested in teaching English online can develop lesson plans, courses, or programs geared toward online learners and build the skills needed to interact with remote learners.

Enjoy Flexibility in an Established TESOL Program

Whether you decide to teach English online in the U.S. or in another country, one of the unique features of APU’s TESOL program is the variety of format options available. Students can move between the three program modalities—on campus, online, and field-based—depending on what kind of educational experience best suits their situation.

With this added program flexibility, students can start their program online and then choose to join in-person or field-based classes when circumstances allow. This provides convenience and safety for those beginning the program amid the pandemic. For students who opt to study online, the degree program can be completed in one-and-a-half years.

“We have a number of students who start in one program and move to one of the other programs as their lives change,” explained Bleistein. “The flexibility offered helps to make it more possible for students to complete their degree, even when life takes an unexpected turn.”

Would you like more information about how the online TESOL master’s program will prepare you to teach English online? Take a few minutes to explore the M.A. in TESOL program and find out how it will help you reach your goals.