5 rue Conté, 75003 Paris - France - Tel. +33.1.42715780

Master of Arts in TESOL

Online in English

Accredited by ACCREDITAT

Overview - Year-by-Year Breakdown  Description of Courses - About the Program Director 

The Master of Arts degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA TESOL) is designed for those interested in teaching English as a foreign language to children and adults in a variety of educational settings. The MA TESOL program is a practitioner-oriented degree that combines a comprehensive coverage of theory and practice of foreign language learning and teaching. An interdisciplinary program, it aims to equip teachers of ESL/EFL with solid knowledge of second language acquisition theory, the structure of English, pragmatics, teaching methods and principles, as well as to provide practical training in curriculum development and design, assessment, educational research, and computer assisted language learning. This program also prepares students planning to pursue Ph.D. programs in TESOL.


Who the MA in TESOL is for:

  • Current teachers
  • People new to teaching
  • Linguistics enthusiasts

What you will be able to do with the MA in TESOL:

  • Teach English to learners of all ages, children and adults,  in various language programs and higher education institutions. (Please note that many secondary schools require additional certification.)
  • Coordinate English teaching programs
  • Apply for a Ph.D. in TESOL

Degree requirements

  • MA TESOL degree is intended to be completed in one year by a full-time student.
  • 90ECTS/36US credit hours of approved graduate work with a cumulative point average of 3.00.
  • Completion of all the courses with a grade of B or better is required.


€ 3790,00 yearly

  • Admission requirements (in addition to other Horizons University general requirements):
  • Applicants for whom English is not their native language and who have not been granted an undergraduate degree by an English-medium institution must submit a score from a comprehensive English as a foreign language test taken less than two years prior to the application. Horizons University MA in TESOL recognizes the following tests and scores:
  • TOEFL (iBt)—95, with a minimum of 25 on the writing section.
  • IELTS –6.5 overall OR 6.5 reading/writing and 6.0 speaking/listening.
  • PTE Academic—62 overall OR 62 reading/writing and 50 speaking/listening.
  • A 1000-word essay, stating an applicant’s goals and expectations from the MA in TESOL program.
  • A Bachelor degree or equivalent.
  • Experience in teaching not required, but recommended.

The structure of a typical course will require students to read materials supplied by the university, study related materials, and perform personal research on selected topics.  Confirmation of learning may be determined via papers, projects, quizzes or exams.

MA in TESL, TEFL or TESOL? What is the difference?

While these three degrees are very similar and prepare graduate students for teaching English in various educational settings, including universities, there is a slight difference in the intent of each degree.

Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) programs are designed for those who wish to teach English to the immigrants in an English-speaking country, such as the USA, Canada, Australia, Great Britain. It’s been a popular degree in the USA, and it usually encompasses linguistics and teaching courses, as well as cultural courses about the USA.

Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is a popular degree outside of the USA and is geared towards those who want to teach English in countries where English is not their primary language.

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), which is a relatively new degree in the field of applied linguistics, is becoming very popular among employers in the USA and abroad. It usually combines both TESL and TEFL and puts the speaker of other languages in the center of the teaching philosophy, thus determining the focus of the linguistics, methodology, and research courses offered by MA TESOL programs.


Click HERE to view the brochure!


Year-by-Year Breakdown

The courses identified as core must be taken. Core courses are 7.5 ECTS/3US (with the exception of ESL504, which is 10ECTS). Choose ESL510A or ESL510B (20ECTS each one) as your final course.

Course Number Course Name Core or Elective?
Year 1
ESL501 General Linguistics Core
ESL502 Second Language Acquisition Core
ESL503 Teaching English as a 2nd Foreign Langauge
ESL504 Pedagogical English Grammar Core
ESL505 Pedagogical English Phonology Core
ESL506 Vocabulary Teaching and Learning Core
ESL507 TESOL Assessment Core
ESL508 Curriculum Development and Course Design Core
ESL509 Research Methods in TESOL Core
ESL510A (Capstone Option 1) TESOL Portfolio Elective
ESL510B (Capstone Option 2) Thesis in TESOL/Applied Linguistics Elective


ESL501 General Linguistics (10 ECTS / 4US)
ESL501 introduces students to the basic principles of language study. The course will address such topics as the definition of language, psycholinguistics and neurolinguistic evidence for humans’ ability for language, findings in first and second language acquisition, history of English, language change, and language variation. However, the main focus of the course will be on the core linguistic areas: phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. The goal of the course is to familiarize students with fundamental insights and advances of linguistic science and to apply this knowledge when teaching and developing curriculum.
ESL502 Second Language Acquisition (10 ECTS / 4 US)
ESL502 surveys the main currents in contemporary second language acquisition research, seeking answers to three general questions:
·      How humans learn a second language after they have learned their first?
·      What factors influence the various outcomes of second language learning?
·      What factors contribute to advanced/near-native second language competencies? 
Throughout the course, students will explore three groups of theoretical topics in the field:  universal influences (age, mother tongue, environment, and cognition), individual differences (language aptitude, motivation), and social dimensions (social identity, power asymmetries, class and gender, socio-political and socio-cultural context). The emphasis will be made on the universal in the L2 acquisition.
While much of the course material reviews some of the scholarly literature, time will be dedicated to discussing the implications of the theories for instructional strategies in the foreign language classroom. The goal of this course is to help students develop BOTH a strong theoretical foundation with regard to language acquisition AND the acute analytical skills required to consider such theory critically, both on which to base future decisions in their classrooms.
ESL503 TESOL Methods and Principles (7.5 ECTS / 3 US)

ESL503 presents an introduction to and a critique of current and traditional methodologies of teaching English to speakers of other languages. Participants will study the rationale behind each method in terms of language learning and classroom application.

ESL504 Pedagogical English Grammar (7,5 ECTS / 3 US)
ESL504 addresses in depth the teaching of the language backbone–grammar. Embracing linguistic, teaching, and learner grammar, ESL504 will provide students with the necessary skills to explain grammatical phenomena to ESL learners from the point of view of meaning and use in communication, to prepare and evaluate materials and activities for teaching grammar, and to understand and analyze developmental and cross-linguistic learner errors.  


ESL505 Pedagogical English Phonology (7.5 ECTS / 3 US)

Participants will study the sound system of the English language with a focus on practical application in teaching pronunciation. The topics include articulation of segmental phonemes, syllabic structure, word accent and prosodic features, such as stress, rhythm and intonation, variations at the word and utterance levels, problems of 15 language groups, and techniques and strategies in pronunciation class.

ESL506 Vocabulary Teaching and Learning (7.5 ECTS / 3 US)
ESL506 introduces graduate students to the key concepts of lexicology, such as the notion of the word, meaning, semantic relationships, lexical classes, and lexical variation. It familiarizes students with the vocabulary teaching pedagogy based on the current discoveries of the second language acquisition theory. The course provides future EFL teachers with vocabulary learner strategies and vocabulary teaching techniques. 
ESL507 TESOL Assessment (10 ECTS / 4 US)
TESOL Assessment course critically reviews research in the areas of testing linguistically diverse students and the sociocultural dimensions of standardized testing, academic achievement, and accountability. Students are introduced to the process of assessing language proficiency and content-area knowledge in EFL programs. Participants will learn to evaluate language proficiency and literacy of EFL learners and develop assessment techniques.
ESL508 Curriculum Development and Course Design (10 ECTS / 4 US)
 ESL508 will familiarize students with theoretical and practical issues related to the selection of content and the development of corresponding instructional materials for EFL courses. 
            Students will engage in a practical project, in which they outline a complete curriculum that meets specific objectives,  design courses, and choose and/or develop teaching materials that reflect the goals defined in the curriculum outline. 
ESL509 Research Methods in TESOL (10 ECTS / 4 US)
 The purpose of this course is to introduce graduate students to the process and methods of educational research. Students will learn to analyze and critique qualitative and quantitative research literature as well as to apply research principles to develop an introduction to and to design a study for the research problem related to a chosen area in TESOL.
ESL510A TESOL Portfolio (10 ECTS / 4 US)
Research and preparation for one of the two choices for the Capstone project. TESOL Portfolio requires students to submit an extensive curriculum/materials design,  assessment, and reflection project that demonstrates knowledge and skills developed in the TESOL courses during their program of study.  

Contents of the TESOL portfolio:

1. A statement of teaching philosophy. This should include reference to theory, practice and plans for future professional development (no more than 1,000 words).

2. Two out of the following three options:
(a) A review of  a TESOL teaching/learning materials (for example, book, video-tape, software, web-based materials, etc.). This should include a brief outline of the materials and an evaluative component, which refers to both theory and practice (no more than 1,250 words). Each evaluation should include the following:
·      the full bibliographical reference (in APA),
·      a description of the target audience,
·      structure of the material,
·      an evaluation of the material’s strengths and weaknesses, including suggestions for supplementary materials that would address its weak points

 (b) An assessment rubric or specifications for an assessment rubric developed for a specific EFL learner population. This could take the form of a test or detailed guidelines for evaluating a written task. If you choose to develop a test, an evaluation component for the test should be included;
(c) A short practically oriented paper on a topic covered by an elective class. The focus should be on developing something useful for the job-search process. For example, a proposal for criteria for an EFL program evaluation.

3. A series of lesson plans for (at least) 450 minutes of instruction. The population for whom the plan is intended should be described and all materials should be attached. (The population description and the plan should not exceed 2,500 words.)

4. A reflective statement about the lesson plans, explaining design choices and, if possible, evaluation of the plans’ implementation and any proposed modification to the plans.

ESL510B Thesis in TESOL/Applied Linguistics (10 ECTS / 4 US)
Thesis research and preparation. The Thesis option is recommended for those who plan to continue their studies in a Ph.D. program. The Thesis option requires a Prospectus Meeting with the Thesis Committee and an Oral Defense. The Prospectus Meeting and Defense will be conducted via Skype.

The MA TESOL Program Director’s Bio

Olena Crawford holds a Master of Arts Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv, Ukraine (graduated with honors in 1992). She has extensive experience in EFL teaching to school-age children as well as adult learners in various international educational settings.  Having lived in South Africa, Singapore, and the USA, Ms. Crawford studied variations of world Englishes, giving her an extra edge in her TESOL pedagogy. Her multilingual background as a native speaker of Ukrainian and Russian, nearly native English speaker, and a learner of Belorussian and Spanish helps her deeply analyze foreign language acquisition process and apply her personal foreign language learning experience in her teaching.   After graduating from the university and teaching for 4 years in several language schools to Ukrainian and Russian speakers in Kyiv, Ukraine, she took a creative break from teaching and engaged in the profession of filmmaking. From 1995 till 2003, she lived in South Africa where she worked as a producer, film editor and writer on several wildlife television series and feature productions in Sub-Saharan Africa. While working in the film industry, she got passionate about technology and web design. When she returned to teaching English college courses and ESL after settling in the USA, Ms. Crawford embraced online teaching and has created and delivered several online and hybrid courses (including Writing and Inquiry, Technical Writing, Argument Based Research, Early British Literature courses for the Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Technical Tutorial courses for the Horizons University in Paris, France). She’s been a passionate education professional that always tries to stay on top of the current research in the areas of applied linguistics, second language acquisition, and teaching methodologies. She is a member of International Association of TESOL, Carolina TESOL and AAAL. As an MA TESOL program director for Horizons University, Ms. Crawford is looking forward to sharing her passion for EFL teaching with her students.

Subscribe weekly newsletter