Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

M.A. TESOL - What is it?

Fall 2019 Admissions Open

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English Department Conference - Spring 2019

Friday, May 10th,  9:30-5:00pm Hum 587

See conference website for more information

If you would like to volunteer for the conf, please sign up here


Learn more - Open House Events - coming soon!



Abeywickrama, PriyanvadaPriyanvada Abeywickrama
Email: abeywick@sfsu.edu
Phone: (415) 338-3095
Building: HUM 269 








The program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, founded in 1964, is one of the oldest and largest of its kind. The concentration in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program has a double emphasis:

  1. Theoretical foundations and contemporary research in linguistics, sociolinguistics, second-language acquisition and related fields.
  2. Classroom teaching methodology suitable for adult second-language learners.

Because our alumni go into so many teaching situations, the M.A. TESOL program does not attempt to train for one specific type of locale; instead, we provide general preparation for the teaching of adult learners in a variety of pedagogical settings.

conference students

Degree Requirements (30 units)

Core Curriculum

  • ENG 702: Introduction to Graduate Study of Composition, Linguistics, and TESOL
  • ENG 707: Topics in Language Analysis (Variable Topics)
  • ENG 728: Topics in Sociolinguistics (Variable Topics)
  • ENG 733: Student Teaching Seminar


Concentration Curriculum

  • ENG 731: Seminar: TESOL Listening and Speaking Skills
  • ENG 732 Seminar: TESOL Reading and Writing Skills
  • ENG 734 TESOL Curriculum and Assessment
  • ENG 826 Second Language Acquisition


Electives (ONE minimum)

  • ENG 724: Special Topics in TESOL (e.g. Tech, Teach Abroad, Research)
  • ENG 726: Practicum (if less than 2 yrs teaching experience)
  • ENG 736: Seminar: Teaching ESL in the Community
  • ENG 738: Pragmatics and Oral Skills
  • ENG 832: Seminar in Immigrant Literacies and Community-Based Projects


Culminating Experience:

  • ENG 895 Field Study or Applied Research Project


  • ENG 898 Master's Thesis (with consent of advisor)



  • Information coming soon

Admissions & Prospective Students



Certificate in Immigrant Literacies


Maricel Santos
Email: mgsantos@sfsu.edu
Phone: 415-338-7445
Building: HUM 465


The certificate program is designed to provide academic training in the study of language, literacies and the immigrant experience. The program integrates community service learning to enable certificate students to integrate their professional expertise and cross-disciplinary thinking with meaningful civic action.


Admission to the Program

Required application materials for all applicants:

  1. a short personal statement which outlines your interests in immigrant language and literacy issues
  2. transcripts
  3. current vita or resume
  4. names and contact information of TWO references (provide name, job title or relationship, address, phone number)
  5. evidence of completion of the university’s Level I written English proficiency requirements*
  6. For non-matriculated students only: documentation of a passing score on the Analytical Writing section of the GRE or GMAT; or a 3-4 page academic writing sample (e.g. research paper, grant proposal, publication)

Please note: If you are currently a matriculated graduate student, you DO NOT need to apply to the university; submit the department application (pdf) along with items 1-5 listed above to the English Department.

If you are a prospective, non-matriculated student, you need to apply to the university through Cal State Apply, and submit the department application (pdf) along with items 1-6 listed above to Cal State Apply's "Program Materials" section. Unofficial transcripts should be uploaded to the Cal State Apply's "Program Materials" section and then official transcripts should be mailed to Graduate Studies.

Please note: if you previously attended SF State, you do not need to submit a SFSU transcript.

Mail official transcripts to:

Graduate Admissions Office, ADM 250
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Ave
San Francisco, CA 94132

The deadline to apply for Fall semester is May 1; the deadline to apply for Spring semester is November 1. 

*For matriculated graduate students in TESOL: Evidence of completion of the written English proficiency requirement is determined based on a satisfactory evaluation of the student’s Statement of Purpose, submitted to the department as part of the application.

Please note that you cannot take more than one course for the certificate program through College of Extended Learning. Also, certificate students who are not enrolled in a master’s program are not eligible for financial aid.

Program Units
ENG 832 - Seminar on Immigrant Literacites & Community-based Project 3
Select on of the Following:  
ENG 735 - Community-based Curriculum Development 3
ENG 736 - Teaching ESOL in the Community 3
Select one of the following (see note below):  
HED 810 - Public Health and Community Organizing 3
HED 835 - Health Policy 3
HED 845 - Training and Educational Process 3
AAS 833 - Seminar: Asian American Family & Identity 3
AAS 875 - Asian American Community in Ethnic Studies 3
ETHS 710 - Theories and Concepts in Ethnic Studies 3
XXX 899 - Special Study, e.g., ENG 899 for MA TESOL students, HED 899 for MPH students, ETHS 750 - Ethnic Community Practicum for ETHS students, or equivalent graduate-level community service-learning course (with approval of advisor) 3
Total for Certifcate 12

Requirement Upon Completion

For the final award of the degree, students must fill out a CAP form (Certificate Approved Program) (pdf), pay the $7 application fee at the Cashier’s Office, and submit the form to the English Department in HUM 484. Please contact the English Department at (415) 338-2660 if you have any questions.

No course applied to the Certificate may be taken CR/NC, and a grade of A or B must be earned in each course. Students may enroll in any of the courses listed above even if they do not wish to complete the certificate. Students wishing to earn the Certificate must follow all University requirements and procedures for graduate certificate programs as outlined in the San Francisco State University Bulletin. For further information, contact the English Department, HUM 484, (415) 338-2660 or 338-2264.