Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (On Campus)

Format: On Campus (Brattleboro, VT)

Program Start: September

Duration: One year, plus teaching portfolio

Credits: 33

Application Deadline: February 24, 2016

Common Career Areas:

Government, Nonprofits and NGOs, Private High Schools, Universities

Degree Sequence:

On-campus coursework
(3 months)
Teaching Internship
(2 months)
On-campus coursework
(3 months)
Teaching Portfolio
One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Melody Noll, SIT Alumna, Consultant and Teacher Trainer, Ameritalk

Study with the global leader in TESOL education. 

SIT has been a leader in the field of TESOL (also referred to as TEFL, TESL, ESL, or ELT) education for more than 40 years. Employers look for teachers who have been trained at SIT.SIT Graduate Institute students
SIT’s Master of Arts in TESOL program stresses the practical applications of learning and effective teaching. Learning is balanced in the domains of knowledge, skills, attitude, and awareness in the context of language.
As a student in the program, you can expect to:

  • Acquire the theoretical knowledge and professional competencies essential for effective language teaching
  • Gain practical tools through a meaningful, supervised teaching experience
  • Develop a disciplined reflective practice
  • Benefit from the experiences, perspectives, and feedback of faculty and fellow students
  • Situate your work in a global context

Teach with a purpose. SIT students learn to teach language for communication, self-expression, social change, advocacy, employment, education, and empowerment. SIT graduates are working around the world for increased peace and social justice through their language teaching.
Join the SIT/World Learning global network. Through SIT’s TESOL program, students deepen their experience and build their résumés with internship placements in diverse communities. Graduates advance their careers by building connections worldwide through the SIT/World Learning network.

The SIT TESOL network serves as an effective and dynamic professional tool with global reach. SIT TESOL graduates are teaching English abroad around the world in universities, language institutes, nonprofits, government agencies, and the private sector. More than 3,000 alumni have created a reputation you can count on.

Students describe their experiences in the MA in TESOL program.

Degree Sequence

On-Campus Coursework, Two Terms (6 months), (23-25 credits)

  • Fall Term: September–December
  • Spring Term: March–May

Teaching Internship, (2 months), (6 credits)

  • Two months teaching under supervision in either the US or abroad

Teaching Portfolio, (3 credits)

  • Final paper and presentation on campus
  • Core Coursework (23 credits)
    From September to December, students take a set of core courses on the SIT campus to gain theoretical knowledge and practical tools while preparing for their teaching internship.

    Students return to campus from March until May to delve more deeply into new material in applied linguistics, methodology, and curriculum design, drawing upon their experiences and insights from the field. Students benefit from the teaching experiences and perspectives of their peers.

    Required coursework:
    • Approaches to Teaching Second Languages – 3 credits
    • Language Analysis for Lesson Planning – 3 credits
    • Second-Language Acquisition – 3 credits
    • Teaching the Four Skills – 3 credits
    • Group Dynamics – 1 credit
    • English Applied Linguistics – 3 credits
    • Curriculum Design and Assessment – 3 credits
    • Intercultural Communication for Language Teachers – 3 credits
    • Sandanona Conference Presentation – 1 credit
  • Electives (2 credits maximum)
    Sample electives from recent years:
    • Computer-Assisted Language Learning
    • Sociolinguistics
    • Becoming a Teacher Educator
    • Teaching Young Learners
    • Independent Study
  • Supervised Teaching Internship (6 credits)
    During the months of January and February, students complete a teaching internship in either the US or abroad. Students test out the theories, tools, and perspectives acquired during the first term while receiving critical feedback necessary for continued professional development from faculty supervisors.
  • Teaching Portfolio (3 credits)
    At the end of the program, each student compiles a professional portfolio that consists of a collection of documents and written reflections. The portfolio will demonstrate that the student has achieved professional competencies as set forth by the MA in TESOL program. Students may petition to complete an individual thesis project in lieu of the teaching portfolio if their job or career context requires this. Review past Independent Professional Projects.

Degree Requirements
Students have five years from the time they enter the program to complete all degree requirements. (For any student who, because of special circum­stances, studies part-time during two consecutive on-campus academic years, the program entry date is calculated from the beginning of their second on-campus year.) A student who does not complete all degree requirements within five years of the entry date will be withdrawn from the program. A student with extenuating circumstances must apply to the dean of the program for an extension.

Joint MA in TESOL and CONTACT Peacebuilding Certificate Program

The MA in TESOL can be combined with the CONTACT (Conflict Transformation Across Cultures) Certificate program. Students would complete the CONTACT Summer Peacebuilding Program at SIT’s Vermont campus in June before the start of their master’s degree program in the fall and would work with their advisor to choose electives that would satisfy the requirements for completing both the MA in TESOL and the CONTACT Certificate. MA in TESOL students would also need to attend the CONTACT workshop in Rwanda during the winter break before the start of a Rwanda-based internship.

View the current academic calendar.

Apply the knowledge and skills you acquire in the classroom while engaged in a supervised teaching internship.

SIT Graduate institute student on teaching internshipFollowing the first-term coursework phase, students complete a six- to eight-week supervised teaching internship. Students apply to their top-choice internship sites from a range of diverse settings in the US and abroad. Options typically include working with refugees; immigrants; elementary, high school, or college students; or teaching other teachers.
The internship allows students to practice the skills, knowledge, and awareness acquired during the first-term coursework phase. Students remain engaged with faculty and other students and receive course credit for documenting the integration of their knowledge and skills teaching in a professional context.

Recent teaching internship sites have included:

United States
  • The Welcome Project (Somerville, Massachusetts)
  • Ascentria (West Springfield, Massachusetts)
  • Ascentria (Concord, New Hampshire)
  • University of Connecticut American English Language Institute (UCAELI) (Storrs, Connecticut)
  • BEST Corp. Hospitality Training Center (Boston, Massachusetts)
  • Wakefield Library Adult Learning Center (Bronx, New York)
  • American Language Center (Rabat, Morocco)
  • World Education (Mae Sot, Thailand)
  • Centro Espiral Mana (Costa Rica)
  • Roosevelt Institute (Nicaragua)
  • EMBI (Poland)

Expenses associated with the internships (transportation to and from internship site, room and board) are not included in the cost of the tuition.

SIT Graduate Institute alumnaeThe program prepares professionals to:

  • Design courses and training modules
  • Develop curriculum to meet their students’ learning needs
  • Engage with students and colleagues in intercultural settings

Graduates are prepared to work with children and adults in universities, private high schools, nonprofits and NGOs, government agencies, and the private sector, in the US or internationally.

SIT has been a leader in the field of TESOL education for more than 40 years. Employers look for teachers who have been trained at SIT. Graduates have access to World Learning’s international network of educators.

TESOL alumni positions include:

  • Visiting Professor, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea
  • ESOL Professor, Dulwich College, Suzhou, China
  • Professor of Intensive English, Kansai Gaidai University, Japan
  • President of IATEFL
  • President of TESOL
  • Director of English Language Studies, New School
  • Chief of Staff and Chief Learning Officer, Marlboro College
  • Director, American English Language Center, Morocco
  • Head of Language Acquisition and Project Based Learning, MiSK International School, Riyadh
  • Acting Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education
  • U.S. State Department English Language Specialist                    
  • TESOL Training Manager, World Learning, Washington DC
  • Founder, Centro Espiral Mana, Teacher Training and  Education Center,  Costa Rica
  • Director of International Programs at WIDA
  • English Language Fellow, Argentina
  • English Language Fellow, U.S. Department of State and Georgetown University Center for Intercultural Education and Development, USA
  • English Teacher, Universal American School, Kuwait
  • U.S. Department of State English Language Officer, Russia
Marti Anderson
Marti Anderson

Associate Professor
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (On Campus)
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Low Residency)

PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies
MAT, School for International Training
BA, University of Minnesota
AA, University of Hawaii

Marti Anderson has taught, trained, and supported teachers in both formal and nonformal contexts for 25 years.  She has worked with teachers of English and French as well as those who teach non-language subjects and trainers who work in the trades and other technical environments.

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Susan Barduhn
Susan Barduhn

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (On Campus)
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Low Residency)

PhD, Thames Valley University, UK
MAT, School for International Training
BA, University of Washington

Susan Barduhn holds a doctorate in English language teaching. In 2003, she joined SIT Graduate Institute, where she has directed the summer MA in TESOL program and now directs the low-residency MA in TESOL program, teaches in the MA in TESOL program, and supervises student teachers all over the world. 

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Steven Iams
Steven Iams

Assistant Professor
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (On Campus)
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Low Residency)

MA, SIT Graduate Institute
BA, University of Virginia

Steve Iams is originally from Columbus, Ohio, and has spent the past several years at Ohio State University as a PhD student in foreign, second, and multi­lingual language education. 

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Alex Silverman
Alex Silverman

Associate Professor and Chair
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (On Campus)
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Low Residency)

MA, Indiana University
BA, Antioch College

Alex Silverman holds master’s degrees in Slavic and French linguistics. A faculty member of SIT Graduate Institute since 1974, he serves as a supervisor and teaches in the areas of general linguistics, methodology, culture, sociolinguistics, and English language and linguistics. 

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Elizabeth Tannenbaum
Elizabeth Tannenbaum

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (On Campus)
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Low Residency)

MAT, School for International Training
BA, Mount Holyoke College
Certificate in Nonformal Education, University of the South Pacific
Certificate in Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT), SIT Graduate Institute

A member of SIT Graduate Institute's faculty since 1987, Elizabeth Tannenbaum teaches courses in methodology and applied linguistics, with a special interest in teaching large classes with limited resources, self-directed language learning, and adult literacy.

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Elka Todeva
Elka Todeva

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (On Campus)
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Low Residency)

PhD, MA, University of Sofia, Bulgaria

Elka Todeva holds a doctorate in English applied linguistics and a master’s degree in British and American literature, English linguistics, and simultaneous interpretation. At SIT Graduate Institute since 1993, she teaches and does research in the areas of second language acquisition, English applied linguistics, critical pedagogy, language analysis, multilingualism, teacher cognition, and ecological approaches to teaching.

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Leslie Turpin
Leslie Turpin

Associate Professor and Co-Chair
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (On Campus)
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Low Residency)

PhD, California Institute for Integral Studies
MAT, School for International Training

After teacher-training in refugee camps in Thailand, Leslie began teaching in SIT’s MA in teaching programs in 1989. Her interests include refugee adjustment, cultural identity and memory, cultural and linguistic revitalization, reflective practice, classroom inquiry, teaching practice, literacy non-formal education, and teaching supervision.

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Ray Clark
Ray Clark

Adjunct Faculty
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (On Campus)
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Low Residency)

MA, Brown University 
BA, University of New Hampshire

Ray Clark has been involved in the world of language teaching and learning since 1963 when he was immersed in TEFL training at the University of California, Los Angeles as a Peace Corps Volunteer for Nigeria. 

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Paul LeVasseur
Paul LeVasseur

Adjunct Professor
Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

MAT, School for International Training
BA, St. Michael’s College

Paul LeVasseur has been a member of SIT Graduate Institute faculty since 1990. He teaches Intercultural Communication, Social Change, Organizational Behavior, Literacy in the ESL Classroom, Teaching the Four Skills, Curriculum Design and Assessment, Way of Council, and Leadership, Community, and Coalition Building.

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Beth Neher
Beth Neher

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (On Campus)
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Low Residency)

MSC, University of Edinburgh

Beth Neher has been an educator for over 35 years, working with graduate, undergraduate, and EFL/ESL students aged 16+. Her teaching has involved both direct classroom delivery and blended and fully online courses in private language schools and universities in the US and abroad.

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To be considered for admission to the MA in TESOL program, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

SIT Graduate Institute campus

  • US bachelor's degree or an equivalent that demonstrates academic ability
  • Demonstrated English language ability (see details below)
  • Intercultural and professional experience
  • Demonstrated ability to use experience as a source of learning

English Language Ability

Applicants whose first language is not English and who did not graduate from an English-speaking institution in a country whose official language is English submit test scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or the PTE (Pearson Test of English). (Applicants can access free TOEFL and IELTS  practice tests online.)

  • Applicants taking the TOEFL must receive a minimum score of
    • 600 on the paper-based test (PBT)
    • 250 on the computer-based test (CBT), or
    • 100 on the internet-based iBT.
  • Applicants taking the IELTS must receive a score of Band 7.0 or higher.
  • Applicants taking the PTE must receive a minimum score of 68.

These scores are considered the minimum proficiency needed to undertake graduate-level work. Scores must be dated within two years of the start date of your academic program at SIT.

SIT Graduate Institute’s Selection Process

Our admissions staff work one-on-one with every applicant to facilitate a highly informed and multidimensional admissions experience: applicants are encouraged to attend an open house, talk with SIT faculty and staff, and hear from current students and alumni. As applicants become familiar with the attributes of an SIT education — grounded in the experiential learning model and focused on social justice and leadership skills in intercultural environments — they determine for themselves in what ways SIT can help them meet their educational and career objectives.

Direct Costs

Tuition and Fees

Year 1 Tuition: $31,260
Year 1 Fees: $1,800

Portfolio Term Tuition: $2,050

MA degree total tuition and fees (all terms combined): $35,110

Year 1 On-Campus Room and Board: $8,170 (Estimated off campus housing is $9,750)

Indirect Costs

SIT estimates the costs to students for books, personal expenses, transportation, and off-campus housing/food. Individual expenses may vary. Off-campus living expenses and transportation costs are based on student survey data; individual costs vary depending on a variety of factors such as the type of housing and location of internship.

Year 1 Books: $800
Year 1 Personal Expenses: $2,700
Year 1 Transportation Costs: $1,200-$2,250

Additional Costs

Spring Internship: $600-$3,500

Students have multiple options for their spring internship placement, with varying costs.

Estimated Health Insurance: $3,000 (per year)

Health insurance is required for all students, and may be waived if a student can document health insurance coverage.

Estimated Student Loan Fees:

Year 1: $800

Estimated fees are based on the average amount borrowed by SIT Graduate Institute students. See details on student loan options.

MA in TESOL with CONTACT Certificate:

Students pursuing the MA in TESOL together with the CONTACT Certificate will need to pay an additional program fee for the CONTACT Summer Peacebuilding Program. Please contact Admissions for details.


Direct costs and on-campus room and board are billed by SIT Graduate Institute. Indirect, off-campus housing costs, transportation expenses, and additional costs are not billed by SIT, but represent educational expenses associated with being an enrolled student.