Study with the global leader in TESOL education. 

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One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

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

SIT has been a leader in the field of TESOL (also referred to as TEFL, TESL, ESL, or ELT) education for almost a half century. Employers look for teachers who have been trained at SIT. 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 in diverse roles within the field of TESOL. 
Join the SIT/World Learning global network.
Through SIT’s TESOL program, students deepen  and expand their teaching competence 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 and are leaders in the TESOL field 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.

Degree Sequence

On-Campus Coursework, Two Terms ( 7 months; 23-25 credits)

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

Teaching Internship, (2 months; 6 credits)

  • Two months teaching under supervision in the United States or abroad

Teaching Portfolio, (3 credits)

  • A portfolio of structured reflections on program competencies and how progress towards mastery of these competencies has been achieved. (A student may petition to substitute a thesis for a portfolio in special cases.)

With SIT’s experiential curriculum, you’ll learn how to put theory into practice. In addition to core courses, a broad range of elective choices let you focus on courses that will help you meet your career goals.

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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:
    • Adult Education
    • Sociolinguistics
    • Becoming a Teacher Educator
    • Way of Council
    • Independent Study
  • Supervised Teaching Internship (6 credits)
    Central to the program is the supervised teaching practicum, which takes place in January and February. Students complete a teaching internship in the United States or abroad to test the theories, tools, and perspectives acquired during the first term. During this time, a faculty supervisor will travel to the internship site to engage the intern one-on-one. This intensive period of mentorship is designed to support students in their professional development as teachers by offering reflective and interactive feedback. It is a meaningful, collaborative time to examine one’s work and to act purposefully to improve effectiveness as a teacher both independently and under the guidance of a faculty supervisor.
  • 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 two past portfolios here and here.
  • Review past theses here.

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 Graduate Institute 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 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 work with their advisor to choose electives that satisfy the requirements for completing both the MA in TESOL and the CONTACT Certificate. MA in TESOL students also need to attend the CONTACT overseas field workshop during the winter break before the start of their internship.

View the current academic calendar.

TESOL Internship
A cornerstone of our TESOL program is the internship. This allows you to apply learning from the classroom in a real-world setting while getting hands-on, professional experience.
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What really impressed me about my supervisor was the way she brought compassion to her work. She assured me that in her role as supervisor she was not here to judge me, but to serve my learning. I hadn't had an experience like that before. Every teaching evaluation I'd ever had was just that: an evaluation. … Through SIT’s style of education, I've found a new way to do things, and I am excited about the possibility of assisting and serving new teachers in the way that [my supervisor] served my learning.

Cooper Howland

SIT Graduate institute student on teaching internshipThe internship allows students to practice the skills, knowledge, and awareness acquired during the first-term coursework phase. An SIT faculty member spends a number of days with the student—wherever they are in the world—to observe their teaching. During this period, the student has the full attention and support of the supervisor who will work with them to enhance their teaching and advance their goals as a teacher. The onsite observation is intended to be an intensive, highly productive period of engagement and observation.

This personalized on-site mentorship is a core element of the MA TESOL program. 

Recent teaching internship sites have included:

United States

  • The Welcome Project (Somerville, Mass.)
  • Ascentria (West Springfield, Mass.)
  • Ascentria (Concord, N.H.
  • Worcester State University (Worcester, Mass.)
  • BEST Corp. Hospitality Training Center (Boston, Mass.)
  • ELS (New Haven, Conn.)


  • 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.

Alumni Careers

Students in this program go on to work in the field in a variety of areas including study abroad offices, NGOs, nonprofits, and government agencies. Find out some of the career paths that may be open to you.

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SIT has been a leader in the field of TESOL education for nearly a half century. The program prepares working professionals to be leaders in the field of TESOL in a variety of capacities. Employers look for teachers who have been trained at SIT. Graduates become part of a network of more than 3,000 alumni working throughout the world.

The list below provides examples of the diverse careers of some of our alumni.

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, Vermont, U.S.
  • 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. State Department and Georgetown University, Washington, DC, U.S.
  • Center for Intercultural Education and Development, U.S.
  • Regional English Language Officer (RELO) in Asia, U.S. State Department
  • ESL Instructor, Milwaukee Technical College, U.S.
  • ESOL Professor, Lone Star College-Kingwood, U.S.
  • ESL Instructor, University of Texas, Austin, U.S.
  • English Teacher, Universal American School, Kuwait
  • U.S. State Department English Language Officer, Russia
  • Language Training Specialist at Peace Corps

SIT’s faculty are practitioners in their fields. Our diverse, multicultural faculty have worked across the world as leaders, trainers, and developers in the business, nonprofit, education, and public sectors.

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Core Faculty

Steven Iams
Steven Iams

Assistant Professor
TESOL on campus
TESOL online with Vermont residencies


PhD candidate, Ohio State University
MA, SIT Graduate Institute
BA, University of Virginia

Steve is an assistant professor in the MA-TESOL program, where he teaches linguistics and curriculum design courses on campus and online. He chairs SIT’s Academic Affairs Committee and serves as faculty coordinator of the Sandanona Conference for Language Teaching and Learning. 

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Alex Silverman
Alex Silverman

Associate Professor and Chair
TESOL on campus
TESOL online with Vermont residencies


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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Elka Todeva
Elka Todeva

TESOL on campus
TESOL online with Vermont residencies


PhD, MA, University of Sofia, Bulgaria

Elka 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
TESOL on campus
TESOL online with Vermont residencies


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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Adjunct Faculty and Guests

Marti Anderson
Marti Anderson

Visiting Professor
TESOL on campus
TESOL online with Vermont residencies


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

Associate Professor Emerita
TESOL on campus
TESOL online with Vermont residencies


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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Ray Clark
Ray Clark

Emeritus Faculty
TESOL on campus
TESOL online with Vermont residencies


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
TESOL on campus


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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Elizabeth Tannenbaum
Elizabeth Tannenbaum

Adjunct Faculty
TESOL on campus
TESOL online with Vermont residencies


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

Elizabeth Tannenbaum has been a practitioner in the field of ESOL teaching and teacher training for the past 40 years. As an English language teacher, teacher trainer, and curriculum developer, working both internationally and domestically, Elizabeth’s work has focused on adult literacy, refugee resettlement, teaching practice for a variety of contexts, and curriculum development.

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Admissions Criteria

We strive to create a diverse and experienced student body to enhance the learning experience both inside and outside the classroom. To be considered for admission to this program, you must meet the following criteria:

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

  • U.S. bachelor's degree or equivalent
  • 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.


See a breakdown of the costs for this program.

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Direct Costs

Tuition and Fees

Year 1 Tuition: $33,850
Year 1 Fees: $1,980

Portfolio Term Tuition: $2,235

MA degree total tuition and fees (all terms combined): $38,065

Year 1 On-Campus Room and Board: $9,400 (Estimated off campus housing is $11,750)

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

Winter Internship: $1,000-$3,500

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

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.