Earn a master’s degree without leaving your job.

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Advance your teaching career with an online master’s degree from the global leader in TESOL. Our low-residency Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is designed to meet the career goals of current teachers seeking a master’s degree in teaching, EFL, ESL, ELT, TESL, or TESOL.

In this program, you’ll get SIT’s highly regarded TESOL graduate education — grounded in collaborative, cohort-based experiential learning, and reflective practice — through a blended format. You’ll come to the Vermont campus for three weeks each summer for intensive face-to-face sessions and complete the majority of your coursework online while staying in your current job and community. 

Merging theory, reflection, and practice

You’ll delve deeply into the theoretical knowledge and professional competencies that are essential for effective language teaching. The curriculum includes critical topics such as intercultural communication, practical teaching methodology, applied linguistics, curriculum design and assessment, and second language acquisition.

Learn to teach for social change

Build bridges between cultures and help your students forge their way with the tools you’ll gain in this program.

Supervised observation in your classroom

Central to the program is the interim-year teaching practicum, during which time an SIT faculty member will travel to your classroom to engage with you one on one. This intensive period of mentorship is designed to support your professional development as a teacher by offering you reflective and interactive feedback. It is a meaningful, collaborative time to examine your work and to act purposefully to improve your effectiveness as a teacher on your own and under the guidance of a faculty supervisor.

A professional network to advance your career

The SIT TESOL network is an effective and dynamic professional tool with global reach. SIT TESOL graduates are working 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

Online and On-Campus Coursework, Two Summer Sessions, (3 weeks on campus each session)

  • Year I and II: Seven weeks online, then three weeks in Vermont from late July to mid-August

Online Coursework and Interim-Year Teaching Practicum, (9 months)

  • Year I (September–May): 10 to 15 hours of online coursework per week, plus supervised interim-year teaching practicum conducted in your current job
  • Year II (September–December): 10 to 15 hours of online coursework per week

Independent Professional Project (Thesis)

  • Year II: January–May

SIT Graduate Institute classroomWith 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.

Program revisions occur periodically as part of the ongoing planning process. This website is updated as program revisions are approved

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This program comprises online coursework, two three-week summer sessions on SIT’s campus in Vermont, an Interim-Year Teaching Practicum, and an Independent Professional Project (thesis), for a total of 34 credits.

Core Coursework (22 credits)

    • Approaches to Teaching Second Languages – 3 credits
    • Language Analysis for Lesson Planning – 3 credits
    • Intercultural Communication for Language Teachers – 3 credits
    • Teaching the Four Skills – 3 credits
    • Second-Language Acquisition – 3 credits
    • Curriculum Design and Assessment – 3 credits
    • Sandanona Conference Presentation – 1 credit
    • English Applied Linguistics – 3 credits
  • Interim-Year Teaching Practicum (6 credits)
    The Interim-Year Teaching Practicum takes place in your classroom in the academic year following the initial summer session. An integral part of the program, the practicum is best described as an eight-month seminar through which you develop a reflective practice where you are teaching. An SIT faculty member will travel to your classroom to engage with you in a one-on-one format. This intensive period of mentorship is designed to support you in your professional development as a teacher by offering you reflective and interactive feedback. It is a meaningful, collaborative time to examine your work and to act purposefully to improve your effectiveness as a teacher. You are encouraged to build the skills and awareness for describing what happens in your classroom, separating observation from judgment, finding valid explanations for what happens, and devising informed and workable solutions to enhance your learning and improve your teaching. You will continue with your coursework online throughout the practicum period.
  • Independent Professional Project (6 credits)
    The Independent Professional Project, or thesis, is the final component of this program. In addition to being a significant personal achievement, the project should be of interest and value to others in the profession and of publishable quality.

Projects may take a variety of formats, allowing you to focus on a topic that will benefit you in your development as a second-language teacher:

  • An academic research paper
  • A classroom-based action research project
  • A materials development project

Review past Independent Professional Projects completed by students in our MA in TESOL programs.

2018 Residency
The 2018 program begins on June 1, 2018, with online coursework. The on-campus session will be held on our Vermont campus from July 23 to August 10, 2018 for new students (returning students should arrive on July 22).

Degree Requirements
This is a two-year program. You must complete the program, including the Independent Professional Project (thesis), within the two-year timeframe. If this deadline is missed you may petition for an extension.

View the current academic calendar.

Teaching Practicum

A cornerstone of this program is the teaching practicum. This allows you to apply learning from your SIT courses in the real-world setting of your classroom, enriching your learning experience.

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Apply the skills and reflect on the knowledge you acquire through the program’s coursework in your own classroom under the guidance of a TESOL expert.

After the initial summer session, you will meet with your supervisor to develop a plan for the practicum period based on your goals for the interim year.

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 practicumThe practicum site is your place (or places) of employment following the first summer session. Your teaching load must consist of at least five hours a week of classroom English language teaching, for a minimum of eight months. You must be the primary teacher, and the minimum class size is five students.*

The practicum is intended to be a time of significant professional growth and reflection and a time for you to experiment with new skills, attitudes, knowledge, and awareness in your own classroom with mentorship from your SIT supervisor.

The practicum provides a way for you to evaluate your teaching competencies, for your practicum supervisor to assess strengths and weaknesses, and for you and your supervisor to determine areas for improvement and growth. You will communicate regularly throughout the year with your supervisor in a variety of ways: telephone calls, emails, and reports.

Onsite Mentorship

At a predetermined time during the year, an SIT faculty member will spend a number of days with you — wherever you are in the world — to observe your teaching. During this period, you will have the full attention and support of your supervisor, who will work with you to enhance your teaching and advance your goals as a teacher. The onsite observation is intended to be an intensive, highly productive period of engagement and observation.

This personalized onsite mentorship is a core element of the program.

*Other arrangements must be approved in advance by the MA in TESOL program academic chair.

Alumni Careers

SIT Graduate Institute

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 50 years. Employers look for teachers who have been trained at SIT. Graduates have access to World Learning’s international network of educators. The program prepares working professionals to be leaders in the field of TESOL in a variety of capacities.

As a graduate, you will 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:

  • Regional English Language Officer (RELO) in Asia, U.S. State Department
  • ESL Instructor, Milwaukee Technical College, US
  • ESOL Professor, Lone Star College-Kingwood, US
  • 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
  • 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
  • ESL Instructor, University of Texas Austin, US
  • English Language Fellow, U.S. State Department and Georgetown University Center for Intercultural Education and Development, Washington, DC, US
  • English Teacher, Universal American School, Kuwait
  • MA TESOL Program Chair, Marlboro College Graduate & Professional Studies, Brattleboro, VT, US
  • 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

Elka Todeva
Elka Todeva

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 Chair
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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Affiliated Faculty

Marti Anderson
Marti Anderson

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

Professor Emerita
TESOL online with Vermont residencies


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

Professor Emerita Susan Barduhn joined the faculty at SIT in 2003. She directed the summer MA in TESOL program for 12 years and helped design and launch the low-residency MA in TESOL program. She was also director of SIT’s Professional Development and Teacher Training Institute.

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Ray Clark
Ray Clark

Professor Emeritus
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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Steven Iams
Steven Iams

Assistant Professor
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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Diane Larsen-Freeman
Diane Larsen-Freeman

Professor Emerita
TESOL online with Vermont residencies


PhD, MA, University of Michigan
BA, State University of New York, Oswego

Diane Larsen-Freeman holds a PhD in linguistics from the University of Michigan, where she is professor emerita, having served on faculty from 2002–2012. She is also professor emerita at SIT Graduate Institute, where she was on faculty from 1978–2002. Currently, she is a visiting senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.

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William Linn
William Linn

William has been an ESOL teacher for 10 years, primarily at community organizations in New York City. He earned his MA in TESOL from SIT Graduate Institute in 2011 and has worked as a teacher educator since 2015.

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Bonnie Mennell
Bonnie Mennell

TESOL online with Vermont residencies

MAT, School for International Training
BA, Pennsylvania State University

Bonnie Mennell’s work as an educator for the last 39 years has centered on creating inviting, vital, collaborative “containers” for self-directed experiential learning in community—whether that community is a language classroom, a department meeting, a language teacher training session, or a weekend training in The Way of Council.

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Patrick Moran
Patrick Moran

Professor Emeritus
Language Teacher Education

PhD, Lesley University
MAT, School for International Training
BA, University of Nebraska

Patrick Moran holds a doctorate in educational studies. A member of SIT Graduate Institute's faculty since 1977, he has a special interest in courses related to French and to the interface of intercultural communication and second language education, a topic he explores in Teaching Culture: Perspectives in Practice (Heinle & Heinle).

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Alex Silverman
Alex Silverman

Associate Professor
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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Elizabeth Tannenbaum
Elizabeth Tannenbaum

Professor Emerita
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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  • US bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • Demonstrated English language ability (see details below)
  • Intercultural experience
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to use experience as a source of learning
  • Experience or familiarity with instructional technology, distance learning, and/or independent learning
  • An understanding of the structure and philosophy of the program
  • Current experience in the field of second-language teaching is expected, but previous or anticipated experience may be considered

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 must 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.

Our admissions staff works one-on-one with every applicant to facilitate a highly informed and multidimensional admissions experience: you are encouraged to talk with SIT faculty and staff and hear from current students and alumni. As you 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 — you will determine for yourself in what ways SIT can help you meet your educational and career objectives.

SIT welcomes students from all economic backgrounds. Students commonly fund their SIT degree through a variety of sources including federal and private loans, SIT grants and scholarships, scholarships from other sources, and personal and family funds. SIT Graduate Institute’s Financial Aid Office provides information on all aspects of funding an SIT degree.

We recommend that you begin the process of applying for financial aid as soon as possible, even before you are accepted for admission. Click here for more information on financial aid.


See a breakdown of the costs for this program.

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Direct Costs

Tuition and Fees

Year 1 tuition: $13,380
Year 2 tuition: $13,380

MA degree total tuition and fees (all terms combined): $26,760

Year 1 on-campus room and board: $1,575
Year 2 on-campus room and board: TBD

Indirect Costs

SIT estimates the costs to students for books, personal expenses, transportation. Individual expenses may vary.

Year 1 books: $1,200
Year 1 personal expenses: $1,500
Year 1 transportation costs: $500

Year 2 books: $1,200
Year 2 personal expenses: $1,500
Year 2 transportation costs: $500

Additional Costs

Estimated Student Loan Fees:

Year 1: $150

Year 2: $150

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


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.