Master of Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Boston University’s Master of Education (EdM) program for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) produces innovative teachers who are well versed in theoretical and applied teaching principles. Our program offers two pathways: Licensure and Adult/College/International (Non-Licensure). Both pathways include a curriculum that integrates linguistic theory; current research and practice in language learning and development; assessment and instruction of oral language, reading, and writing; and field-based practicum work with emergent bilinguals.

For more information about our Licensure and Non-Licensure Pathways, please refer to the information below.

Master of Education, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages: Licensure Pathway

Teacher candidates who choose to pursue our Licensure Pathway can choose from one of two tracks: PreK-6 or 5-12. Upon completion of this program and state testing requirements, successful candidates receive an initial license for teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) PreK–6 or 5–12.

Throughout the Program of Study, significant emphasis is placed on the relationship among language, culture, and equity as it pertains to the linguistic, academic, and socioemotional development of emergent bilinguals. Our coursework focuses on language acquisition and linguistics, literacy instruction and assessment, culturally sustaining pedagogy, curriculum development, and policy issues that influence assessment and instruction of bilingual learners. Our program is grounded in developing asset-based perspective and teaching for social justice, focusing on essential questions such as How can teachers and advocates ensure that ELs have equal access to all educational programs? and What does culturally and linguistically sustaining pedagogy for emergent bilinguals look like?

Teacher candidates complete their coursework alongside a pre-practicum in the fall semester and a full-time practicum in the spring semester; the practicum experience includes student teaching with English Learners and will take place under the supervision of an ESL certified teacher in a Sheltered English Immersion, Bilingual Education, or Dual Language Immersion setting in a Boston-area public school. Practicing teachers who hold an initial license in another content area and wish to add an initial license in ESL are also encouraged to apply.

Faculty Contact Information, Licensure Program: Dr. Christine Leider,, 617-353-3260

Graduate Admissions Contact Information:, 617-353-4237

For program requirements and additional details, please visit the BU Bulletin for the EdM TESOL Licensure Pathway.


Master of Education, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages: College/Adult/International Pathway (Non-Licensure)

Those who choose to complete the TESOL program without licensure are prepared to work, research, and teach in college and adult language programs in the United States or to work for college, adult, primary, or secondary school programs abroad.

Graduates of our program teach in a variety of settings, and particular emphasis is placed on the development and evaluation of materials appropriate to students at all levels of proficiency. As a result, many of our students and graduates have published extensively, developing new approaches and materials for a rapidly expanding field in education. Several of our TESOL graduates’ syllabus projects have also been published as textbooks.

In the TESOL program at Boston University, the course of study includes linguistic theory, applied English grammar, language acquisition, methodology of teaching English to speakers of other languages, computer-assisted language learning, and cross-cultural communication. In addition to coursework, you also complete a semester of supervised teaching in a field setting that matches your particular interests.

Our Program may be completed in three academic semesters by full-time students; duration for part-time study varies. You may begin the program in the fall, spring, or summer semester; international students may begin in the fall or spring semester only.

Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions about TESOL. You may also be interested in Wheelock’s 16-Credit Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Faculty Contact Information:

Graduate Admissions Contact Information:, 617-353-4237

For program requirements and additional details, please visit the BU Bulletin for the EdM TESOL College/Adult/International (Non-Licensure) Pathway.


 Visit Graduate Admissions to Apply