EdM 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 and advocates who are well versed in theory, applied teaching principles, and methodology.

As a student in the EdM for TESOL program, you can choose from one of two tracks:

  • TESOL Adult/College/International—Non-Licensure
  • TESOLLicensure (ESL PreK–6 or 5–12)

More about these program tracks

TESOL International, College, and Adult—Non-Licensure: Prepares students to teach English and other languages to a variety of student populations in different learning contexts.  Our coursework and field-based practicum provide a broad perspective on the field of second language acquisition and focus on evidence-based teaching and assessment practices. Assignments are designed to help introduce students to the profession.

TESOL—Licensure (ESL PreK–6 or 5–12): Places emphasis on the relationship among language, culture, and equity as it pertains to the linguistic, academic, and socioemotional development of emergent bilinguals. Critical discussions of race, whiteness, power, and privilege are integrated throughout our coursework. 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 multilingual learners.

Essential Questions

Department Vision Statement

The EdM for TESOL program is part of BU Wheelock’s Department of Language and Literacy, which has the following vision statement:

  • We advocate for equitable and just education systems;
  • We strive to disrupt deficit discourses and foster asset-based approaches;
  • We cultivate practices that are based on research, theory, and community cultural knowledge;
  • We embrace multilingualism and multiliteracies; and
  • We engage in research that contributes to the evolving understandings of language and literacy education.


Career Outcomes

An EdM in TESOL from BU Wheelock can prepare you for a career in a variety of roles.

For students in the Adult/College/International—Non-Licensure track

  • Researchers
  • Language teachers
  • Material/test developers
  • Program administrators

For students in the TESOL—Licensure track

  • Preschool, Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle, or High School ESL Teacher in public or charter schools

Program Requirements

Program Faculty

Jennifer Altavilla, Lecturer

Mary E. Hughes, Lecturer

Yasuko Kanno, Associate Professor

Kathy Kim, Clinical Assistant Professor

Marnie Reed, Clinical Professor

Contact Info

For more information about these programs:

  • TESOLLicensure, please contact Dr. Jennifer Altavilla at jaltavil@bu.edu
  • TESOL Adult, College, and InternationalNon-Licensure, please contact Dr. Marnie Reed at tesol@bu.edu.

Next Steps


BU Wheelock Educator Preparation Programs Licensing Disclosure provides information about BU Wheelock state approved programs and how the educational requirements compare with those in other states. Education students in licensure programs should review this resource and contact edlic@bu.edu with questions.

Background Checks

Students who are admitted into BU Wheelock routinely participate in field experiences as a part of their respective program curriculum and requirements. Most field sites require criminal background checks to determine students’ eligibility for participation. History of a criminal background may disqualify students from participating in these required experiences, which in turn may impede the successful completion of one’s degree program