MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Why an MA in TESOL at Hawaii Pacific University?

The MA TESOL program at HPU is unique in that it offers a two-course practicum sequence. Students first observe language classes in a wide range of programs in the city of Honolulu. They then complete their student teaching practicum in supervised settings arranged by the faculty or in positions they locate themselves, locally, nationally, or internationally. Practicum and employment opportunities are updated weekly. 

Many opportunities for professional development are available in the program too, including faculty-supported opportunities for research; faculty-supported opportunities to publish; volunteer and paid job opportunities; and collaboration with peers, professors, and language learners.

The MA TESOL program culminates with the capstone requirement, which is a one-credit course that students take in their final semester. Students have three options for the capstone requirement: the comprehensive exam, the portfolio (e-portfolio example), and the project (project example). Further information about these options is provided in the MA TESOL Manual.

MA TESOL Outcomes

Students who complete the Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages will be prepared to demonstrate ASK:

  • Attitudes of a professional.  Towards colleagues and students, MA holders will demonstrate teamwork and sensitivity.  Towards the discipline, MA holders will demonstrate a spirit of inquiry and reflection.  Towards the global community, MA holders will demonstrate cultural sensitivity and global citizenship.
  • Skills in spoken and written communication, in academic and pedagogic research, and in teaching including materials development and lesson planning, delivery, management, and assessment.
  • Knowledge of the major subfields of linguistics, the theories of second language acquisition, and the principles of language teaching methods; and be able to articulate their own philosophy of language teaching, explaining the principles on which it is based.

Practicum Courses

The HPU TESOL program has a well-deserved reputation for its practical, hands-on approach to language teacher development. Nearly all TESOL students take two practicum courses. In the first, they observe language classes in a variety of settings both on and off campus. In the second, they serve as assistant or autonomous student teachers. In addition, TESOL students often work as student tutors in HPU’s Center for Academic Success, assisting other students with English, world languages, math, and other subjects. They also find both paid and volunteer opportunities for professional development off campus. Literacy programs, language centers, and public schools are all located within easy walking distance or a short bus ride of HPU classrooms.

To ensure that our students are prepared for their required practicum experiences, for both paid and volunteer opportunities at HPU or elsewhere, and for a full range of employment opportunities following graduation, all TESOL students must complete a criminal background check. Details are included in the full policy statement (PDF).

Graduate Assistantships

New applicants to the MA in TESOL program may qualify for scholarship assistance as a graduate assistant. These highly-competitive awards are made to incoming students and are renewable for up to two years. For more information or to apply, please visit the CHSS Graduate Assistantships page.

To find out more...

For more information about our TESOL programs, contact the Program Chairs at <>.  HPU TESOL on Facebook


Degree Requirements