M.Ed. in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)


In an increasingly interconnected world, the English language brings us together. Demand for English language skills is increasing around the globe, and the need for qualified instructors, here and abroad, is at unprecedented levels.

If you’re a prospective college or university instructor, ESL/ELL/EFL administrator or coordinator, or traditional PreK-12 teacher who wants to be a leader in this field, the NCATE-accredited M.Ed. in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Concordia University, Nebraska offers the advanced knowledge and skills to set yourself apart.

This 36 credit-hour TESOL master’s program is also a great choice for candidates who want to work outside a traditional classroom while still teaching English language and literacy to the widest range of learners. ESL instructors and coordinators are needed in refugee centers and immigrant/migrant centers in the U.S. and overseas, and our program also prepares graduates to teach English as a Foreign Language.

Concordia University, Nebraska’s distinctive, well-regarded emphasis on rigorous academics and servant leadership practices gives program graduates a strong foundation to achieve greater professional success through faith-motivated service in the local community and in the world.

Practicing K-12 teachers who enroll in this TESOL M.Ed. program may be eligible for TEACH grant funding. Many Title I schools also offer incentives for educators who have additional ESL/ELL expertise.

The traditional TESOL M.Ed. online progression can be completed in 24 months; our Fast Track option means qualified students can earn this NCATE-accredited master’s degree fully online in as little as 18 months.

We also offer State of Nebraska ESL/ELL endorsement certification to preK-12 candidates who already hold a teaching license and who complete the full M.Ed. in TESOL degree program. M.Ed. students seeking this endorsement certification can do so by completing 15 predetermined hours of ESL/ELL coursework in the TESOL program; these courses build a foundation in ESL/ELL teaching methods, curriculum, assessment, and knowledge of English language structure.

ESL/ELL endorsement certification may be possible in other states, based on specific licensure requirements and program approval; the student holding a teaching license from another state should contact his/her state Department of Education to obtain in writing the stipulations for that state to accept Nebraska endorsement certification as fulfilling the requirements for ESL/ELL endorsement certification in that state.

The Next Start Date is June 27th

M.Ed. in TESOL Program Goals

Program goals for the Master of Education in TESOL directly align with standards set forth for ESL teacher training programs by the TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) International Association. In addition to meeting all the objectives and requirements for the M.Ed. in TESOL online degree program, successful candidates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of language as a system (including phonology, morphology, syntax, pragmatics, and semantics) and use this knowledge to support English Language Learners (ELLs) as they acquire English language and literacy in order to achieve in the content areas
  • Understand major concepts, principles, theories, and research related to first and second language acquisition and development, and the nature and role of culture and cultural groups; based on this knowledge, construct supportive learning environments for ELLs
  • Support ELLs’ academic success by teaching language through academic content
  • Commit to professional standards and growth opportunities, and to team-based partnerships with colleagues and students’ families, while serving as community resources and advocates for ELLs

Course Descriptions

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M.Ed. in TESOL Program Course Descriptions

The M.Ed. in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) online degree is a 36 credit-hour program. Traditional-progression students will take one course at a time and can complete their degree program in 24 months. Fast Track candidates have the option of doubling up courses at three specific times and can complete this program in as little as 18 months. Courses that can be taken concurrently are PSY 511 and EDUC 525; EDUC 526 and EDUC 640; and EDUC 519 and EDUC 527. Fast Track candidates must declare their intention at time of enrollment. 

Please note: A 45-hour practicum is required for successful completion of the M.Ed. in TESOL degree program. The practicum experience requirement is met by fulfilling hours at various points in the program; all hours must be completed by the end of the capstone course. These hours and experiences will be documented and verified through a portfolio process. K-12 instructors seeking ESL certification must follow state requirements regarding division of practicum hours between elementary and secondary instructional settings.

TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
36 credits
EDUC 524 (3)
ESL/ELL Instruction
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the theory and practice of second language teaching and learning.
EDUC 501 (3)
Contemporary Thought in Education
This course provides an examination of the theoretical and philosophical bases for contemporary educational patterns; and current educational issues. Interests of the participants will determine the areas of application to private and public education.
EDUC 594 (3)
Research Evaluation and Design
This course emphasizes the development of skills in qualitative and quantitative research methods, and the evaluation of various forms of existing information, with emphasis on the ability to relate this information to personal professional practice.
PSY 511 (3)
Psychological Foundations of Teaching and Learning
A study of selected theories of learning and their implications for the classroom setting. Applications of psychological principles and research to instructional situations with an emphasis on those that involve a Christian setting.
EDUC 525 (3)
ESL/ELL Curriculum and Assessment
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to second language curriculum selection, evaluation, and development as well as assessment and evaluation of second language learners. Prerequisite: EDUC 524.
EDUC 623 (3)
Linguistics for Educators
This course provides a rigorous overview of the elements of English linguistic study and its application to English language learning and teaching. The course examines grammars and theories of English, language diversity and change, language acquisition, and philosophy and application of language study and teaching.
EDUC 526 (3)
Language and Culture
Language and culture are two multidimensional and constantly changing phenomena that are integrally connected to everything that happens in the world. As any language is culturally conditioned, any culture is linguistically defined. Therefore, the main goal of this course is to examine the relationship between language and culture, as well as their effect on community, identity, beliefs, and values. This course guides the student in directly applying an understanding of language and culture to classroom practice and curriculum development.
EDUC 640 (3)
Second Language Acquisition
This course introduces the student to the major theories of second language acquisition, how second language acquisition research is conducted, and the major findings of second language acquisition research that directly impact classroom practice and ESL student learning. The course addresses the different challenges in language acquisition that face young children, older children, and adults, and how those challenges impact ESL pedagogy and andragogy. The graduate student will be required to reflect on various theories and research discussed in the course in order to plan for more effective teaching of ESL students in his/her own instructional setting.
ENG 621 (3)
Teaching ESL Writing
This course examines research-based instructional practices for teaching effective writing skills to ESL students (both child and adult learners), with a particular emphasis on the successful teaching of the writing skills and strategies students need for academic success when writing across a wide variety of genres. Special consideration is given to the teaching of text structure, the teaching of writing cohesion and coherence, and the development of effective error correction in the writing classroom.
EDUC 519 (3)
Word Study: Decoding, Comprehension and Fluency
This course will examine recent research-based instructional practices regarding phonics, vocabulary, spelling and fluency. Special emphases include: phonemic awareness, print awareness, alphabetic knowledge, alphabetic principle, decoding, reading practice with decodable text, irregular and high frequency words, fluency, development spelling and comprehension. The graduate student will research current theory, instructional practice and assessment related to each of the word study components within specific literacy developmental stages.
EDUC 527 (3)
ESL/TESOL Capstone
The course is designed as a culminating experience for the ESL/TESOL graduate programs. Students are asked to reflect on key areas of learning and application that they have encountered throughout the ESL/TESOL graduate curriculum. The students will also critique and analyze various aspects of their fieldwork experience. All required documentation related to coursework and fieldwork experiences will be collected and reviewed. Prerequisites: EDUC 524, EDUC 525, EDUC 526; EDUC 623.
SOC 565 (3)
Serving and Leading in the Community and World
This course provides an in-depth examination of vocation, professional and organizational development and the ways educators, building on their personal beliefs and values, enact authentic service and leadership in a variety of contexts. Using the framework of evangelical Lutheran Christianity, participants explore, analyze and clarify, and apply vocation to their community and to the world.


All degrees and certifications are accredited by the Nebraska Department of Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The Nebraska Department of Education requires two years of teaching for the certification.

*A student who wishes to obtain Nebraska ESL certification can do so upon completion of a predetermined 15 hours of coursework in this program. See course sequence above. Completion of the Master of Education in TESOL program is not a requirement for applying for the endorsement.

**Students seeking ESL certification in states other than Nebraska should determine the licensure requirements in the state(s) in which they will be seeking certification. Written approval that this program will be acceptable for licensure by their state’s educational department should be obtained prior to beginning the program.

***Students seeking TESOL certification in states other than Nebraska should determine the licensure requirements in the state(s) in which they will be seeking certification. Written approval that this program will be acceptable for licensure by their state’s educational department should be obtained prior to beginning the program.


Career Opportunities

The following are just a few of the unique career opportunities possible with a M.Ed. in TESOL online degree available through Concordia University, Nebraska:

  • ESL Lead Teacher
  • Community College or University-level ESL Instructor
  • ESL Coordinator (community colleges, universities, refugee/immigrant programs)
  • ESL Teacher Coach
  • ESL Resource Teacher (especially within schools, districts, and/or education units that have a K-12 ELL population)
  • ESL Teacher, PreK-12 levels outside traditional school settings (refugee programs, immigrant/migrant centers, after-school programs)
  • ESL Teacher, outside the U.S. (schools, universities, corporations, learning centers)
  • International Instructors: English as a Foreign Language (EFL)

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