English as a Second Language (MA)

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The Master of Arts (MA) in English as a Second Language exists to train a group of language educators for professional credibility within the international profession of TESOL, teachers of English to speakers of other languages and dialects. Our mission is threefold: first, to continue education for those teachers and administrators who interact with second language learners within the public and private school sectors in the environment of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas; second, to prepare new teachers, researchers, and administrators for working with second language learners, particularly of English, throughout the world under varying social, political, economic, and cultural conditions; and third, to legitimize the profession of English as a second language for the local, state, national, and international community’s by basing applications to fieldwork, (whether in the ESL/EFL classroom, program administration, or research) on solid theoretical background both in theoretical and applied linguistics.

  • Why UTRGV?

    • Ranked #79 among 300+ national universities by Washington Monthly in 2018
    • Accredited, cutting edge degree program
    • Experienced, dedicated faculty
    • Affordable tuition (ranked #1 in net price among natinal universities by Washington Monthly in 2018 and #3 most affordable university in America 2018 by BestValueSchools.com)
    • Demonstrated student success in research, professional certification and career advancement
  • Admission Requirements

    Step #1: Submit a UTRGV Graduate Application at www.utrgv.edu/gradapply. The university application fee of $50 ($100 for International Applicants) can be paid online by credit card or electronic check (in the online application). All application fees are nonrefundable.

    Step #2: Request your official transcripts to be sent electronically to gradapps@utrgv.edu or mailed to:

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    The Graduate College
    Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
    1201 W. University Drive
    Edinburg, TX 78539-2999

     
    *Please Note: If you are a graduate of UTPA, UTB/TSC, or UTRGV you do not need to request an official transcript to be sent to the Graduate College.

    Review and submit all Program Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a recognized international equivalent in any field.
    • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.
    • Official transcripts from each institution attended (must be submitted directly to UTRGV).
    • Personal  statement  detailing  demonstrated interest in the program and articulation of goals.
    • Resume including educational background and work experience.
    • If the applicant does not meet minimum undergraduate GPA criterion, GRE general test minimum scores of 153 Verbal and 4.0 Analytical are required for conditional admission. GRE test scores are valid for 5 years. A waiver of the GRE requirement will be granted to applicants who show proof of completing a graduate degree (master’s or doctoral).
    • English language ability will be judged on the resume and submitted letter of intent; therefore, applications should be certain to use appropriate, formal academic English.
    • Non‐native English speakers who did not graduate from an English‐ medium high school and university must meet the minimum language proficiency requirements

    Additional requirements for domestic applicants who attended foreign universities:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. For additional information, visit the Additional Documents for Domestic Applicants who Attend Foreign Universities section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.

    Additional requirements for international applicants:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. For additional information, visit the English Proficiency Exam section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.
    • Financial   Documentation  showing sufficient funds to cover all expenses (living and academic) for the first year of study. For additional information, visit the Financial Documentation section of our website.
    • Immigration  documents, including a current copy of your valid passport. For additional information, visit the Immigration Documents section of our website.

    UPDATE ON INTERNATIONAL ADMISSIONS FROM U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT:

    • SEVP regulations prohibit the issuance of a Form I-20 based on conditional admission, effective July 13, 2016. University officials can only issue a Form I-20 when students have met all standards for admission for the program of study listed on the Form I-20. These standards for admission include any English proficiency requirements.

  • Program Contact

    Program Coordinator: Dr. Joe Noe.

    Phone: (956) 665-3430

    Office: Edinburg Campus, LABS 219

    E-Mail: joe.noe@utrgv.edu
  • Deadlines

    Deadlines:

    Applications will be accepted year round and prospective students are encouraged to apply at least 2 months before classes start to ensure a timely application review.  Applying early will also give prospective students the best opportunity to be considered for scholarships and other possible funding opportunities.

    *Note: This program only admits applicants during Fall, Spring, Summer I and Summer II semesters.

  • Course Requirements

    Choose one of the following options:
     
    Thesis Option
     
    ENGL 6360: Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics for Teachers 3
    ENGL 6361: Problems in Linguistics (thesis students must select Research Design as the topic for this course) 3
    ENGL 6362: Modern English Syntax 3
    ENGL 6363: Studies in English Phonology 3
    ENGL 6370: Introduction to English as a Second Language 3
    ENGL 6371: Problems in English as a Second Language 3
    ENGL 6372: Practicum in English as a Second Language 3
    ENGL 6373: ESL Testing 3
    ENGL 6375: Studies in Language and Culture 3
     
    Designated English Electives 3
    Chosen from English Language courses or other English courses as approved by the MAESL advisor
     
    Capstone Requirement 6
    Thesis
    ENGL 7300: Thesis I 3
    ENGL 7301: Thesis II 3
    Written Comprehensive Exam
    Portfolio Submission
    Exit Interview
     
    Non-Thesis Option
    Required Courses 27
    ENGL 6360: Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics for Teachers 3
    ENGL 6361: Problems in Linguistics (any scheduled topic is acceptable) 3
    ENGL 6362: Modern English Syntax 3
    ENGL 6363: Studies in English Phonology 3
    ENGL 6370: Introduction to English as a Second Language 3
    ENGL 6371: Problems in English as a Second Language 3
    ENGL 6372: Practicum in English as a Second Language 3
    ENGL 6373: ESL Testing 3
    ENGL 6375: Studies in Language and Culture 3
     
    Designated English Electives 6
    Chosen from English Language courses or other English courses as approved by the MAESL advisor
     
    Free Electives 3
    Open electives with advisor approval
     
    Capstone Requirement
    Written Comprehensive Exam
    Portfolio Submission
    Exit Interview
     
    Total graduate hours for degree: 36
     

    Course Descriptions

    ENGL 6300: Introduction to Literary Studies                [3‐0]

    This course will prepare students for graduate study in English. English 6300 students will learn the basics of literary scholarship. They will engage in the in‐library and online research necessary to write a scholarly literary paper and learn the basic conventions of literary criticism and documentation.

    ENGL 6301: Studies in Literary Theory               [3‐0]

    Extensive study of major works, figures and topics in literary theory. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6302: Studies in Literary History               [3‐0]

    A study in the historical and cultural development of literary conventions, movements, and/or school of literary writing. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6303: Studies in Genre               [3‐0]

    Focuses on the literary and cultural productions within the context of a particular genre, including poetry, short story, the novel, drama, autobiography, and epistolary literature. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6304: Studies in British Literature               [3‐0]

    Usually offered three times per year. A study in English literature. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6305: Studies in American Literature               [3‐0]

    Usually offered three times per year. A study in American literature. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6306: Studies in Comparative Literature               [3‐0]

    The comparison of particular topics, motifs, or genres in the literature of two or more languages or cultures.

    ENGL 6307: Studies in European Literature               [3‐0]

    The study of the literature by and about Europeans including those of Russia and Iceland, with an emphasis on the literary techniques and the cultural reflections in this literature. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6308: Studies in Mexican American Literature               [3‐0]

    Advanced study of the literature by and about Mexican Americans, with emphasis on the literary techniques and the cultural reflections in this literature. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6309: Studies in Literatures of the Americas               [3‐0]

    Advanced comparative study of theoretical and literary works by and about North, South, and Central America and/or the Caribbean. Readings highlight cultural, historical, and linguistic diversity and include multiple literary genres. Emphasis on issues of gender, race, identity, colonialism, and trans/nationalism.

    ENGL 6310: Studies in Ethnic Literature               [3‐0]

    Focuses on the literature of specific ethnic groups with special attention to critical race theory, cultural theory, and the cultural productions of traditionally underrepresented minority groups. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6311: Studies in Gender and Literature               [3‐0]

    A study of literature and culture in relation to the question of gender identity, with special emphasis on feminist, gender, and queer theory as well as the literary conventions, movements, and histories that inform gender identity. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6312: Studies in Single Author               [3‐0]

    A study of the literary works and historical epoch of a single author, with emphasis on historical, biographical, cultural and aesthetic contexts. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6313: Studies in Post‐Colonial Studies               [3‐0]

    Study of particular topics, motifs, theoretical approaches, and historical movements in postcolonial literature and culture. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6314: Bible as Literature               [3‐0]

    A study of the Bible as literature, emphasizing the genres and literary techniques employed by the writers. The course treats the Bible as a major source for English and American literature.

    ENGL 6315: Studies in Cultural Studies               [3‐0]

    Study of the discipline of Cultural Studies with emphasis on its theoretical basis, significant historical movements, relevant political developments, and various cultural artifacts. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6316: Special Topics in Literature               [3‐0]

    Extensive study of topics in the area of literature and cultural studies. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6320: Introduction to Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy               [3‐0]

    Introduces new graduate students in Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy to the discipline, with emphasis on professional issues, research methods, and applications. 

    ENGL 6321: Research Methods in Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy               [3‐0]

    Research Methods in Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy is a survey course designed to introduce students to a variety of methods for conducting and reporting research in the fields of rhetoric and composition, including historical research, ethnography, qualitative and empirical studies, and action/participatory research. At the end of the course, students will have explored the diverse types of research questions in the field and the various methods for gathering and analyzing data appropriate to those research questions.

    ENGL 6322: Theory in Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy               [3‐0]

    Focus on various theoretical approaches to the study of discourse with application of theories to a significant analytical project. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6323: History of Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy               [3‐0]

    Focus on the historical development of rhetoric, composition pedagogy, or literacy studies. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6324: Pedagogy in Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy               [3‐0]

    Explore issues related to teaching of rhetoric, composition, and other literacies, with emphasis on a theoretically informed practice. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6325: Studies in Composition Techniques               [3‐0]

    Advanced study of composition theory and techniques and methods of teaching composition, with special emphasis on teaching English composition to college freshman. Required of all English teaching assistants. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6326: Professional Writing               [3‐0]

    Applied study of the theories and approaches to professional discourse production. Students will design and produce a professional writing project.

    ENGL 6327: Writing Academic Discourse               [3‐0]

    Provides study and practice writing professional level academic discourse, including research project design, research proposals, professional journal articles, and conference proposals and papers.

    ENGL 6328: Special Topics in Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy               [3‐0]

    Extensive study of topics in the areas of rhetoric, composition, and/or literacy. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

    ENGL 6355: Literature for Secondary School Teachers               [3‐0]

    Analysis of teaching philosophy, theories of learning, and best practices for teaching secondary English Language Arts. Emphasis on reading and writing assignments for secondary learners, with attention to culturally responsive pedagogy and contemporary Latino/a literature.

    ENGL 6356: Children’s Literature               [3‐0]

    Study of selected literature written for young readers. Includes attention to contemporary children’s literature by Latino/a authors in school curriculum. Course may focus on selected eras, approaches, or themes.

    ENGL 6357: Young Adult Literature               [3‐0]

    Study of selected literature written for early adolescent to late adolescent readers. Includes attention to contemporary young adult literature by Latino/a authors in school curriculum. Course may focus on selected eras, approaches, or themes.

    ENGL 6360: Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics for Teachers               [3‐0]

    An introduction to the methods of linguistics science with emphasis on problem solving techniques and the application to specific problems. This course includes a research project exploring the application of linguistics to specific situations.

    ENGL 6361: Problems in Linguistics               [3‐0]

    Studies in modern linguistics with emphasis on the practical help which the science offers to the student of the English language. May be repeated once when the emphasis varies. (Special topics to be announced in the Schedule of Classes.)

    Prerequisite: ENGL 6360 or consent of the instructor.

    ENGL 6362: Modern English Syntax               [3‐0]

    Studies in modern English syntax with attention given to investigative methods and findings of contemporary linguistic analysis. Special emphasis on the structure of English as a Second Language.

    Prerequisite: ENGL 6360 or consent of instructor.

    ENGL 6363: Studies in English Phonology               [3‐0]

    Studies in English Phonology with attention given to research methods, findings, and theories of contemporary linguistic analysis.

    Prerequisite: ENGL 6360 or consent of instructor.

    ENGL 6364: Problems in Grammar, Dialects, and Language Performance               [3‐0]

    A study of the second language learner’s transition from regional usage to standard usage. Emphasis on practical implementation of theories of grammar, dialects and language performance. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6365: History of the English Language               [3‐0]

    A history of the English language from the Anglo‐Saxon period to the present.

    ENGL 6366: Special Topics in Linguistics               [3‐0]

    Extensive study in topics related to one or more areas of theoretical linguistics. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

    ENGL 6370: Introduction to English as a Second Language               [3‐0]

    A study of ESL theory and techniques and their application to specific language performance skills. Special emphasis on the linguistic, sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic bases for selecting appropriate ESL methods and techniques.

    ENGL 6371: Problems in English as a Second Language               [3‐0]

    Studies in special problem areas of language and practice which prospective teachers of ESL students will encounter in the classroom. May be repeated once for credit when the topic varies.

    Prerequisite: ENGL 6370 or consent of instructor.

    ENGL 6372: Practicum in English as a Second Language               [3‐0]

    Supervised experience in teaching/working with learners of ESL/SLA in (a) English developmental writing, (b) a tutorial or (c) a laboratory setting. Actual experience will be based on theoretical principles and methodology of modern language teaching. Sample lesson plans will be developed and tried under the supervision of trained ESL personnel in a university context in order to meet the needs of second language learners.

    Prerequisite: ENGL 6370 or consent of instructor.

    ENGL 6373: ESL Testing               [3‐0]

    Evaluation of second language learners of English following the principles and guidelines for diagnostic, placement, proficiency and classroom testing in ESL. Areas covered include principles and procedures for selecting, preparing, administering and interpreting results of tests of ESL learning.

    Prerequisites: ENGL 6370 or consent of instructor.

    ENGL 6374: Studies in Second Language Acquisition               [3‐0]

    The study of the way second languages are learned and acquired. This course will survey various theories of second language acquisition (e.g., Universal Grammar, Monitor Theory, Connectionism, Complexity Theory, Sociocultural theory). This course will also cover current issues and problems in SLA research and theory, examining recent research in the field.

    ENGL 6375: Studies in Language and Culture               [3‐0]

    Advanced study of social aspects of language and language use, including language attitudes, sociolinguistic dynamics of language contact situations, language learning and the social and linguistic nature of dialects, language variation and language change. Requires a research project.

    ENGL 6376: Varieties of Present Day English               [3‐0]

    This graduate seminar explores the features of the diverse varieties of Present‐day English, focusing on the semantic, lexical, and grammatical patterns which characterize English such as those of the British Isles, the Americas, Africa, Australasia, and Southeast Asia.

    ENGL 6377: Special Topics in Applied Linguistics               [3‐0]

    Extensive study of topics in the area of applied linguistics, ESL, sociolinguistics or any other branch of non‐theoretical linguistics. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

    ENGL 6390: Special Topics in English               [3‐0]

    In depth trans‐disciplinary studies of intersections among English sub‐disciplines.

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

    ENGL 6399: Independent Study               [3‐0]

    Course designed for a single student who wishes to pursue in depth study under the direction of an instructor when no course in that areas is available.

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and department chair.

    ENGL 7300: Thesis I               [3‐0]

    Student will research and write the thesis under faculty direction. Pass/Fail Grade.

    Prerequisite: Approval of graduate advisor.

    ENGL 7301: Thesis II              [3‐0]

    Student will research and write the thesis under faculty direction. Pass/Fail Grade.

    Prerequisite: Approval of graduate advisor and completion of at least one semester of ENGL 7300.