University of Colorado at Boulder


The curriculum is 30/31 credit hours and consists of:

  • A Linguistics core (4 courses, 12 credit hours): The Linguistics core courses have no prerequisites.
  • A TESOL core of 4 courses (4 courses, 12 credit hours)
  • A TESOL Practicum (3-6 credit hours)
  • An additional elective
Linguistics Core Courses Dept Credit Hours Notes
Linguistic Phonetics LING 5030 3 Students typically complete the four Linguistics core courses in the first year.
Morphology and syntax     LING 5420 3
Phonology LING 5410 3
Semantics and Pragmatics LING 5430 3
Professional TESOL Core Courses Dept Credit Hours Notes
English Structure - TESOL LING 5610 3 Offered in spring
Teaching ESL Pronunciation LING 5620 3 Offered in fall
Methods/Materials for Teaching English as an Additional Language LING 5630 3 Offered in fall
Course in L2 acquisition LLC 5030 or EDUC 5615 3 These are two options for meeting the L2 acquisition course requirement.
TESOL Practicum LING 5910 3-6 Offered most semesters
Elective 3 Can be taken any semester.
Teacher and Students
Practicum teachers gain valuable field-based teaching experiences with local ESL providers. Here Dr. Thomas-Ruzic talks with students at the International English Center, an intensive English located on the Boulder campus and serving international students.

All students are required to complete successfully LING 5910, TESOL Practicum. This course involves 48-60 hours of student/teaching contact time, regular peer and instructor class observations and coaching sessions, and weekly seminar-style meetings during the semester. Practicum studentsí responsibilities and structured experiences in classroom observations, lesson planning, assisting/facilitating, and teaching will vary, depending on their teaching context and their prior experiences and readiness.

The Practicum is based on guided observations and centers on the practicum teacherís inquiry question linked to teaching and learning. Students engage in solo teaching as appropriate and as worked out with the host institution. site supervisor, and the practicum instructor. With an Advisorís consent, interested students may take a second TESOL Practicum for credit (see Elective)

Weekly seminars linked to the Practicum include debriefings of observed classes and discussions on variety of topics that may include:

  • Defining professionals and professionalism
  • The job search
  • Issues of race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation and equity
  • Language and gender
  • Professional/ technical writing and oral communication
  • Working with evolving technology and media
  • The role of professional associations
  • Social responsibility and social change

Advisory Board member Fátima Encinas directs a new MA program in English Language Teaching in Puebla, Mexico.Yongquan Bai is dean of the School of Foreign Languages in Xi’an Jiaotong University. Both these institutions are sites for potential exchanges and practical experiences for Linguistics students in the proposed program.

Elective offerings include courses in multi-cultural education, assessment, second-language writing, and instructional technology.

Students may take a second TESOL Practicum as their elective with the Advisorís consent. This option is designed for those students who are new to teaching and who would benefit from additional supported field-based, classroom teaching experiences.

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