About 1 in 10 students in K-12 U.S. public schools is now an English Learner (EL). North Carolina is now in the top ten states in the country in growth of ELs in its public schools. In our state's largest school district, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, a full 30% of all students speak a language other than English at home. The cultural and linguistic diversity represented by these students allows our state to invest in a well-educated, multilingual and culturally competent workforce. With a compassionate and committed educator, who has strong teaching techniques, deep cultural awareness and a thorough understanding of best practices, a student's experience can be transformative. The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program prepares students to teach English in the United States and abroad. WCU offers both a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and a non-degree certificate. Both online options are built for those who have a background in education as well as those who wish to make a career change to an exciting and diverse field.
The online MAT and the non-degree certificate options prepare students to teach English to non-native speakers in a variety of contexts ranging from overseas instruction to kindergarten through community college instruction to language support in community settings. Students will analyze the linguistic components of English: syntax, morphology, semantics, pragmatics, phonology, phonetics, and discourse. This course also fosters an understanding of sociolinguistic questions surrounding the relationship of language to culture. All topics covered are governed by the guidelines established by the TESOL International Association.
Graduates of the MAT or certificate programs will have the practical application of designing and implementing lesson plans and courses of study. The MAT leads to North Carolina (K-12) ESL licensure, preparing you to work as an ESL teacher in public schools. Graduates of the TESOL Certificate program are prepared to teach English abroad or to work with community-based nonprofits such as the YMCA or Vecinos Farmworker Health Program, governmental agencies such as U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement and private corporations like Disney.