Dec 07, 2022  
2016-2017 SGPP Catalog and Handbook 
2016-2017 SGPP Catalog and Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English as a Second Language, MA

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study

The English as a Second Language (ESL) program qualifies candidates for K-12 ESL teacher licensure in Minnesota.  The program prepares graduates to meet the English language and literacy needs of K-12 students for whom English is not their native language. The master’s degree includes courses on ESL literature and action research.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the M.A. in ESL, graduates are expected to do the following:

  1. Employ a variety of methods, techniques, and program models suitable for second language instruction with diverse learners, including adapting existing materials to meet the needs of the students with limited English proficiency.
  2. Use various content-based methodologies and integrate language acquisition and use of language functions across learning experiences to facilitate full inclusion of students with limited English proficiency in the school setting.
  3. Communicate successfully with students, parents, colleagues, and community members.
  4. Develop communication instruction in the second language context, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing across the curriculum.
  5. Use formal and informal second language assessment techniques to determine student readiness for and appropriate placement in limited English proficiency programs, and to evaluate student progress.
  6. Analyze the contributions of general and applied linguistics to second language education.
  7. Identify the fundamentals of the first and second language acquisition processes and their similarities and differences.
  8. Interpret how the historical, social, and political aspects of language and cultural patterns in the United States influence second language instruction.
  9. Integrate an understanding of English as a second language with an understanding of pedagogy, students, learning, classroom management, and professional development.

Program Structure and Delivery

Students can complete the program in three different ways. The first option (33 credits) is for currently licensed teachers who do not plan to seek Minnesota English as a Second Language as an additional licensure upon completion of the program. The second option (33 credits) is for currently licensed teachers who plan to seek Minnesota English as a Second Language as an additional licensure upon completion of the program. The third option (59 credits) allows students without teaching credentials to prepare for initial teacher license while also preparing for Minnesota English as a Second Language licensure.

The program is designed to fit the schedule of working persons, and those available for course meetings on weekends (mostly Saturday) and during the summer months. Courses are delivered in a blended format, integrating face-to-face classroom meetings and online activities or interactions in a planned, instructionally valuable manner.


The faculty members for this program have earned doctorate or master’s degrees. Faculty are selected for their combination of educational and professional experience and expertise.

Admission Requirements

Applicants may apply for admission to master’s degree programs at any time during the year. Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and maintained an overall grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale. Applicants must demonstrate the language proficiency necessary for successful graduate coursework. Applicants must complete an interview with a program administrator as part of the admission process.

Application Process

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form with the nonrefundable application fee (fee not required for alumni or students seeking readmission or veterans and active military personnel), and
  2. An official transcript issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution. Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated by a university accepted evaluation source, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, or One Earth International Credential Evaluators and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards).
  3. A reflective essay which includes the following:
    1. brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and
    2. statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and his or her reasons for seeking admission to the program; and
    3. description of the areas the applicant considers to be his or her strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities; and
    4. personal information the applicant wishes to share.
  4. Letter(s) of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability; and
  5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.
  6. Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or MELAB accepted.)

Please Note: Application materials should be sent to the attention of the Office of Admission on the Twin Cities campus.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Office of Admission
2500 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55404

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study