May 26, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Education, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), M.A.T.

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The M.A.T. with a concentration in TESOL program is designed for individuals who have earned a bachelor’s degree in a liberal arts discipline closely associated with a teaching area (e.g., biology, history, mathematics, psychology, chemistry, English, etc. but not business administration, nursing, engineering, etc.) and want to complete teacher licensure.  This program draws on theories of linguistics, research on social and cultural variables that influence second language acquisition, and the knowledge required to facilitate second language learning. The TESOL program will prepare future educators to understand and implement equitable and effective ways of working with English Language Learners in a variety of contexts, including content/general education classes, sheltered-ESL classes and pullout classes. Completion of this MAT program leads to eligibility for a Virginia teaching license for PreK-12 English as a Second Language.

The degree requires the following:

  • PSYC 160. Human Development Across the Life Span, or equivalent
  • WRTC 103. Critical Reading and Writing, or equivalent
  • MATH designated course
  • ENG 308. Introduction to Linguistics, or equivalent
  • EDUC 300. Foundations of American Education, or equivalent
  • READ 366/READ 566 . Early Literacy Development and Acquisition (with a 1 credit practicum, TESL 384/TESL 553 )
  • Foreign language proficiency (6 credits at intermediate level)
  • 39 graduate hours of TESOL course work

Applicants’ undergraduate transcripts are reviewed to identify necessary prerequisite course work and to verify content knowledge requirements.

Application for the M.A.T. with a concentration in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Initial Licensure Program is a three-step process.

Step 1: Transcript Review and Interview

Schedule a meeting with a TESOL adviser to review your undergraduate transcripts, discuss your interest/goals in completing the M.A.T. in Education with a Concentration in TESOL, and review your resume to determine eligibility and any prerequisite courses needed. Candidates may need to complete prerequisite competencies required by the Commonwealth of Virginia for licensure.

Bring/or email the following items:

  • Undergraduate transcripts to show earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university (unofficial transcripts are sufficient for initial review process)
  • Undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 or higher
  • A professional resume

Step 2: Apply to Graduate School

Complete the online application for obtaining the graduate degree Master of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in TESOL (M.A.T. in Education with a concentration in TESOL).

Required for application:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller’s Analogy Test (MAT) is required only for individuals who do not have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Two-three page essay which describes relevant work, life experiences and professional goals related to TESOL and assisting English language learners.
  • Two professional references
  • Professional resume

Your application to The Graduate School, if accepted, will likely be “conditionally” accepted. After all conditions have been met, including acceptance into Teacher Education (Step 3), your status can be upgraded to “unconditional.” Conditions are specified in your acceptance letter. It is your responsibility to let your adviser know when you have been accepted.

Print the Graduate Status Change Request, add your name and student ID number, and bring it to your adviser/program director for a signature.

Step 3: Apply to Teacher Education

After you have been admitted to the Graduate School and have received your student ID, you should apply for admission to Teacher Education. Your application to Teacher Education through JMU’s Education Support Center (ESC) is the first step in the process of obtaining your Virginia State Teaching License.

Required for application:

  • Undergraduate grade point average of 2.5 or higher
  • Passing scores on Praxis CORE or passing scores on SAT/ACT or other appropriate exams
  • Completion of online application form
  • Adviser’s signature on printed copy of application. Bring the printed form to your adviser and return signed form to the Education Support Center (ESC)
  • Completion of additional requirements for admission to teacher education may be found at:

If you are not a JMU graduate, you must provide a copy of your final undergraduate transcript to the Education Support Center after you have submitted your application. Submit transcripts of all additional content courses, those specified as “conditions” in your Graduate letter of acceptance, to the Education Support Center. Candidates need to show completion with a grade of C or above in PSYC 160, WRTC 103, MATH designated course, ENG 308, EDUC 300 and READ 366/READ 566  with TESL 384/TESL 553  or equivalent courses. Candidates must demonstrate modern foreign language proficiency at the intermediate level by completion of six credits of course work at that level with a grade of “C” or above or by successful completion of a foreign language examination approved by program faculty.

Degree Requirements

Additional Information

Consult with the academic adviser or Dr. Stephanie Wasta, director of the graduate TESOL program, to ensure awareness of any changes to requirements. Refer to the College of Education website for additional program information at

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