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The Graduate Program in Applied Linguistics / TESL


At USF, our Linguistics and TESL programs are among the oldest in the Sunshine State. Linguistics dates back to the early 1960s, early in USF history, and the Applied Linguistics program has prepared ESL/ESOL/EFL educators since the 1970s.

However, our program is known for more than its age-it is known for the quality of our graduates.

Our students are prepared for positions teaching second languages to non-native speakers, whether adults or children. Our alumni have taught in six continents, in public and private institutes, here in the Tampa Bay area and around the world. Other graduates have continued their graduate education and earned doctoral degrees. Many of our alumni hold positions of leadership. In short, our graduates have made a name for the applied linguistics program at USF.

How do we prepare teachers for such a broad range of instructional contexts?

Our instructional approach to the field of applied linguistics includes theory and practical applications. Every course provides students the grounding of theory and research, while making knowledge relevant through application activities. This approach lets our students build up a broad range of expertise. Our graduates know more than classroom techniques: they also know how to interpret the research literature and reflectively apply it to their instructional context.

The internship is another special feature in our MA and Certificate programs. Both include extensive internships. In the MA, for example, students follow a two-semester supervised internship. The MA intern holds full responsibility for a class in the second internship. This internship, if performed at INTO USF English Language Program, pays the student teacher a stipend and a partial tuition waiver. Interns are guided in developing professionalism through the support of an expert mentor.

Different programs of study in applied linguistics are offered at USF. Our primary program leads to a Master of Arts in Linguistics: Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). This non-thesis program is appropriate for those who wish to teach in intensive English institutes, in community college settings, in private schools, and in international contexts.