Highlights of our programs
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 insitututes, here in the Tampa Bay area and around the world. Other gradu ates 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 l ets 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 intern ship. The MA intern holds full responsibility for a class in the second internship. This internship, if performed at our English Language Institute, pays the student teacher a stipend and a partial tuition waiver. Interns are guided in developing professi onalism 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 schoo ls, and in international contexts.
Our TESL Certificate program is a solid program open to qualified individuals. Our Certificate may be appropriate if you hold a M.A in a foreign language and wish to teach English to adult non-native speakers in an interna tional setting.
Teaching in the public K-12 school system with a State of Florida Certification in ESOL is another option for our M.A. graduates. Our program prepares effective educators. Some of our alumni now teach in other states, bu t many remain in Florida schools. All of our graduates should be able to pass the State of Florida ESOL Certification Examination. (Exam information is available at http://www.fl.nesinc.com/FL_testselection.asp
Public educators may be interested in ESOL Endorsement. Our ESOL Endorsement courses are taught every semester. These courses are open to pre-service and in-service public educators. (The GRE is not required for Endorsement students.)
Although Linguistics is an upper-level discipline, undergraduate students can also explore some of the basics of Linguistics. Undergraduates do not enter our graduate-level courses, but we do offer some lower level coursework. Contact the advisor for more information.
Which program is best for you depends on your background, interests, and intended teaching environment. We invite you to call us to discuss the best option for you.
Here are some suggestions if you would like additional information: