Jan 17, 2021  
Graduate Catalog 2007-2009 
Graduate Catalog 2007-2009 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English as a Second Language and Applied Linguistics, ESL

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The Master of Arts in English as a Second Language (ESL) and Applied Linguistics with teacher licensure option in ESL is an interdisciplinary program with the main focus on teaching English as a second language and applied linguistics, particularly the descriptive, psychological, and sociological aspects of the latter.  The program is both comprehensive and flexible and offers two broadly overlapping tracks - i.e., two plans of study -intended to meet the specific needs career goals, and personal interests of candidates.

The ESL Track is designed primarily for candidates interested in language pedagogy and related research.  The overall aim is to provide a thorough grounding in the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed for successful ESL instruction at any of the various educational levels.  This track targets certified teachers who wish to enhance their knowledge of ESL and expertise in the teaching of ESL -especially individuals who wish to work with English language learners.

The Applied Linguistics Track targets candidates interested mainly in the theoretical aspects of linguistics and related research.  It emphasizes the core areas in linguistics - phonetics and phonology, morphology and syntax, semantics and pragmatics, as well as sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics.  This in-depth understanding of linguistic phenomena can be useful in identifying and addressing language-related problems pertaining to the teaching of English as a second language.

The program is aligned with the recently revised NC State Board of Education Standards for teachers of ESL and also with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

In collaboration with the School of Education, the Department of English and Foreign Languages also offers an .  The program is designed for certified teachers who wish to enhance their knowledge and expertise in the teaching of ESL in grades K-12.  The Add-on Licensure program requires a minimum of 18 semester hours of course work listed below.

Learning Outcomes

Specifically, the program provides a curriculum that will help candidates acquire and develop knowledge and skills related to ESL and applied Linguistics.  By the completion of the program, candidates will demonstrate the following:

  • skills in selecting, adapting, and analyzing materials appropriate for ESL teaching and effective strategies for using these materials in curriculum development.
  • knowledge of current trends in the teaching of ESL and mastery skills in the use of a variety of effective methods/strategies for teaching at various levels in this area and skills in the effective use of technology in the teaching of ESL.
  • competence in the use of a variety of diagnostic testing, evaluation, and test development procedures.
  • knowledge of linguistic theory, including the structure of language and the principles of language acquisition, language development and language learning.
  • understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity; understanding of the interrelationships involving language, culture, and society and the implications of those interrelationships for ESL teaching.
  • ability to evaluate the effectiveness of various methodologies while thinking critically and conducting research/case studies within the context of ESL. 
  • professional attitude toward the teaching of ESL through study and investigation of current research reflecting the state of the art.

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Evidence of having studied a foreign language at the college level
  • A recent Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score
  • A written statement of purpose describing career goals
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional references
  • An official score report for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and either the Test of Spoken English (TSE) or its institutional equivalent -the SPEAK test (for non-native speakers of English and applicants coming from non-Anglophone countries)
  • A copy of current NC teaching license (for teachers who wish to obtain an “M” license - a master’s level advanced license)

Application Deadlines

Fall admission                 July 15
Spring admission            November 15
Summer admission         March 15

Transfer Credits

In accordance with the policy of the School of Graduate Studies at Winston-Salem State University, applicants may be allowed to transfer up to 6 (six) credit hours from an accredited graduate school program.

Degree Requirements

The M.A. requires 39 (thirty-nine) hours of course work, including 6 (six) hours of thesis credit or 6 additional course credits, and successful performance on the comprehensive examination.  Candidates must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 (“B” average).  No more than two grades of “C” or less may be earned in the program.

Time Limits for Completion

In accordance with the policy of the School of Graduate Studies at Winston-Salem State University, all graduate credit earned toward a degree, including credits transferred from another institution must have been earned within a limit of 6 (six) calendar years.

Course of Study

Required courses for both tracks (21 hours):


*These 18 hours are required for licensure.

Required courses for ESL Track (12 hours)

Required courses for Applied Linguistics Track (12 hours)

Elective courses for both tracks (6 hours)





Doina L. Kovalik Assistant Professor of English (TESL/Linguistics)
B.A., Babes-Bolyai University;
M.A., Ph.D., Oklahoma State University
Ludovic M. Kovalik Assistant Professor of English (TESL/Linguistics)
B.A., Babes-Bolyai University;
M.A., Ph.D., Oklahoma State University
Leonard Muaka Assistant Professor of Swahili/Linguistics
B.A., M.A., University of Nairobi, Kenya; M.A., Ohio State University;
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Tika H. Owens Instructor of English
B.A., Winston-Salem State University;
M.A., Ohio State University


Departmental Links


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