The teaching of language is an essential skill in a world that is becoming increasingly connected. Our internationally recognized programs prepare you for leadership careers in foreign language education and ESL teaching.

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Language Education

The TESOL and TFL MA programs prepare language educators for teaching English as a second language and teaching foreign languages. The curriculum that we offer our students is one that integrates theory and practice and research. And so, all of our courses address all three.

Creating an environment where the students are all on the same page and providing more for visual learners.

We're teaching for the student who's having the hardest time. Right, so if you. >> I wanted to pair linguistics with teaching and MIIS really did a good balance these two things. It's not just teaching and it's not just linguistics, it has this balance of theory and practice.

We give our students lots of opportunities to do real life projects out in the community that are the same kinds of work they'll be doing once they graduate.

We have an on-campus student organization called BUILD, which allows students to take lower level language classes that are taught by volunteer student teachers here at MIIS. So a lot of the student teachers are people in my program in Teaching a Foreign Language, or Teaching English as a Second Language. I was able to apply what I've learned in my classes, and experiment with different methods and trial and use things when I teach BUILD.

I currently work, down in Custom Language Services, which has this English For Diplomats program and so, lot's of different things I'm learning in the classroom I can take and try on and see if it works. I didn't have a lot of teaching experience, and through the program I able to problematize a lot of different things that you go into the classroom with.

And then actually go into a classroom and try to teach these things.

Our students work with real clients out there who need help in developing curriculum for their programs. We've had ongoing groups of students go every year to work with a group of Haitian teachers of English, where they're working with them on developing not only their English language skills, but their pedagogical skills for teaching English in Haiti. There's a real commitment to quality teaching, and, as faculty members, we get to put that into practice every single day and be mentors for our students.

Giving the students a chance, more than one student a chance, to give definitions, I think would be a good idea.

So the professors in the TESOL program are, their door is always open. Whether they are in office hours or not, they welcome you to come in, and they encourage you to come in, even if it's not for their class. They can help you with your linguistics, they can help you with your teaching, your grammar, whatever class you're in, they can try to offer help or they can send you in the right direction.

It's always exciting to see what our students do when they finish their MA degrees, when they go out into the field. We have students who have done really critically important works. We have students who are contributing to curriculum development and really expanding the notion of language teaching across many different settings. They go on to do a lot of different things and very exciting things.

I recently got a job offer teaching Chinese at a high school level in Austin, Texas. I'll be using everything I've learned in my degree program, and I just feel like right now I'm so much more prepared in terms of my academic training and also pedagogical training.

You've got lots of different resources around to help you. You've got alumni that, as you step on the campus, are ready to help you even though they don't know you. You've got on-campus help with advising, teachers, faculty. And then you have a whole support of your colleagues. These networks of people that are here to help you. So, I think, you step on to a campus where it's just a built-in community right from the start.

The two degree programs are intentionally designed to share faculty and courses, so TESOL and Teaching Foreign Language (TFL) students take a majority of their classes together and benefit directly from collaboration across languages. TESOL is a three-semester, 40-credit program, and TFL is a three-semester, 42-credit program

Find out if TESOL or TFL is right for you

One-Year Hybrid Option

The final two courses of the TESOL and TFL* master’s programs are the Applied Linguistics Capstone and the Practicum Capstone. If you have teaching experience, you may be able to complete these final two courses online during the summer after your second semester, thus completing the program in just a year (fall, spring, then summer).

Not only will you be able to graduate faster, but the online option means that you will be able to move to your preferred location before you graduate and practice teaching (a major requirement of the Practicum Capstone) in a context that closely aligns with your career goals.

*If you are interested in the MA in Teaching Foreign Language please note that this one-year hybrid option is only available for advanced entry students or if you have transferable graduate credits from another university or if you have taken 400-level language courses at Middlebury College before coming to the Institute.

Guaranteed $15K Scholarships

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we guarantee a minimum $15,000 per year scholarship (prorated by program length) to all TESOL and TFL students who request scholarship consideration in their online application. You may also receive additional merit and need-based scholarships depending on the strength of your application and your financial situation.

If you qualify for multiple guaranteed scholarships, please visit our tuition page for details on how your scholarship will be awarded.

Career-Oriented Course Work

Our curriculum provides solid foundations in language teaching pedagogy, theory, research, and assessment—all of which will help you expand your career opportunities.

Our graduates are prepared for rewarding leadership positions in the various fields of language education. The Institute offers an advanced entry option for students who have previous TFL, TESOL, and/or linguistics course work. Career-oriented specializations in Language Program Administration, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Teaching Foreign Language (TFL), International Education Management, and Intercultural Competence can be added to either degree in a fourth semester.

See the curriculum for more details.

Faculty: Professors and Practitioners

Our faculty combine academic expertise with years of professional experience in organizations such as the TESOL International Association, American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), and The International Research Foundation for English Language Education. They are dedicated to modeling effective pedagogy in their own teaching and actively engaged as academic and professional mentors to students and alumni. Meet our faculty.

Language of Study (TFL)

The Institute provides professional preparation for many TFL languages, most commonly Arabic, Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. We also partner with the Middlebury Language Schools to offer two degrees: an MA in Chinese with a focus on Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language and an MA in Arabic with a focus on Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Both TESOL and TFL students have multiple and varied opportunities to put theory into practice through internships and professional experiences. Some are right here on campus, in our ESL program, Summer Intensive Language Programs, Custom Language Services, and the Graduate Writing Center. Other opportunities include the following:


Founded by students in 2009, B.U.I.L.D. offers free beginning-level classes in any language. This student-run activity helps TESOL and TFL students hone their teaching skills in an informal, low-pressure environment.

The Monterey Peace and Justice Center

Students can teach ESL classes as well as participate in ESL program administration, curriculum development, and student assessment.

Foreign Language Education Symposium (FLEDS)

This annual student-run conference features presentations of interest to teachers of many languages. Student committee members gain experience in running a professional conference.

Options for Peace Corps Service

Interested students can integrate Peace Corps service into their degree.

Language Education Career Outcomes

Our graduates find rewarding careers as teachers, program directors, curriculum developers, assessment specialists, and teacher educators in the U.S. and around the world.

Career Outcomes

Working, continuing education, or other within 1 year of graduation
Secured internships in 2017 and 2018
Countries in which recent graduates are employed

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What makes us different?

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Why the Institute?

Find out what we can do for you.

Next Application Deadline

April 1