Skip to main content
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Apply now! Earn your bachelor's degree at El Centro. More information »
Teaching English as a second language
Teaching English as a second language

Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language

The program for Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language (TESL/TEFL) at Northeastern Illinois University has a long history of preparing professionals in TESL/TEFL who work in the Chicago area and beyond. It is aligned with the professional standards of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL),

The program offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in TESL, a Minor in TESL, courses toward ESL endorsement  in the State of Illinois, general education courses as part of the first-year experience. We are open to working with individual schools and school districts to provide contract or cohort classes onsite. In addition, we welcome the possibility of working with schools in other states and countries in order to explore partnerships and/or provide teacher exchanges for the teaching of English and language teacher training.



The M.A. in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language gives students an understanding of the nature of language, culture, instruction, assessment and professionalism, and their interrelationships. The M.A. in TESL/TEFL prepares you to teach English in the United States or overseas. Within the United States, our graduates teach ESL in public and private schools, as well as in city and community colleges and adult education programs.

For certified teachers possessing a valid teaching certificate through the state of Illinois, fulfillment of this degree includes the courses that would help them to complete the requirements necessary to teach ESL in K through 12. Alternatively, students can elect to complete only the sequence of courses leading for the state of Illinois endorsement to teach ESL. See more information under TESL Endorsement. The program is designed for full or part-time students, and all master's level courses offered in the fall and spring semesters are held in the evenings and Saturdays.

Careers and opportunities

TESL/TEFL is the application of linguistics to the teaching of English as a second or foreign language. A degree in TESL/TEFL is in great demand, both in the United States and abroad. A career path in TESL/TEFL will prepare you for the more traditional professions related to education (e.g., English language teaching, teacher training, program administration, curriculum development, materials development) at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels, as well as a variety of other professions that require the skills set developed within a TESL/TEFL degree program (e.g., research, publishing, advocacy, government).


The program has been designed in accordance with the standards established by Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL). For detailed information about the domains and their standards along with performance criteria please click here or visit TESOL at

News and Events

For information regarding our alumni and current program events please go to News and Events.

Contact us

Mailing Address:

   TESL Program
   Northeastern Illinois University
   5500 North Saint Louis Avenue
   Chicago, IL 60625-5870


Phone:  Alicia Perez (773) 442-5870
Fax:      (773)442-5674
Email:  OR
For questions regarding a Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language please contact: Dr. Teddy Bofman.
For questions regarding a Minor in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language, please contact: Dr. William Stone, undergraduate advisor.




Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language



Back to Top