The program for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at Northeastern Illinois University has a long history of preparing professionals in TESOL who work in the Chicago area and beyond. It is aligned with the professional standards of TESOL International Association.

The program offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in TESOL, a Graduate Certificate Program, a minor in TESOL, and courses toward ESL Endorsement in the state of Illinois and a general education course as part of the first-year experience. We are open to working with individual schools and school districts to provide contract or cohort classes on site. 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 TESOL gives students an understanding of the nature of language, culture, instruction, assessment and professionalism, and their interrelationships. The M.A. in TESOL 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 in 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. As an alternative, students can elect to complete only the sequence of courses leading for the State of Illinois endorsement to teach ESL. (See Illinois ESL 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 on Saturdays.

Careers and opportunities

TESOL is the application of linguistics to the teaching of English as a second or foreign language. A degree in TESOL is in great demand, both in the United States and abroad. A career path in TESOL 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 skill set developed within a TESOL 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). View detailed information about the domains and their standards along with performance criteria or visit the TESOL website.

Contact us

Mailing Address

TESOL Program
Northeastern Illinois University
Lech Walesa Hall Office 3062
5500 North Saint Louis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625-5870

TESOL Coordinator

Dr. Jeanine Ntihirageza
Phone: (773) 442-5873
Email: or
Location: Lech Walesa Hall Office 3062

For questions regarding a Master of Arts in TESOL please contact Dr. Gina Wells.

For questions regarding an undergraduate minor in TESOL please contact John Armour.

For questions regarding the Graduate Certificate and ESL Endorsement please contact John Armour.