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Our Master’s Program(s) in Teaching ESL

By admin | August 15, 2013

As of Spring Semester 2017, the Concentration in English as a Second Language in the Department of English Language and Literature is no longer admitting new students.  This program is slated to be fully deactivated by the end of Spring 2018; current students should make all efforts to fully complete degree requirements by that time.
Please address any inquiries to the Graduate Adviser in ESL, Prof. Douglas W. Coleman <>.
When I first came to the University of Toledo in 1989 as an untenured assistant professor, I directed the ESL composition program and taught on the English Department side for the joint MA-Ed. in ESL which was a mutual program of the College of Education and what was then the College of Arts and Sciences. However, I soon found that by far most of the students the degree attracted were not K-12 teachers, but wanted to teach at the college level in the US or abroad, or wanted to go on to a related Ph.D. This led to the creation of a Concentration in ESL within the MA in English by a committee consisting at the time of myself and three colleagues — Samir Abu-Absi (linguistics and ESL), Robert Rudolph (Medieval studies / history of English), and Dorothy Siegel (linguistics).
The new Concentration in ESL accepted its first students in 1997, the same year we added a new colleague, Melinda Reichelt (ESL / L2 writing).  By 2005, she took over as Director of ESL Composition, and has served in that capacity ever since.  The concentration has grown over the years, but even as it has, we lost both colleagues in linguistics to retirement, with neither of their lines being replaced.  Eventually, their loss led to the closing of UT’s BA degree in linguistics, as we could no longer staff its core courses.
My tentative plan for the past year or so has been to retire from the University at the end of Spring 2018. This has brought us to a similar situation involving the MA-level Concentration in ESL. There has been no indication that a replacement for me would be funded by the UT administration, which would leave my one remaining colleague (Reichelt) unable to staff the entire ESL Concentration by herself. At the end of the 31st year after its creation, the program will no longer exist.
I have greatly enjoyed my time working with students in the program, and will be sorry to see it end. However, I am glad to have done whatever I could to help them get started in this exciting profession, and wish them the best of luck.
– Doug Coleman, Professor / Graduate Adviser in ESL
About Us Special Features
The University of Toledo has two master’s level options to prepare teachers of English as a Second Language: a Master of Arts (MA) in English with Concentration in English as a Second Language and a Master of Arts and Education (MA-Ed.) in English as a Second Language.  The MA-Ed. in ESL is primarily intended for those already possessing valid Ohio teaching licensure who wish to add to their background relevant to K-12 education.  The MA in English with Concentration in ESL is intended for those preparing to teach at the college level in the US or abroad, in language training programs for the workplace, and a variety of other environments.  (Note: the MA with Concentration in ESL is not a literature degree with some ESL, but a completely separate track from our Concentration in Literature.) Special pluses of our programs and the University of Toledo include close ties with the English Department’s Composition Program, its Program in ESL Composition, the UT Writing Center, and the intensive English program of UT’s American Language Institute, state-of-the-art multimedia and computer classrooms operated by the Department of English, a well-equipped campus library with on-line access to the catalogues of other state universities in Ohio (with borrowing privileges), a pleasant suburban campus environment.  Students who are not already employed as ESL teachers have the option of performing their ENGL 6940 practicum requirement via a community-service adult ESL teaching experience.Our faculty members actively publish, make presentations at conferences, and serve in leadership roles in professional organizations in the field.  Our students have also been regular presenters at conferences such as those held by Ohio TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) and international TESOL.Because our master’s programs do not have a large number of students at any given time, the students are able to receive a great deal of individual attention from their adviser and the other professors of ESL and linguistics.Special pluses of the Toledo area include a multicultural urban setting with substantial numbers of speakers of Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and other languages; a nationally-recognized art museum; the Toledo Zoo; an extensive system of Metroparks serving the city and its environs; a lively arts community.


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