Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

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TESOL Program Overview

Fairfield offers programs in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and bilingual education to prepare prospective and practicing teachers to educate K-12 students who are learning English as a second or additional language.

For prospective candidates seeking to become K-12 teachers:

A master's degree (MA) with initial certification in TESOL

For practicing teachers seeking cross-endorsement:

MA degree and Sixth Year Certificate (SYC) with cross-endorsements in TESOL and elementary or secondary bilingual education

For candidates interested in TESOL for adults:

MA only program option

Fairfield's programs benefit from being located near K-12 schools in our partner districts (Bridgeport, Danbury, Greenwich, Norwalk, Stamford, and Stratford) with long-established TESOL and bilingual education programs.

Why Study TESOL Education at Fairfield?


The School of Education and Human Development is currently accredited by NCATE, currently known as CAEP, the largest accrediting body for educator preparation providers, through December 2028. The School of Education and Human Development is currently undergoing a CAEP self-study to extend accreditation.

Fairfield University's TESOL program has been awarded "national recognition" by the TESOL International Association. A nationally recognized program is one that has systematically assessed candidates' learning and meet rigorous standards developed by the speciality professional association (SPA) in that discipline. SPA recognition informs prospective students that the accredited college or university and nationally recognized program have met national standards for the professional and operate at a high level of educational quality and integrity. Fairfield University is the only school in Connecticut with an MA with initial certification program.

Course Offerings

Special Learners in the Bilingual/ESL Classroom
Linguistics for Language Teachers
Teaching Grammar in Second Language Settings
Principles of Bilingualism
Methods and Materials in Bilingual Programs
TESOL/Bilingual Advanced Practicum Elementary
Methods and Materials for Second Language Teaching
Methods of Foreign Language Teaching for Elementary School
Teaching and Learning within Multicultural Contexts of Education
Comprehending and Communicating in a Second Language
Second Language Methods for Secondary Teachers (6-12)
Content Area Instruction in Bilingual/ESL Classrooms
Differentiated Instruction for English Language Learners
Reading and Writing in a Second Language
Language Acquisition
Culture and Second Language Acquisition
TESOL/Bilingual Advanced Practicum Secondary
Thesis Seminar
The English Language Learner in the Regular Classroom
Foundations of Dual Language Instruction
Emergent Literacy in Bilingual Early Childhood Education
Historical and Sociopolitical Issues in Bilingual/Multicultural/ESL Education
Testing and Assessment in TESOL and Bilingual Programs
Second Language Curriculum Development
Directed Observation and Supervised Student Teaching
TESOL/Bilingual Student Teaching & DSAP I Seminar
Directed Observation for TESOL/Bilingual DSAP Candidates: Part I
Directed Observation for TESOL/Bilingual DSAP Candidates: Part II
C.A.S. Advanced Practicum
Independent Study
United States History for Educators
Comprehensive Exam in TESOL and Bilingual/Multicultural Education


Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university (or the international equivalent) and possess a minimum of 39 semester hours of credit in general academic courses in five of the six following subject areas: English, natural science, fine arts, social studies, foreign language, and mathematics. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

More About TESOL

Message from the Director

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Message from the Director

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Dear Prospective Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in Fairfield University's TESOL and bilingual/multicultural education programs, which were established in 1972. Fairfield is one of two NCATE and TESOL accredited universities in Connecticut to offer initial certification and cross-endorsement programs in TESOL. We also have elementary and secondary cross-endorsements in Bilingual Education at the graduate level. The program benefits from the University's location near schools with long-established bilingual and TESOL programs, and has received numerous teacher-training grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

The TESOL and Bilingual Education programs are housed in the Department of Educational Studies and Teacher Preparation, a professional community that lives out the ideals of our Jesuit mission as advocates for equity and justice through the transformative powers of education. Upon their graduation, TESOL and Bilingual Candidates continue this mission through teaching and a commitment to meet the needs of the linguistically and culturally diverse students in Connecticut schools.

Our TESOL and Bilingual Education full-time faculty, adjuncts, cooperating teachers, and field supervisors are experienced educators with a deep commitment to serving the needs of students, families, communities, and schools. TESOL practicum and student teaching include an 8-week elementary and an 8-week secondary placement. One of the strengths of the program is the network of experienced teachers, newly certified teachers, and administrators (many of whom are Fairfield graduates) who share their knowledge and expertise at local and regional meetings.

Upon admission, you'll be assigned an advisor who will work with you to plan your program of study and support you throughout your program as you work toward your professional goals.

Please feel free to explore this program site further. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a time to meet with me for further discussion, e-mail or call me at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2873.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Anne E. Campbell, Ph.D. Associate Professor and Director
TESOL and Bilingual/Multicultural Education

Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

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Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

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As a Jesuit, Catholic university, Fairfield is dedicated to diversity and inclusion; to radical hospitality in service of racial, social, and economic justice.

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Career & Professional Opportunities

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Career & Professional Opportunities

Bilingual and TESOL Education are two critical shortage areas in Connecticut. Fairfield's Bilingual and TESOL Education program graduates are in high demand in Connecticut and throughout the region. The comprehensive curriculum and field placements prepare candidates to work as bilingual elementary or bilingual secondary content area teachers, or TESOL teachers in grades K-12. Additional career opportunities include teaching overseas or in adult education.

Learn more about how the University's Career Center can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

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Our caring and committed faculty offer a rigorous course of study, with a broad range of courses that integrate critical reflection, extensive field experience, and the most current research in the field of TESOL and bilingual education.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When you are ready to apply, you can create an online application. Please plan to spend about 10 - 15 minutes completing the application. You can create the application and return to the platform in the future to submit it if you require additional time. You should be prepared to answer a series of questions pertaining to your biographical information, program of interest, and educational/ work background. Additionally, you will be required to enter the names and contact information for two references. As part of the application process, you will be required to submit all official college transcripts (sent directly from your institutions), two recommendations (submitted directly from your references who will receive a unique email link), a personal statement, resume, and test scores (required for programs leading to state certification). Please note, you may submit the online application prior to submitting the required supplemental materials. For any questions about the online application please contact Fairfield University Graduate Admission.

Applications are processed on a rolling basis; however, they need to be submitted at least two weeks before the start of the semester or summer session to be processed in time for the semester.

For master's, PRAXIS Core Academic Skills for Educators tests (formerly PRAXIS I) (PPST) or waiver, minimum GPA of 2.67, 2 letters of recommendation, résumé. Additional exam requirements/recommendations for international students: Required - TOEFL (A TOEFL composite score of 550 for the paper test, 213 for the computer-based, or 84 on the Internet-based test (iBT) with a minimum score of 21 in reading and 23 in writing).

Our Office of Graduate Admissions is available to explain the application requirements and to help you get your application together. You may contact them by submitting a request for information or by phoning (203) 254-4184 or toll-free (888) 488-6840.

Tuition and fees for Fairfield's graduate programs.

Most of our courses are offered from Monday-Thursday in the late afternoon and evening. A few courses are offered online. We also offer summer courses from late May through early August.

If you are interested in taking a course as a non-degree/ visiting student, please contact the Office of Graduate Admission at gradadmis@fairfield.edu for more information.

Courses include topics such as, bilingualism, the role of culture in language acquisition, theories of learning, second language methods of teaching, curriculum and materials development, linguistics, and assessment of English language learners.

We keep our classes small. The typical maximum class size is 20, but class sizes range from 6 to 20.

Our students come from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds and have majored in a wide variety of disciplines. The Program Director reviews applicant's transcripts and identifies what courses, if any, the applicant needs in order to be admitted to the program.

Students who attend full-time take 9 credits each Fall and Spring semester and up to 9 credits in the summer sessions. For full-time students, the program can be completed in about 2 years. For students who attend part time, the time will vary based on how many courses are taken at a time. Students are required, however, to complete their degree within 6 years after they begin their first course.

Our Office of Financial Aid can best answer that question for you. You may reach them by phoning (203) 254-4125 or by emailing them, and you can visit the Office of Financial Aid page.

Our graduate assistantships provide tuition credit for work. Please see the information noted on the website regarding available positions. Additionally, there may be an opportunity to do an internship in a public school and earn up to $15,000 toward tuition. Email the internship director for additional information.

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