The TESOL graduate programs require nine credits of foundational work in language, culture, and Bible. Students who enter without such a background are required to take three credits each of Introduction to Linguistics, Intercultural Communication and Bible (or their equivalents).
The M.A. TESOL program consists of 33 graduate credits beyond the foundational credits. These graduate credits include 16 credits of Graduate Certificate courses, 6 credits of additional core courses in TESOL, 3 credits of electives in Bible or Theology, and 7 credits of electives in TESOL. A portfolio is required as a culminating experience for the degree. For a list of the various courses, see the curriculum section below. For more specific details, refer to Section 4 of the MA TESOL Handbook.
The M.A. in TESOL requires practice teaching.
The M.A. program requirements may be reduced for students who have taken courses equivalent of the foundation courses as listed below, but the minimum number of graduate credits required is 33, of which 24 must be taken through Biola. A minimum of 12 graduate credits must be taken on campus.
Students may take the foundational courses concurrently with the core courses.
Applicants to the M.A. in TESOL program must meet the qualifications specified in the Admission to the School of Intercultural Studies section, including a profession of Christian faith. In addition to these, foreign applicants who are non-native English speakers must demonstrate both spoken and written proficiency in English through an oral interview and by submitting their TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) results. The TOEFL must have been taken within the past five years. A TOEFL score of 600 PBT / 250 CBT /100 iBT is normally required. The essay score should be at least 5.5. Alternatively, an IELTS score of 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element) is required. Non-native speakers are also expected to demonstrate oral English proficiency by means of an interview with a faculty member.
Because teachers and applied linguists are expected to have a high degree of competence in written English, all new graduate students, both native and non-native English speakers, are required to take the department’s Writing Proficiency Exam. If the results of the exam indicate that additional work in written grammar and composition is needed to enable a student to perform at the level expected for this field, he or she will be expected to do independent supplementary work on writing or to take and pass one or more writing courses available on campus.
All graduate programs in the department require as a prerequisite a minimum of three semester credits of acceptable Bible or theology coursework at the upper division or graduate level in addition to the specified foundational credits. Foundational credits may be taken concurrently with regular program courses but should normally be completed by the end of the first year.
Students normally begin their program in the fall. Yet it is possible for students to start their program in the spring. Feel free to contact the department chair for details.
All students must successfully complete all required coursework with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 to qualify for graduation. No ALT course with a grade less than a B (3.0) will be counted for the Certificate or M.A.
The M.A. degrees are usually completed within two years by full-time students, but part-time students may have up to seven years.