Waite Phillips Hall and Leavey Library
The Master of Arts in Teaching—Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MAT–TESOL) curriculum was revised in 2017 to strengthen coursework, expand the fieldwork component, add the option to pursue a teaching credential and equip graduates for a greater range of opportunities in the field.


MAT–TESOL courses and fieldwork offer a developmental and integrated learning experience that will equip you to provide systematic and effective English language instruction. Through the curriculum, you’ll gain theoretical knowledge, practice and apply concepts in actual classrooms, and have opportunities to demonstrate mastery.

Theory Practice Mastery
Develop foundational knowledge about core theories, concepts and critical issues in the field Apply theory through practice teaching, observations and action research in classrooms Master instructional strategies in collaboration with guiding teachers, faculty and peers

The curriculum is designed to prepare you to teach rigorously and think critically and innovatively to identify and close opportunity gaps for underserved students around the world. As you advance through the program, you will acquire knowledge and skills in four broad categories: instructional approaches, how languages are acquired, how languages are structured and used, and the importance of social context in learning and teaching. The following is a sampling of concepts and skills across these categories that are addressed in the program.

Instructional Approaches

  • Sociocultural learning theory
  • Communicative language teaching
  • Task-based language teaching
  • Culturally sustaining approaches
  • Learner centered teaching
  • Cultural consciousness
  • Inquiry and reflection
  • Online learning
  • Technology-enhanced language instruction

Language Acquisition

  • First language acquisition
  • Second language acquisition
  • Multilingualism
  • Translanguaging
  • Language socialization
  • Investment
  • Learner identity
  • Bilingual education
  • Immersion models

Language Structure and Use

  • Phonology, phonetics
  • Morphology, grammar and syntax
  • Vocabulary
  • Pragmatics
  • Critical discourse analysis
  • Language awareness
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Corpus linguistics
  • The four skills

Social Context

  • Sociocultural theory
  • Activity theory
  • Social capital theories
  • Funds of knowledge
  • Community wealth
  • Critical race theory
  • Intercultural competence
  • Language policy
  • Global education reform efforts

Non-Credential Track

The non-credential track is tailored to prepare you to teach in private schools, international schools, adult education, community colleges and other higher education settings. The non-credential track requires a minimum of 24 units.

Credential Tracks1

The credential tracks are designed to prepare you to teach in the U.S. in a single subject language teaching assignment. Credential tracks are offered for a California preliminary single subject teaching credential in English Language Development or World Language. The World Language track is available for on campus students only. Pursuing a credential track requires a minimum of 28 units.

To obtain a teaching credential, you must fulfill a series of requirements in addition to your coursework at USC Rossier, including several exams. Upon completion of the program and credential requirements, USC Rossier will recommend qualified candidates to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for a teaching credential. For more information on credentialing requirements, please contact your admission representative.

English Language Development Authorizes you to teach English Language Development (ELD) in departmentalized K-12 classroom assignment.
World Language Authorizes you to teach a language other than English as a world language in a single subject classroom assignment.