Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Now accepting applications for Spring 2017. Priority deadline: December 5, 2016. Applications received after December 5 will be considered if space is available.

The Marlboro MA TESOL program is designed to be completed in two, eight-week summer terms on site in Brattleboro, Vermont, combined with the interim academic year during which teachers use their own classrooms as their teaching internship site. The program is designed to prepare qualified and innovative teachers of English who will base their instruction on learners and learning, communicative use of language, cultural understanding, group learning, and reflective practice. The program's advisory council and faculty consist entirely of individuals who share a commitment to an experiential, whole-person approach to the preparation of language teachers. These shared core beliefs about language, teaching, and learning provide a consistency across the program that is rarely a part of formal academic offerings.

John Dewey Award

If you have taught for one year or more in an elementary, high school, or adult education setting, you could be eligible for an attractive award to help pay for your MA-TESOL program. Fill out our preliminary inquiry form to learn more about this opportunity.

While there is shared philosophy and experience, we also share a goal of creating something new that is attuned to recent developments in the field. Among these are the influence of the notion of English as an international language as well as the need for a deeper understanding of the role and influence of information and communications technology (ICT) as an increasingly important element of teacher education. 

Key Features

  • Two eight-week summer intensives in downtown Brattleboro, Vermont
  • A group experience in learning a language unfamiliar to anyone in the cohort. Taught by a master teacher, this experience will help students explore themselves as language learners and the learning dynamics of a language learning classroom; it will serve as a model of a master language teacher at work.
  • A focus on learning in community.
  • Development of skills in critical reflection.
  • Building and practicing direct skills in cross-cultural communication.
  • An extended classroom-based period of supervision and guided learning and reflection.
  • A final conference that prepares students to begin participating in professional language teacher conferences in their local context.


Beginning with the end in mind, students in their first week will start developing the online teaching portfolio that will serve as their culminating document. The portfolio acts as a reflective tool for examining and understanding one’s learning during the course of the program and as a repository of key artifacts of that learning. Digital portfolios have the added functionality of being able to be shared across the cohort as the portfolios are developing.

The portfolio will be designed to document evidence of specific teacher competency areas. Coursework throughout the program will incorporate deliverables that serve as such evidence and will be included in the portfolio. The final version of each student’s portfolio will serve as the culminating document required for graduation in lieu of a traditional thesis or an independent professional project. In this way the program will provide needed structure to what can otherwise be the daunting and isolating task of completing a traditional thesis. At the same time it will provide a structured format for ongoing reflection and self-measurement of learning.


Overview of Program Highlights

Spring (Summer) 1:
May to August
Sept. to Dec.
January to April
Spring (Summer) 2
May to August

Early May to mid June: the program begins with an Introduction to the e-Portfolio and the first summer courses.

End of June to end of August: face-to-face residency in Brattleboro

Practicum in reflective practice

Facilitated portfolio development with guidance from academic advisor

Supervised teaching practice

Facilitated portfolio development with guidance from academic advisor

Early May to mid June: The term begins with a reflective practice on the interim year and preparing for the summer residency.

End of June to end of August: Second summer of face-to-face coursework in Brattleboro.

The summer closes with a final conference.


Next Steps


Students are housed independently in Brattleboro. A housing assistance service is available for a small fee. For more information contact Graduate Admissions.


Marlboro College Graduate and Professional Studies is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC), which accredits schools and colleges in the six New England states.