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M.A. in Second Language Education


The M.A. programs in second language education offers students the opportunity to study language use, teaching, learning, and policy as it impacts language minority and language majority learners in ESL/EFL, language revitalization, world language education, and immersion and bilingual (dual language) education programs. The ideal candidates for the program have at least three years of teaching experience and diverse backgrounds demonstrating commitment in furthering education and research in second language education.

Research Opportunities

Students can engage in research that advances the field of second language education and ties into their area of interest. Faculty work closely with each student to achieve research and educational goals and improve educational opportunities for students.

Examples of past student theses or Plan B papers include:

  • Negotiating for meaning in pair work in learning Ojibwe L2
  • Longitudinal introspective study on impact of reformulation on Korean L2 writing
  • Spanish immersion materials and secondary classroom ecology
  • Expressions used by university ESL students to signal roles in academic discussions
  • Genre analysis course design: Graphic novels and beyond
  • Creating Ojibwe lesson plans: Restorative justice from the perspective of a White ally

Career Outlook

Graduates of the program have assumed positions as university faculty, instructional leaders in the public schools, curriculum development specialists, and assessment specialists. Recent graduates have found employment in the following positions:

  • Teaching specialist, UMN writing studies and Minnesota English Language Program (MELP)
  • Fulbright to Turkey
  • Teaching specialist, Department of French and Italian, University of Minnesota
  • Instruction and framework development manager, add.a.lingua (a company that supports immersion programs)
  • Principal, Normandale French Immersion
  • Spanish teacher, Saint Paul Academy and Summit School


Martha Bigelow Professor
Martha Bigelow
Blanca Caldas Assistant Professor
Blanca Caldas
Sam David Assistant Professor
Sam David
Mary (Fong) Hermes Professor
Mary (Fong) Hermes
Kendall King Professor
Kendall King
Diane Tedick Professor
Diane Tedick

M.A. Curriculum

M.A. candidates will focus broadly on second language education. Topics include English as a second language (ESL) for K-12, postsecondary, and adult basic education classrooms; bilingual and immersion education; traditional foreign language education in both K-12 and postsecondary settings; or Indigenous language revitalization. Students pursue a course of study that is designed in collaboration with the faculty advisor to correspond to the interests and background of each student. The study plan will provide a solid understanding of research and best practice in the field. Independent scholarship is encouraged. Students will either write and defend a final thesis (Plan A) or a qualifying final paper (Plan B).

View the required courses in the graduate catalog under subplan “Second Language Education.”


Priority deadline: December 1

For detailed funding and admission information including transfer credits and international student admissions, visit our admissions page.

Cory Mathieu

"I am grateful that my professors are doing current and interesting work because it is inspiring to discuss my research ideas with them."

Cory Mathieu
MA 2017