Teaching & Professional Development

Teaching Opportunities

The MA-TESOL program prides itself on offering its students a variety of supervised teaching opportunities to build valuable experience in a range of contexts.

Teaching Composition

Students with teaching assistantships will have the opportunity to teach first-year composition to multilingual writers in EN 120/ and 121. In their first year in the program, students will co-teach with a second-year MA-TESOL student as the teachers of record. Teaching assignments are made by the English department upon the recommendation of the MA-TESOL coordinator. During graduate advising each semester, the coordinator solicits students’ preferences concerning their future assignments.

Students with teaching assistantships will also have the opportunity to teach composition to native English speakers (EN 101/102) while taking EN 533 and EN 534 and attending a workshop conducted by the First-Year Writing Program.

Tutoring in the University Writing Center

Following an extensive orientation to the art and skill of tutoring, students with teaching assistantships will typically work ten hours a week in the University Writing Center as part of their teaching assignments.

Apprenticeships at the English Language Institute

Students will be given the opportunity to be apprentice teachers at the English Language Institute on campus for one semester during their second year of study. This apprenticeship experience is intended to be a time of significant professional growth, a time for students to reflect on the learning experiences. It is also meant to provide a way of helping students to improve their teaching competency and to determine future directions for improvement and growth.

Prior to the apprenticeship, a student must complete the following courses: EN 610, EN 613, and EN 617 with grades of A or B. The typical schedule followed by MA-TESOL apprentices at the ELI is the observation of classes and tutoring during the first 8-week session (Fall 1 or Spring 1) and the teaching of a class during the second 8-week session (Fall 2 or Spring 2). A core ELI faculty member will be assigned to work with you during your semester at ELI, especially during the teaching session.

However, in some cases due to a variety of factors, the schedule may not include the teaching of a class. In lieu of such teaching, you may work as a teacher assistant or tutor. Your responsibilities in such a capacity will be determined by the needs of ELI, the core teacher, and you and will differ from those listed below that apply only to those who are teaching a class.

Local Teaching Opportunities

Paid and volunteer opportunities are available through the English Language Institute’s External Programs and in the community through the Tuscaloosa City Schools. Private tutoring in the community is a frequent possibility.

Professional Associations

The MA-Applied Linguistics-TESOL Program encourages students to join our professional associations and fosters participation in conferences at the local (Alabama-Mississippi TESOL), regional (Southeast TESOL) and national levels. Funding for students making presentations is often available through the English department and through the University’s Division of Student Life.