langaugelanguagThe University of North Carolina Board of Governors has given its approval for Western Carolina University to establish the state’s first stand-alone master’s degree program in teaching English as a second or foreign language.
University officials say the new program will help meet an increasing demand from area community colleges and literacy agencies for teachers qualified to work with a growing number of Hispanic residents.
Approved by the board at its May meeting, the 36-hour master of art degree program is designed for students interested in teaching English as a second language at the college or university level, or those interested in pursuing continued graduate work in applied linguistics. Two other UNC institutions currently offer concentrations in teaching English as a second language within other degree programs, but there is no other stand-alone program of its type in North Carolina, said Chandrika Rogers, a WCU assistant professor of English who designed the program.
Required courses in the program include courses such as “Introduction to Linguistics,” “Foundations of English as a Second Language and Language Learning,” “Sociolinguistics” and “Grammatical Foundations.” Completion of the program will not qualify students to teach English as a second language in the public schools, but master of arts in teaching and master of arts in education programs are being planned for students interested in teaching in the schools. “We hope to get these programs approved in the near future,” Rogers said.
Fifteen WCU graduate students are currently taking course work in teaching English as a second or foreign language, and other students already have taken the courses and graduated with master’s degrees in English, with concentrations in teaching English as a second or foreign language. WCU expects to award its first master’s degree in teaching English as a second or foreign language in May 2007, Rogers said.
WCU officials conservatively estimate that more than 85 students will enroll in the program over the next four years.
For more information about the program, contact Rogers at (828) 227-3921 or e-mail email@example.com.