Master's Degree Requirements


Language Teaching Studies

The University of Oregon Master of Arts (MA) degree program in Language Teaching Studies is a 15-month intensive graduate degree designed to prepare leaders in the field of language teaching and learning. A unique feature of this program is that participants are able to specialize in more than one language, including majority languages such as English and minoritized languages such as the indigenous languages of the Pacific Northwest.

The MA in Language Teaching Studies focuses on transformational approaches to language instruction through innovation in curriculum, pedagogy, materials development, digital technologies, and assessment, including how evidence-based principles and practices can be adapted across a wide range of language learning contexts. The program is particularly sensitive to the evolving needs of both majority and minority language learners in this era of globalization and internationalization.

Apply to the MA in Language Teaching Studies

Although not required, some academic background in linguistics or experience in language teaching is recommended as preparation for our program. Ready to apply? Start your application on Slate, the centralized application portal for graduate admissions at the University of Oregon.

LTS student Alexis Busso near the summit of Mt. Fuji

"Through the LTS capstone project, I was able to combine my interest in cognitive psychology and language. This research continues to influence my teaching today and has become the subject of my current professional work at Tokyo International University. Furthermore, as a graduate employee at the American English Institute and the hands-on teaching practice course, I could implement what I was learning in the program directly into the classroom. Thanks to the program's flexibility and innovative courses, I was able to learn alongside international students and about various indigenous languages which enriched my experience tremendously. I am deeply grateful for the networking opportunities and the experiences that the LTS program has provided me. " 

-Alexis Busso, MA in Language Teaching Studies, 2018

Students milling around a classroom

Program Overview

The MA Language Teaching Studies (LTS) is designed to support all language teachers. Program goals include:

  • Identifying the common practices of successful language learners as well as the diverse characteristics of languages and learner needs.
  • Emphasizing methodologies and curricula that align with current research and theory.
  • Recognizing the importance of social context, identity, and agency in language use.
  • Highlighting best uses of digital tools to motivate and inspire learners in and beyond the classroom contexts.
  • Providing a background in language evaluation to match a new international need for proficiency-based assessment.
  • Applying what has been learned in the program to an individualized capstone project that is designed for an authentic teaching or learning context (See a list of project titles since 2005).
  • Welcoming program participants into a cohort model based community, strong social networks, and professional development opportunities.

Many of our students specialize in teaching English, or in English and an additional language, but some students focus only on a language other than English (e.g. Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, French, Japanese, among others). Some students focus on the revitalization of endangered languages, such as those of the Sahaptin family, or on less commonly taught languages, such as Thai or Persian. Most applicants to the program already have the expected proficiency in the target language(s) typically required for teaching positions in the language(s), although teacher-learners of very endangered languages may also be building their own language proficiency. This rich linguistic diversity is possible through collaboration with the American English Institute (AEI) as well as through links to other departments and organizations at the University of Oregon, such as the East Asian Languages & Literatures Departments (EALL), the Romance Languages Department, the Yamada Language Center, the Center for Applied Second Language Studies (CASLS), and its Chinese Flagship Program, and the Northwest Indian Languages Institute (NILI), among others.

Who Enrolls in Our Program

A linguistics background is very helpful but not required for applicants to our program. The coursework taken in the first Summer term provides the linguistics background needed for the rest of the courses in the program. A MA in Language Teaching is considered the terminal degree for language teachers who wish to teach adults or children in private or public schools, institutions, colleges, or universities in the US or abroad. Our graduates teach across multiple contexts both in the US and abroad. See our Career and Professional Development page and the LTS blog to see examples of what some of our graduates have done or are doing now.

Public K-12 schools require additional licensure in their local states, as well as preparation through programs such as the UO Teach Program in the College of Education. Public elementary and secondary schools abroad likewise generally require additional local certification.

Our admissions are limited to a cohort of approximately 20 students each year, to ensure a quality graduate experience.

Applicants to our program include international students as well as US citizens, and pre-service as well as experienced teachers seeking additional qualifications.

Course of Study

Length of Program

The Language Teaching Studies program is designed as an intensive MA degree that can be completed in five consecutive quarter terms beginning Summer term (the first Summer term is entirely online), and continuing through the subsequent Summer term (15 months). Students are able to stay longer than five terms in the program, but need to consult with Director Keli Yerian about planning an extended or alternate schedule. The program is not designed to be completed as quickly with a Fall term start; students need stay in the program 2 years in this case.

First Term Online

To make the program as convenient as possible for our students, we offer all of our first-term (Summer) courses online. These courses are designed as online courses, not to be confused with remote courses being offered during COVID-19. Each course provides a flexible, interactive learning experience.

  • LING 520 Language, Mind and Society (Weeks 1-4)
  • LT 534 Language Learning in Context (Weeks 5-8)
  • LT 535 Language Teaching Methods (Weeks 1-8)

LING 544 Second Language Acquisition will also be offered online in weeks 5-8 of Summer term, but most LTS students will take it in Fall term.

In addition to daily opportunities for interaction with course instructors and classmates, students will also meet other LTS faculty and continuing LTS students through various online social activities.

Master's Degree Requirements

  • 50 credits in Linguistics and Language Teaching coursework
  • 7 master's project course credits and the successful completion of a final master's project
  • Each course grade must be a B- or higher in order to satisfy degree requirements. Please be aware of the University of Oregon policy that requires all graduate students to maintain a 3.0 GPA in order to graduate.

Course Load

12-13 credits per term (8 in final Summer term) for 57 credits total.

Required Courses

Linguistics and Language Teaching Courses

LING 520 Language, Mind and Society 4 credits
LT 534 Language Learning in Context 4 credits
LING 544 Second Language Acquisition 4 credits
LT 535 Language Learning Design 4 credits
LT 536 Design for Learning Language Systems 4 credits
LT 537 Second Language Teaching Practice* 4 credits
LT 539 Design for Learning Language Pronunciation 4 credits
LING 530 Research Methods in Applied Linguistics 4 credits
LT 548 Curriculum and Materials Development
(includes 1 credit of Digitally Mediated Language Learning)
5 credits
LT 538 Design for Learning Language Pragmatics 4 credits
LT 549 Measuring Language Ability
(includes 1 credit of Digitally Mediated Language Learning)
5 credits
LT 608 Capstone Materials Workshop 4 credits
LT 611 Masters Project (2 terms) 7 credits

*Students with more than two years of full-time teaching experience have the option of replacing this course with elective credits.

**Students teaching a language other than English have the option of replacing these courses with comparable courses in their language of study.


Students working towards an MA degree can take additional optional elective course work, which may include any language or education related coursework, internships, or supervised tutoring or teaching opportunities. Students who have already taken any of the required courses of their equivalents previous to entering the LTS program should replace them with elective credits in consultation with the LTS Director. Student who have taken any of the required LTS courses at the 400 level as undergraduates or as UO Community Education Program credits may be able to have up to 15 of these units count toward the 57 unit total.

Courses that can count as electives include:

  • Additional LT courses or seminars
  • Graduate level courses in other language departments (such as Romance Languages or East Asian Languages and Literatures)
  • Courses in the School of Education, International Studies, Psychology, and others

Internships are arranged on an individual basis in a range of language teaching or curriculum developing contexts. Students can intern in language classrooms at the American English Institute (AEI) at all levels, at Lane Community College, in various Foreign Language classes at the UO or LCC, at the Center for Applied Second Language Studies (CASLS), and sometimes K-12 classrooms. Classroom internships involve observation, assisting, and some teaching under the supervision of a cooperating teacher. LTS students can also tutor UO FL and ESL students individually, such as through the UO Writing Lab.

We also have supervised teaching and tutoring possibilities for elective credit. One such program is for Chinese speakers in LTS, tutoring and assisting Chinese middle and high school learners at Oak Hill school. This opportunity is an excellent chance to share Chinese language and culture with US students in a K-12 chool.

Language Requirement

All graduate students are required to either a) have taken at least two years of one additional language within the past seven years either before or by the time they graduate with the MA, or b) pass a proficiency test at an intermediate level or above in an additional language (administered at the UO). At the MA level, any additional language is acceptable, including English as an additional language for relevant international students.

Master's Project

All LTS students must complete a final Master's Project over two consecutive terms. Projects are individual. The project topic must be approved by the LTS faculty in Winter term, and the project development is supervised by the LT 611 course instructors and the student's MA project advisor. It is presented in a public forum during the final term. See our blog for more information on the Master's Project, including past project titles.

Typical Course Schedule

Summer (all courses online in first Summer term only)
LT 534 Language Learning in Context
LT 535 Language Learning Design
LING 520 Language, Mind, and Society
LING 544 Second Language Acquisition
LT 536 Design for Language Learning Systems
LT 537 Second Language Teaching Practice
(elective) LT 528 Culture, Language and Literature
LT 548 Curriculum and Materials Development with Digitally Mediated Language Learning (DMLL) section
LING 530 Research Methods in Applied Linguistics
LT 538 Design for Learning Language Pragmatics
LT 541 Design for Learning Language Pronunciation
LT 549 Measuring Language Ability with DMLL section
LT 611 Masters Project
LT 611 Masters Project
LT 608 Capstone Materials Workship
Electives as needed, depending on student schedule

Course Descriptions, Linguistics (LING) and Language Teaching (LT)

Linguistics (LING)

LING 520 Language, Mind, and Society (4)
Graduate-level introduction to applied topics in linguistics, with a focus on social and cognitive issues. This course title will change to LING 520 starting Fall 2020.

LING 544 Second Language Acquisition (4)
Introduction to how languages are learned. Special attention to learning issues that classroom teachers need to address.

(elective) LING 594 English Grammar (4)
Survey of grammatical, syntactic, and morphological structures of English in terms of semantic and functional criteria.

(there are many other Linguistics courses that can be taken as electives as well)

Language Teaching (LT)

(elective) LT 528 Culture, Language, and Literature (4)
Interaction between language and culture as it relates to second language teaching. Application to teaching of literature.

LT 535 Language Learning Design (4)
Approaches and principles in the teaching of second languages, including an introduction to lesson and materials design for language learning and teaching.

LT 536 Design for Learning Language Systems (4)
Application of language teaching principles and theory to the design of materials and plans for teaching and learning language systems, including discourse, grammar, and lexis. Prereq: LT 435/535.

LT 537 Second Language Teaching Practice (4)
Intensive workshop and practice in language instruction. Team-teaching of weekly English as a spoken language course including designing activities and creating materials. Sequence with LT 435/535, 436/536.  Pre- or coreq: LT 436/536.

LT 539 Design for Learning Language Pronunciation (4)
Introduction to the principles of pronunciation teaching and their application to specific language in lesson plan development and practice teaching.

(elective that can substitute for LT 539) LT 541 Teaching English Pronunciation (4)
Introduction to English phonetics and phonology, methods for teaching pronunciation, lesson plan development, and practice teaching.

LING 530 Research Methods for Applied Linguistics (4).

LT 548 Curriculum and Materials Development (5)
Includes 1 credit of Digitally-Mediated Language Learning. Introduction to the elements of curriculum design and related materials development, especially as related to language course and program design. Practical application. Prereq: LT 436/536.

LT 549 Measuring Language Ability (5)
Includes 1 credit of Digitally-Mediated Language Learning. Principles and types of language assessment; focus on classroom assessment. Assessment design and integration into curriculum. Test planning with consideration of classroom and situational variables. Prereq: LT 448/548.

LT 605 Reading and Conference: [Topic] (1-9)
Individual reading and bibliographic work supervised by a faculty member. Prereq: Instructor’s consent.

Workshop: Digitally-Mediated Language Learning
This workshop focuses on the integration of digital technology resources in language teaching and learning. It is integrated in Winter and Spring terms with LT 548 and LT 549. Prereq: Program majors.

LT 608 Workshop: Capstone Materials (4 credits)
This workshop is taken in the final term of the program, and includes MA project materials development workshopping, microteaching, and project presentation preparation.

LT 608 Workshop: Microteaching (1-2)
Weekly sessions provide teaching practice and peer-feedback. Prereq: Program majors or by instructor permission.

LT 609 Supervised Tutoring (1-4)
Tutoring or classroom teaching assistance supervised by a faculty member. Prereq: Instructor’s consent.

(elective) LT 607 Seminar (4)
Special rotating topic related to language teaching.

LT 611 Masters Project (3-4R)
A two-term course required to complete an MA in the language teaching specialization. Projects are individual. This is a two-term course. It must be repeated once for a total of 7-8 credits. Prereq: Program Majors and Instructor’s consent.