All students in the M.A. TESOL program are required to complete a practicum field placement. Students also have the chance to receive more real-world training through internship opportunities.

TESOL Internships

Students are able to experience a customized internship program that is aligned to their personal goals, which may include specific areas of teaching (business English, elementary ESL instruction, higher education) and areas of the world (Thailand, Bolivia, Hungary).

Enjoy a rich range of cross-cultural activities in the Chicago metro area, including field trips to ethnic communities and opportunities for teaching and tutoring in a host of local ESL programs. Students benefit from the department’s broad network of connections to schools, universities, and agencies throughout the world as they prepare for work after they graduate.

Some internship experiences include:

  • Refugees and immigrants
  • Teaching English abroad
  • Literacy programs
  • Urban ministries
  • Higher education programs
  • NGO programs

Practicum Field Placements

The practicum field placement allows the faculty to provide valuable observation feedback to students. Faculty can mentor teachers who are new to the profession and help experienced teachers fine-tune their teaching skills. Placements generally take place during the semester that the student is enrolled in LING 613, Classroom Dynamics Practicum in TESOL.

The practicum field placement is a limited internship which requires about 8-10 weeks of involvement in a Chicago-area classroom, including supervised teaching or co-teaching of an ESL class. Students who work part-time or full-time as ESL teachers can use their current teaching situations for the field placement. Students who are not currently teaching ESL will be placed in a local ESL program at the K-12, adult, or higher education levels. 

To learn more information about the practicum field placement, please email

Local Internship Opportunities

M.A. in TESOL students who are new to the profession may want to gain more teaching experience than a practicum field placement can provide.

To receive credit for an extended internship, students can register for INTR 696 as an elective course for 2 or 4 credit hours. Local internships involve a semester of assisting/teaching in a local ESL program. For example, World Relief’s education department offers a year-long internship, combined with the TESOL practicum, in their ESL programs in Wheaton and Aurora. This can be a paid internship when combined with work-study. Additional internship opportunities can be arranged with the ESL program at the Pui Tak Center in Chicago and with local community college ESL programs such as College of DuPage, Waubonsee Community College, and Harper College. These local internships are also popular options during the summer session, along with the overseas internships.

Please contact Dr. Alan Seaman at for more information. 


Internship Application

Print your PDF application and take the first step in enhancing your educational goals.

View Application