UAB offers a Master of Arts in Education degree for teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). This degree has three tracks - traditional, alternative, and international. The Traditional Track and Alternative Track are for teaching ESL in grades K-12. The International Track is for teaching ESL to adult language learners. These tracks are outlined below; their respective information packets are posted on the Program Information webpage.

Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) for Teaching ESL

Traditional Track (for teaching K-12)

  • ESL certification: Teachers with Class B certification in any field (elementary, secondary, or special education) complete the Traditional Track (34 credit hours) and obtain Class A Certification for teaching ESL.
  • Dual certification: Teachers with Class B certification in Spanish or French (and who have passed the Praxis in Spanish or French) may pursue the dual certification Traditional Track (43 credit hours). They will obtain Class A certification in ESL and also in Spanish or French.

Alternative Track (for teaching K-12)
The Alternative Track is also called the Alternative Master's Program (AMP), the Alternative Teacher Education Program (ATEP), and the Fifth-year Program.

  • ESL certification:  Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in a language (e.g., English, Spanish), the 32/19 equivalency of coursework in a language, or a passing score on the Praxis in English to Speakers of Other Languages. Upon completing the Alternative Track (44 credit hours), they obtain Class A certification in ESL.
  • Dual certification:  Applicants who meet admission requirements to the Alternative Track in ESL and have passed the Praxis in Spanish or French may pursue dual certification. Upon completing the dual certification Alternative Track (53 credit hours), they obtain Class A certification in ESL and also in French or Spanish

International Track (for teaching adults)
The International Track is also called the MA-TESOL. 

  • The International Track (33 credit hours) prepares candidates for teaching English to adult language learners. Although certification is not usually needed for teaching adults, most local and international employers require a master's in ESL or TESOL. Candidates may apply to the Peace Corps Master's International program and, if accepted, complete their master's while serving in the Peace Corps.
  • Non-native speakers of English pursue the International Track while concurrently taking academic English courses to improve their oral and written communication skills.

ESL Certification through the Certification by Test (CBT) route
UAB courses prepare teachers for the ESOL Praxis. Prior to enrolling, prospective CBT candidates should consult with UAB's ESL program coordinator regarding courses that may also apply towards an advanced degree in elementary or secondary education. For more information about the CBT (also called the Additional Teaching Field Approach), teachers should consult the ALSDE website.

Certification Renewal (in other teaching fields):

By taking EESL 610, EESL 613, EESL 620 and/or EESL 630, many teachers have successfully renewed their certification in elementary/early childhood education, secondary education, and/or special education. Moreover, the same courses that are taken for certification renewal have also served towards an MAEd in ESL. NOTE: Teachers with lapsed certification should consult the ALSDE (