Watch a Video Introduction to our TESOL Program

Master's Program in International Language Education: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language

Introduction to our TESOL Program
Introduction to our TESOL Program
The program emphasizes the development of a broad understanding of second language acquisition theory and research methods as well as individualized supervision and practical experience for all students as each works closely with experienced faculty. In addition, the program allows students the flexibility to pursue their professional interests.

The ILE: TESOL program has four core components that are emphasized throughout the two-year program:
  • Understanding and utilizing learning theory and methodology
  • Understanding, utilizing, and conducting research
  • Practical experience and practice
  • Specialization through research, practical interests, and elective courses
While based in Japan, the ILE: TESOL Program is a rigorous academic program at the graduate level, comparable to similar programs in the United States, Australia, or the United Kingdom. The program employs a distinctively western approach to graduate study, requiring students to actively prepare for and participate in class discussions, write academic papers based on surveys of research, and deliver presentations. There are few lecture-style classes. Although challenging, the program staff and faculty are dedicated to providing support for students so that they can meet their educational goals and the expectations of our program successfully.

Upon completion of the program, graduates can expect to have the foundation knowledge and skills as well as the confidence to become effective language educators in a variety of contexts, or to pursue graduate study at the doctoral level.

The ILE: TESOL Program welcomes
Professor Christine Coombe as a Visiting Faculty Member in the Fall of 2020

Christine Coombe

Christine Coombe has a Ph.D in Foreign/Second Language Education from The Ohio State University. She is currently an Associate Professor of General Studies at Dubai Men's College. She is the former Testing and Measurements Supervisor at UAE University and Assessment Coordinator of Zayed University. Christine is co-editor of Assessment Practices(2003, TESOL Publications); co-author, A Practical Guide to Assessing English Language Learners(2007, University of Michigan Press); co-editor, Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness in EF/SL Contexts(2007, UMP); co-editor, Language Teacher Research in the Middle East(2007, TESOL Publications),Leadership in English Language Teaching and Learning(2008, UMP)Applications of Task-based Learning in TESOL(2010, TESOL Publications),The Cambridge Guide to Second Language Assessment(2012, Cambridge University Press),Reigniting, Retooling and Retiring in English Language Teaching(2012, University of Michigan Press) and The Cambridge Guide to Research in Language Teaching and Learning(Cambridge University Press, 2015), Volume 8 of the TESOL Encyclopedia of ELT (Wiley Blackwell, 2018) and The Role of Language Teacher Associations in Professional Development(2018, Springer). Christine’s forthcoming books are on innovation in the MENA, research questions in TESOL and Applied Linguistics and professionalism in education.

Christine has lived and worked in the Gulf for the past 27 years. In this capacity, she has served as the President and Conference Chair of one of the largest TESOL affiliates in the world and is the founder and co-chair of its Testing Special Interest Group.

During her tenure in the Middle East, she has won many awards including: 2002 Spaan Fellowship for Research in Second/Foreign Language Assessment; 2002-03 TOEFL Outstanding Young Scholar Award; TOEFL Board Grant for 2003-04, 2005-06, 2007-08 and 2009-10 for her work in delivering assessment training assessment in developing countries. She served on the TESOL Board of Directors as Convention Chair for Tampa 2006 and was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Teacher of the Year for 2003-04. She served as TESOL President (2011-2012) and was a member of the TESOL Board of Directors (2010-2013). Christine received the British Council’s International Assessment Award for 2013. Her most recent honor was being named to TESOL’s 50@50 which “recognizes professionals who have made significant contributions to the TESOL profession within the past 50 years.” Dr Coombe is the 2018 recipient of the James E. Alatis Award which recognizes exemplary service to TESOL. For more information about Professor Christine Coombe, please see the Visiting Faculty Member webpage.

Soka University offers a graduate program in International Language Education (ILE): TESOL that produces exceptional language educators by providing opportunities for students to develop a deeper understanding of language acquisition, language teaching, and intercultural communication.


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