Academic Program

Academic Program

Major Components in the ILE: TESOL Program

The ILE: TESOL program includes 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

Understanding and Utilizing Learning Theory and Methodology

For every teacher, learning theory lays the foundation for how to teach, how to make sense of what occurs in the classroom, and how to help all students achieve their individual goals. Within the ILE: TESOL Program, the core courses that provide this foundation include:

Understanding, Utilizing, and Conducting Research

Although the ILE: TESOL Program emphasizes practical teaching, the ability to access, understand, utilize, and conduct research are important skills necessary to become a productive member of the language education profession. To develop these skills, students examine a range of research methods used in TESOL and discuss important historical and relevant current research in all their courses.

Practical Experience and Practice

The practical component plays a major role in the training of our graduates. Students are asked to reflect on their own teaching philosophies and how they see the roles of the learner and the curriculum. Throughout their last semester, students have the opportunity to collaborate and teach a communicative course with an experienced faculty member, including observing, co-teaching, receiving supervision and feedback, and developing content- and level-appropriate activities and lesson plans.

Specialization through Research or Practical Interests, and Elective Courses

Selection of Elective Courses
Students are encouraged to pursue their professional interests through a number of elective courses in order to tailor their studies to best suit their goals as future language educators. The list of available elective courses includes:
The ILE: TESOL Program supports the founding principles of Soka University, namely a humanistic approach to education, international exchange, and the development of peace studies. While the ILE: TESOL Program is significantly influenced by the principles of Soka Education, the Master’s program is not solely based on Soka Education philosophies, but rather introduces a broad range of different educational philosophies, principles and methodologies that can be applied to English language education in a variety of contexts. ILE students are encouraged to make use of opportunities to further their understanding of Soka Education during their programs, but should also note this is not a main focus of the ILE: TESOL Program.
Practical or Research Orientation
Practical emphasis
Students who choose a more practice-oriented track during their second year complete a Teaching and Learning Project in TESOL, including in-depth investigation of curricular issues and development of innovative teaching materials and curricula.

Below are some samples of Teaching and Learning Projects:
2013 Ogawa - The Development of Japanese English Learners' International Understanding

2014 Tomita - Developing an Autonomy Enhancing EAP Course for High School Students

2018 Rathore - Drama-based, Content and Language Integrated English Course for University Students

2018 Umino - Developing Intercultural Understanding in Elementary-level English Learners at University in Japan

2018 Yasuoka - Project Proposal Writing through Problem-Based Learning for NGO Officers

2018 Eckstein - Game-based Language Learning for the Development of Critical Thinking and Problem-solving Skills

Research emphasis
Students who choose a research-oriented track work with an advisor on the development of a formal research proposal and carry out that research under the supervision of experienced faculty members.

Below are some samples of Research Theses:
2011 Fukuda - Relationships of L1 and L2 Reading and Writing Skills

2011 Suzuki - Ideal L2 Selves of Japanese English Learners at Different Motivational Level

2014 Sano - Critical Thinking Skills and Teachers’ Questioning Behavior

2016 Hori - Investigating the Implicit Language Learning of Japanese Adult EFL Learners

2016 Lin - Teacher perspectives of STELLAR implementation in Singapore

2017 Takeuchi - Self-regulated Learning of Japanese University Students in Second Language Acquisition