Student Research

The ILE: TESOL Program culminates after two years with the submission of a scholarly project. There are three options in two categories for students’ scholarly projects:
  • Master’s Thesis
    • Research Thesis
    • Teaching and Learning Project
  • Research Paper

There are descriptions of each type of scholarly project below, with examples. While the examples have been selected based on their superior quality, changes occur in different areas such as formatting style and program requirements. As a result, these are examples only, and information in the ILE Graduate Student Handbook and guidance from your advisor is important in order to be aware of and meet current requirements. 
The decision of which type of scholarly project to undertake should be made only after carefully considering your personal academic background and interests, as well as your future career goals. In addition, your advisor and other faculty members in the ILE program are always available to discuss different options before you arrive at a final decision.

Master's Thesis

The Master’s Thesis option allows for two types of theses: The Research Thesis or Teaching and Learning Project. Both of these scholarly works include data collection and analysis, and are therefore classified by Soka University as Master’s Theses.

Research Thesis

The Research Thesis follows a standard research paradigm based on the principles and methods of a quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method research design. Students work closely with their advisors to draft a literature review and subsequent research proposal (during the Research Proposal Writing course) and then proceed to collect and analyze data and present their results, major findings, educational implications and recommendations.

Teaching and Learning Project

The Teaching and Learning Project requires the development of a proposal (during the Research Proposal Writing course) that includes a Needs Assessment when the student collects and analyzes data. Based on these findings, the student then develops a curriculum and all materials for 45 hours of instruction. The TLP also includes an extensive literature review, and sections on educational implementation and recommendations.

Research Paper

The Research Paper is an extensive literature review that examines an issue of interest or concern in the field of TESOL. Students completing this option also include sections on educational implications and recommendations for future research. If a student decides to pursue the Research Paper, one additional specialization elective course is required for graduation.