Online Ph.D. in Literacy: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Specialization

Meet the literacy needs of English learners through evidence-based practice.

Explore differentiated literacy instruction and develop theoretical and applied expertise to help you support English learners domestically and abroad.

Use the most up-to-date research to enhance teaching, curriculum design, and professional development in nearly any educational setting. Through online coursework, graduate ready to help English learners of all ages and backgrounds address the challenges they face.

Career Outlook: Teach English in the US or around the World

Qualified TESOL instructors are in high demand in the United States, especially in areas with significant immigrant and refugee communities like California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Texas, and other urban areas.1 Even outside of the US experienced, trained teachers are greatly needed. Those with a TESOL degree are usually sought out for positions that go beyond teaching, such as teacher training, curriculum and materials development, and program administration.2

Career Spotlight: Director of Literacy and ESL Services

As a director of literacy and ESL services, you supervise, mentor, and instruct faculty; create and review course materials; test and place students in TESOL programs; and mediate interactions between faculty and staff to mitigate concerns and take suggestions. You might also teach TESOL courses and take charge of administrative duties.

In this position, you can make up to $146,0003 annually, depending on your experience and location.

Potential career titles:

  • Supervisor for curriculum and instruction: TESOL
  • Research specialist
  • Higher education instructor


Curriculum: TESOL Skills to Help Students Thrive

Our courses are designated to meet the highest professional standards in TESOL set by the International TESOL Association. Learn to conduct in-depth examinations of linguistic differences and cultural characteristics of English learners in order to assess their academic needs and provide authentic, collaborative learning opportunities.

Engage with full-time, tenured St. John's faculty members and benefit from their years of experience as national and international educators and their cutting-edge TESOL research. As you learn, connect with a dynamic and collaborative online learning environment.

In addition to 18 credit hours of core literacy courses and 15 credit hours of research required for the Ph.D. in Literacy, the TESOL specialization includes the following three courses:

• EDU 9001: Foundations of Bilingual and Second Language Education
• EDU 9003: Literacy Development for First and Second Language Learners
• EDU 9010: Linguistics for Teachers of English Language (ELL) and Exceptional Learners


Specialization Outcomes

  • Examine principles, policies, educational models, research assessment, and technology in TESOL education
  • Learn the history of American education with an emphasis on linguistically diverse learner programs
  • Understand the theory and practice necessary to teach literacy and language arts to monolingual and linguistically, culturally diverse learners
  • Examine the cross-cultural framework for the study of birth through adolescent development, focusing on the effects of cultural heritage characteristics and socioeconomic levels

More Specialization Options

Learn More

Help drive success among English learners with a specialization in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages as part of your online Ph.D. in Literacy through St. John's University. Contact us at 844-393-1677 or request more information today!


1"Teaching Opportunities in the United States." (n.d.). TESOL International Association. Retrieved on February 14, 2019, from
2"Teaching Opportunities Outside the United States." (n.d.). TESOL International Association. Retrieved on February 14, 2019, from
3ESL Program Director Salaries. (n.d.). Glassdoor, Inc. Retrieved on February 14, 2019, from,20.htm