Why Choose MATESL at Illinois?
Illinois was ranked in 2018 as the 37th most prestigious university in the world (Times Higher Education World University Ranking) and as the 7th Best Value University in the US by Forbes. Illinois is the home of 24 Nobel and 28 Pulitzer Prize winners.
A History of Excellence:
The first ESL course taught on campus was English for Foreign Students in 1947 by Helen Beveridge (Brennan). This was soon followed by additional courses and the creation of The Program in English for Foreign Students in 1955. The first language lab for English language learners was opened in 1956, and the official title of courses for these students was changed to English as a Second Language in 1965. The MATESL degree was first approved by the Illinois Board of Trustees in 1966, with the first graduate, Katherine Eaton, completing her degree in June, 1967. This makes Illinois MATESL the oldest existing degree of this type in the nation. Today, the program has well over 1,500 graduates, many of whom are teaching today across the globe.
An International Focus:
The University of Illinois has one of the largest international populations in the United States, with well over 10,000 students from abroad, representing 116 countries. We currently maintain over 400 cooperative agreements with international institutions in more than 60 countries across the globe.
The large international population at Illinois means that the faculty, staff, and students in the MATESL program currently supervise over 1,000 international students each semester taking one of our 16 ESL writing, pronunciation, ITA, or elective courses. All of these ESL courses are taught either by Lecturers (many of them graduates from our program) or by students enrolled in the MATESL degree. This gives most of our students the opportunity to immediately put into practice what they are learning from their professors. This also gives many of our graduates vital employment experience needed to ensure excellent jobs in our field upon completing the degree.
The Department of Linguistics is located in the Foreign Language Building, which sits directly on the Main Quad of the campus (seen in the first two images in this packet). Students in the MATESL program have access to both the Henry and Renée Kahane Linguistics Research Room and also the Helen Brennan Memorial TESL Library, which holds thousands of volumes related to teaching ESL and EFL. The department hosts a number of Laboratories and Research Groups as well as Reading and Discussion Groups focused on a variety of topics that any students may attend.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is home to one of the largest public university libraries in the world, with more than 24,000,000 volumes in over 20 area studies libraries across our campus. Our libraries include almost 1,000 databases on almost any topic imaginable. In addition to the many print and electronic resources, the Main Library includes resources like The Media Commons, a VR Lounge, a fully equipped Audio Production Studio, a fully supported Video Production Studio, and also self-use Audio and Video Booths. All of these are freely accessible to any student.