With English continuing to expand as the world’s lingua franca, the demand for teachers of English continues to grow. The British Council forecasts that by the year 2020, over two billion people will be speaking or learning English. Global research in English language teaching has shown that the majority of future English language teachers in non-English-speaking countries will be non-native speakers of English.
In response to this global challenge, especially with respect to preparing non-native English speakers as teachers of English as an additional language, Saint Mary’s Faculty of Education created its new International Masters in Teaching English program (IMTE). Launched in September 2019, the Faculty welcomed its first cohort at a recent program orientation event, which included a workshop by internationally renowned professor of English language education, Dr. Michael Legutke, from one of our partner institutions in Germany, the University of Giessen.
The new IMTE program prepares graduates for international careers in teaching English as an additional language. Saint Mary’s University enjoys a partnership with Cambridge University, having been selected as a Cambridge English Language Assessment Authorized Centre. This partnership enables the Faculty of Education to offer IMTE students opportunities to progress along the Cambridge Teacher Framework, leading to internationally recognized certificates from Cambridge Assessment English as part of the IMTE program.
The Faculty of Education was delighted to receive a large number of applications from outstanding applicants for its first year. There are currently 14 international students enrolled in the four-semester 16-month program coming from many countries, including Iran, Japan, China, Mexico and India. Course professors include both Saint Mary’s faculty and visiting professors from partner universities abroad.
Introduction of the new IMTE program is another step forward in the Faculty of Education’s long history of international education and intercultural engagement at the graduate level. During the past twenty-five years, the Faculty of Education has been offering graduate courses with an international focus in three thematic areas: teaching English as a second/other language (TESOL), peace education, and education and development. The IMTE program builds on these strengths and takes the English language education focus to a new level.