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APU’s MA TESOL $6000 Scholarship

Many of you reading this have served in China for years. I was there for just one year, teaching English in Beijing 40 years ago. However, I still serve China by equipping hundreds of teachers who teach there, through Azusa Pacific University’s MA in TESOL Field-Based Program. I’m happy for the chance to introduce this program to those of you who may be teaching in China now (either in-person or remotely) or who may be thinking about it, and to share the good news of five $6,000 Scholarships available this summer/fall. Perhaps some of you will be graduating with a Master’s in TESOL by 2023, like the 2019 APU TESOL graduates in the photo above.

Students in the Field-Based Program earn a Master’s Degree while teaching, serving, and living in China. With over 300 million people learning English in China, English teachers are in high demand. Azusa Pacific University’s well-established Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Program equips students to teach with more confidence. Our nearly 800 graduates have taught in more than 40 different countries

The APU MA in TESOL Field-Based Program offers in-service teachers with a secured contract for teaching abroad the opportunity to earn a master’s degree in two years while working in their own classrooms overseas. A tuition discount applies for students in the program and is reflected in the base cost. 

Students and faculty gather twice a year for two weeks of face-to-face instruction each January in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and each July on the APU campus in Azusa, California. Over the intervening five months, they complete additional assignments and class projects while teaching abroad. While taking summer classes in Azusa, teachers live in the residence halls with other colleagues enrolled in the program. In lieu of writing a thesis or compiling a portfolio, teachers in the field-based program demonstrate their competence through an Action Research Project course.

Photo taken at APU July 2018,[1]  when the Fultons joined our Celebration for
our first 10 Tsern Scholars

Five $6,000 scholarships are available for qualified candidates who have been accepted into the program and are committed to teaching English in China during the two years of their academic program. You can read more about the Tsern Scholarship here, and find the application here.

Here is what one APU Tsern Scholar said about the program:

APU’s TESOL program stood out to me among other TESOL programs, because it balances both academic study and research work. In addition, unlike the other programs I have researched online, it has a unique class discussing the ethical issues of English teaching in closed countries like China, which provides relevant and applicable insights for my teaching service. Lastly, my cohort also teaches and lives in China, which means that we encounter similar issues in teaching and can support one another better with the shared experiences and knowledge. 

Due to COVID, the original in-person intensive classes on APU campus in the past summer were canceled. So I actually have not yet visited the APU campus. But the professors in my program are super supportive during remote learning, they are quick to respond with questions via emails. 

In addition, all the APU online portals (including Canvas) are easy to navigate and user-friendly. To be honest, I was reserved about online-learning initially as I enjoy the in-person interaction in class. But I was proved wrong, I learned much from online discussions with my classmates as I had to take time to organize my thoughts and typed out each of my responses. Again, I want to acknowledge the great work by my professors, as they have spent time thoughtfully crafted the whole lesson structure.  

APU’s TESOL program is equipping me with the professional knowledge and tools to teach English in China with excellence. In addition, my cohort provides valuable insights with teaching practice and tangible ways of serving students both inside and outside of class. Lastly, it is developing my research abilities which serves to prepare me for my future doctoral study. 

Please see the TESOL Master’s page at APU for more details. [2]  If you have any questions, please contact me at

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Images courtesy of Dr. Mary Sheperd Wong
Mary Shepard Wong

Mary Shepard Wong

Mary Shepard Wong, Ph.D., is Professor and Director of TESOL at Azusa Pacific University where she currently serves as the Interim Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for Graduate Programs and Research. She researches the intersections of faith and teaching and is a two-time Fulbright Scholar holding …View Full Bio

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