Philosophy & Mission
The TESLA program is a unique doctoral program that prepares scholars who will be recognized by the international community for their excellence in applied forms of technology in language learning and teaching. The integration of two dynamic and emergent fields, Second Language Acquisition (SLA) — which includes Foreign or World Language Education, or TESOL — and Instructional Technology, is a powerful creative force that reflects the potentially transformative role of computing tools in foreign and second language learning.
This combination of fields also offers tomorrow’s professoriate a cutting-edge platform for research as well as the opportunity to affect pedagogical practice in the classroom. Our program’s faculty encourages the principled exploration of new ways of conducting research in the field and of approaching conventionally accepted notions about language learning.
While our doctoral students expand their academic knowledge and expertise through study and reflection, they also gain first-hand experience as scholars and teachers through:
- Conducting research
- Presenting research findings in professional fora such as conferences or journals,
- Serving on program or departmental committees
- Independently delivering university-level courses or team-teaching such courses alongside a faculty mentor
- Organizing academic discussion as well as formal social gatherings.
We believe that students benefit most from these activities when they involve collaboration with peers and faculty. Both the difficulty and the diversity of the program fully equip our graduates to join the international community of scholars and professionals in TESLA.
The TESLA program is committed to:
- Offering challenging learning opportunities
- Creating a supportive, cohort-based environment in which to study and learn
- Providing sustained engagement in guided scholarly inquiry (e.g., through the Research Lab course sequence)
- Encouraging participation in the life of the USF academic community
- Promoting interdisciplinary through access to a range of professional opportunities, including assistantships in various academic units associated with TESLA
- Presenting opportunities for collaboration with faculty and peers with regard to grant development, publication, and presentation
- Identifying multifaceted mentorship opportunities based on individual needs