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Teaching English as a Second Language

About the Teaching English as a Second Language Minor (TSL Minor)

The TSL minor prepares students to teach English as a second language to children and adults of all ages in Pre K-12 school or in community settings. Students learn how to effectively teach English listening, speaking, reading and writing to groups of children or adults with multiple levels of English language proficiency and diverse backgrounds.

It provides candidates with a theoretical background in critical issues in second language learning, language education, assessment and evaluation. Candidates will be exposed to and evaluated on a variety of teaching methodologies used in the TESOL profession.

Completion of the minor allows teacher education candidates to add an ESL endorsement to their elementary or secondary Michigan teaching certification by successfully completing the courses in the program, practicum experiences, and the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC).

Why should you choose the TSL minor?

This minor prepares teacher education candidates to meet the demands of a growing population of immigrants from other language groups in the United States or for teaching English internationally. Students have an added advantage when they combine the Reading minor, or Spanish or French minors of majors.

Practicum experiences for teaching English are required in the program, thus students are sent into the community to teach ESL or arrange options on campus to enhance the global experiences and outreach ministry opportunities for SAU.

This minor involves a sequence of online and face-to-face courses, making the program accessible to students studying abroad. Students with any major can match the 12-credit TSL Certificate courses to their program.

Courses and Program Requirements

The courses for the 23-hour English as a second language minor include such subject areas as cross cultural communication, essential linguistics for teachers of English, teaching grammar for writing and speaking, and assessment and evaluation of language minority students.

View the course requirements and layout, course descriptions, as well as learn more about the English as a second language minor at Spring Arbor University in the undergraduate catalog.

Career Opportunities

The ESL endorsement is highly valued in regular classrooms of K-12 school districts with high concentrations of English Language Learners (ELL). Teacher education candidates seeking positions in ESL classrooms and Sheltered Immersion Programs are required to have this endorsement on their initial certificate.

Teachers seeking an an ESL Endorsement because they are teaching in a district with high concentrations of ELLs would be able to use this minor/endorsement to enhance their current teaching or to move into an ESL classroom in their district. Many states require all teachers to have training in culturally and linguistically sensitive methods beyond teacher certification.

There are many opportunities for non-teacher certified students to teach English as a Second Language in the United States or abroad. Many urban churches offer ESL classes for their growing immigrant populations. Community programs need trained teachers to conduct ESL classes for adults.

The 12-credit TSL Certificate courses will prepare students in business, social work, Christian ministry, and prepare individuals to teach English in communities in the United States or around the world.

To learn more about how Spring Arbor helps its graduates prepare for a career, visit our career development section.

On-Campus Opportunities

Spring Arbor University offers a wide range of activities and opportunities for students to get involved and apply what they’re learning in the classroom to real-world contexts. Here are some opportunities that may interest TSL students:

  • Interfaith Shelter Ministries: Interfaith Shelter is a homeless shelter located in downtown Jackson. Spring Arbor students spend one day a week serving food and visiting with the people of the shelter. They also lead small group fellowships and organize an annual food and clothing drive. For information about volunteering at Interfaith Shelter, please call 517.789.8735.
  • Spring Break Mission trips: During Spring Break, handful of mission teams gear up and hit the road to minister to and serve people around the country and abroad.
  • Semester Abroad in Guatemala: SAU students have the opportunity to go to Guatemala for a few weeks or a semester. TSL students are encouraged to take this opportunity to learn a language and to also teach English while they are there.

See a full list of the various activities and organizations available to students at Spring Arbor University.