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Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

*With additional coursework, two dual major options are also available: TESOL and childhood education (grades 1-6) OR TESOL and adolescent education grades 7-12 (subject specific).  

Becoming an ESL teacher offers unique multicultural opportunities. As the number of children and young adults who are English language learners has increased, so has the need for schools to recruit teachers who are qualified to teach English as a second language while navigating the curriculum expectations of our schools.  

In this program, candidates will gain knowledge of the theories, strategies and methodologies in teaching English language learners, acquire awareness and understanding of the socio-cultural and sociolinguistic issues that impact the acquisition of English as an additional language, facilitate the teaching/learning process for students as they develop skills in a new language, as well as navigating the journey of education and college and career readiness within the global context of our communities.  

Students who choose the TESOL program will be qualified to teach English to speakers of other languages at any grade level. Successful completion of the program leads to New York state initial certification in TESOL, pre-k through grade 12.

The increasing demand for ESL teachers has created a multitude of ESL job opportunities in the U.S. and internationally. It is considered one of the fastest growing, teacher shortage areas in the U.S.  

Program Curriculum and Requirements

All programs include a general education requirement, major academic concentration in a selected area of study, professional education requirement, and comprehensive field experiences. The academic concentration, in combination with general education coursework in liberal arts and sciences, ensures that students gain extensive knowledge of their subject matter. The Common Core standards and New York state learning standards are integrated into required coursework throughout the program and serve as the basis of performance assessment requirements.  

A focus on literacy and teaching students with diverse learning needs is embedded in coursework that is required of all education majors. Comprehensive field experiences begin in the first semester of study and continue each semester of the program, leading to a teaching assistantship and comprehensive student teaching experience.  

All programs include experience with English language learners and students receiving special education services, as well as a range of placements across various types of school districts.

Students in this program select one content area concentration from the following subjects: English language arts, mathematics, biology, chemistry, social studies, or the languages of Spanish or French. The distinctive liberal arts concentration allows students to take courses across 3 subjects of their choice (one of the 3 must be a language other than English), ensuring rich content knowledge.