About the Teaching Students of Other Languages (TESOL) Program
The Teaching Students of Other Languages (TESOL) minor leads to a state endorsement at the elementary or secondary level that most Utah districts require you to get within 3 years of being hired. You’ll learn the theoretical foundations and innovative methods and practices of teaching you need to support English language learners in schools, adult-learning classrooms, or the public health field. A TESOL minor is also useful for those who want to teach English to adults stateside and internationally.
The Black Student Union, LatinX Club, and Griffins for the Greater Good seek to find spaces for people from different backgrounds. These are great on-campus organizations for TESOL students to get involved with. English language learners often identify as Black or Latin American.
Use the School of Education research guide for help with research in any course. Giovale Library provides information that will assist you in finding background info, books, films, articles, and curriculum materials, as well as resources that will help you cite your sources.
Katie (’20) majored in the Educational Studies program and minored in TESOL. The TESOL minor program’s courses were some of the most individualized courses Katie took. Small class sizes allowed students to get to know professors much more personally. In turn, professors were able to customize the classroom experience to best serve the students in the course. Additionally, professors’ community connections allowed every course to have hands-on, real-world learning experiences.
During free time, Katie was involved with Walkways to Westminster as the lead mentor for Little Griffins, a program for sixth-grade students that supports academic excellence and raises awareness about college. Little Griffins creates positive and meaningful mentoring relationships through bi-monthly college programming and 1-on-1 mentoring and tutoring sessions.
Aimée (’16, MAT ’17) added the TESOL minor to an English major with a creative writing emphasis to fulfill a goal of teaching. To take it further, Aimée also completed Westminster’s Master of Arts in Teaching program. Now, Aimée works at Hillside Middle School as a language arts teacher teaching general education, the Extended Learning Program, and integrated classes with a special education co-teacher. English learners get placed into Aimée’s classroom to learn language arts.
While Aimée has been teaching at Hillside Middle School, advocacy and maintaining the option of integrated language arts has been a huge achievement, allowing students in special education to be in a mainstream classroom with peers if they choose to do so. Additionally, the Hope Squad group Aimée started with another teacher advocates for mental and emotional health and addresses and intervenes with depression and suicidal depression among students.
Wyatt (‘20) loved being in the TESOL minor program because the faculty are experienced educators. Additionally, the purpose of the coursework was to do well and take in the lesson, rather than just make an A. Faculty always offered meaningful feedback to allow Wyatt to improve. Off campus, the opportunities for observing teachers and gaining classroom experience allowed Wyatt to put lessons and feedback from faculty into practice and become a capable teacher while learning how to advocate for students and how the education system functions.
Wyatt paired the TESOL minor with the Spanish and Latin American Studies program. These programs fit together well for exploring what it means to be an American in English versus an Americano in Spanish for a senior thesis project (“National and Continental Identities in the Americas”). Following these programs, Wyatt is further developing skills through Westminster’s Master of Arts in Teaching program.