Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL)

Teacher teaching in an elementary school classroom

Minor, State Endorsement
School of Education


The Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL) minor leads to a state endorsement at the elementary or secondary level. This program is required for almost all K–12 teachers when hired. TESOL is also a great minor for those who want to teach English to adults stateside (e.g., in community centers, refugee and immigrant programs, etc. ) or internationally. Through hands-on research, observation, and reflection, you will learn current teaching theories and strategies to support English learners at all levels.

Who It's For

Students in the TESOL program are future educators who want to learn how to effectively teach young English language learners in K-12 classrooms, or adults both in local community centers and refugee and immigrant programs or internationally.

If you are planning to pursue a career in Utah, teachers of English learners are essential. Demographic enrollment data from the Utah State Board of Education for Fall 2017 indicates that about 7% (43,784 students) of Utah's K–12 population is English learners. Most Utah districts require you to get a TESOL endorsement within 3 years of being hired.

Key Benefits

  • Ability to gain hands-on practice with diverse language learners in local schools and community centers.
  • Gain an often-required endorsement.
  • Beneficial theoretical practices are explored in-depth.
  • Faculty have a passion for effective strategies and culturally sustaining practices and interact with you to personalize instruction and offer meaningful feedback that allows you to improve.

Accreditation Employers Trust

The TESOL minor program curriculum connects with current state TESOL standards.

Aimée Nguyen

“There is always work to be done in education and thanks to my wonderful education and inspiring mentors in Westminster’s School of Education, I am filled with the passion to carry it out.”

Aimée Nguyen (’16, MAT ’17)

About the Program

In choosing the TESOL minor, you will become a part of the close and supportive education community at Westminster. A small student-to-instructor ratio, your group of peers, and a personalized academic experience filled with support in every class ensure you will leave Westminster with the knowledge, support system, and connections you need to succeed in your career.


What You'll Learn

  • Develop an understanding of the cutting-edge research and theory that supports English learners
  • Gain an understanding of the structure of the English language (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and discourse)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of language variation and cross-linguistic differences
  • Gain knowledge of first and second language acquisition and the development of bilingualism/multilingualism
  • Explore language acquisition theories as a lens for thinking critically about social inequities in local/global contexts and developing a personal teaching philosophy
  • Practice creating and implementing a wide range of instructional materials, approaches, and methods for learners at different stages of development and from differing cultural and linguistic backgrounds, gaining hands-on practice in local schools and/or community centers
  • Develop the ability to use a wide range of assessment tools for including informal/formal, individual/group, and formative/summative instruments
  • Design, implement, and assess K-12, post-secondary, community programs focused on multicultural language/literacy education in English, gaining hands-on practice in local schools and/or community centers

Sample Courses

Language Acquisition

Examine how languages are learned—discuss prominent language acquisition theories and how they apply in instructed settings, analyze learner language, and explore individual differences in learning an additional language. Additionally, apply your knowledge of phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics to teaching diverse language learners.

Content Methods for Diverse Language Learners

Explore and apply methods and strategies through fieldwork to promote comprehensible interaction in the content areas for early childhood, elementary, secondary, and adult language learners. The course emphasizes the design of standards-based differentiated lesson plans for diverse language learners in heterogeneous content area classes as well as sheltered content area courses for secondary students.

Career Opportunities

The TESOL program will prepare you to teach in:

  • K-12 classrooms
  • Adult-learning classrooms (local community centers and refugee and immigrant programs, or internationally)
  • The public health field, where practitioners are often teaching health practices to those who speak a different language.

Related Programs

Students have paired the TESOL minor with other programs such as:

Still Exploring?

Back to All Programs