Minor in TESOL for Non-Education Students

MSU offers a minor in TESOL for students interested in community-based ESL and in teaching abroad.  For information on the TESOL minor for undergraduate education majors, see the College of Education website.

The main goal of the program is to be able to implement English language teaching methods for teaching English as a foreign language in a variety of contexts outside of the US and in adult community-based classes in the US.  More specifically, you will be able to:

  • Understand the structure of English (e.g., phonetics, phonology, morphology, and syntax) in order to teach the language effectively to speakers of other languages.
  • Evaluate suggestions and materials for use in your own teaching contexts.
  • Create a lesson plan that is theoretically sound and keeps students engaged.
  • Reflect on your teaching with a focus on student learning and make any necessary changes.
  • Understand the basics of the educational systems in countries in which you are interested in teaching.
  • Put together a good application (resume, teaching philosophy, video evidence of good teaching, lesson plans, sample materials, tests, and sample syllabus) for teaching English abroad and participate in job interviews.
  • Understand how one may be expected to interact and work in a variety of international contexts.

The minor consists of 15 credits or five courses.  You will start with an introductory course on language or linguistics.  Next, you will take foundational courses in teaching methods (LLT 306), English structures and functions (LLT 346), and second language acquisition (LLT 361). The final course will be an experiential learning course (LLT 496) in which you will work with graduate students in the MA TESOL program to teach a community ESL course called English Partners in Communication (EPIC).

Requirements (15 credits) include:

  • LIN 200 or 401 or ENG 302
  • LLT 306 (Teaching Methods)
  • LLT 346 (Pedagogical English Grammar)
  • LLT 361 (Second & Foreign Language Learning)
  • LLT 496 (Practicum in Adult ESL Teaching) – Spring Only Class

For more information on the course requirements or substitutions, contact the departmental advisor, Cindy Walter at walterc2@msu.edu.

Finally, the TESOL minor is housed in a department with vibrant and active MA and Ph.D. programs.  As such, there are many opportunities to participate in talks and workshops outside of class. In addition, you may complete some of our courses at the TESOL Study Abroad Program in Japan.  We also have service learning opportunities such the one completed by Kayla Cragg in the teaching methods course:

“My role as a volunteer assistant English teacher with the Refugee Development Center was assisting in the beginner-level adult ESL class. The students were from a variety of different countries and had varying levels of English proficiency – some students struggled with the alphabet, while others were able to speak and comprehend basic sentences in English. No matter their proficiency, though, everyone seemed to enjoy class and make a genuine effort to engage with us volunteers. Completing my Service-Learning Honors Option with the Refugee Development Center reaffirmed how much I love teaching English and working with international students. The Service-Learning Honors Option gave me the opportunity to apply my coursework in an authentic and meaningful way, and served as a perfect reminder of why I chose to pursue the TESOL minor.”