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Department of English Undergraduate Programs

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Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Concentration

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) opens exciting doors to the world of English and the community of international language teachers.

If you have an interest in teaching English in the U.S. or abroad with learners of all ages, augmenting your knowledge of effective language teaching theory and practice, or going on to graduate studies in TESOL, linguistics, applied linguistics, or foreign languages, consider adding a concentration in TESOL. 

You will gain experience in the various aspects of the field, learn techniques to promote language learners’ listening, speaking, reading, writing, and intercultural skills, enhance your communication skills, and discover whether a career in any aspect of English teaching, the field of ESL/EFL, second language materials development, program administration, research, international student advising, or employment in U.S.-based or overseas international organizations or educational institutions might be right for you. 

Program strengths

  • Provides a solid foundation for the competencies required to teach English abroad and in U.S. contexts
  • Courses taken at the undergraduate level may be applied toward the graduate TESOL Certificate or M.A. in TESOL at UIndy.
  • UIndy's classes offer a small student-to-faculty ratio, which means you get close mentorship from faculty members who know your interests well.

Who is eligible to pursue a TESOL concentration?

Undergraduates in any major who are in their third or fourth year of study are invited to explore their interest in teaching English through the TESOL concentration. International students considering teaching English in their home countries or another country are also encouraged to pursue this concentration.

Curriculum

Our TESOL courses combine theoretical and practical applications related to various aspects of language education. Our course offerings explore the following topics and more:

  • Key concepts, issues and methods of teaching English
  • Encompassing approaches to language teaching
  • Research in second-language acquisition
  • Learner characteristics
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Pragmatics
  • Testing and assessment
  • The four skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • Political issues, including immigration and laws for language education
  • Dialects and accents
  • The relationship between culture and language
  • Native and nonnative English-speaking teachers

The TESOL programs take an inquiry-based approach toward learning and instruction, offering opportunities for individual focus and reflection, plus discussion with current practitioners and guest speakers.

Format

Courses will typically be offered in the evening during Semester I and II, during the summer, and in a combination of face-to-face and hybrid formats.

Concentration requirements and course descriptions

A total of four courses (12 credit hours) are required to complete the concentration in TESOL. 

Required course:

This course serves as an introduction to approaches, methods and techniques in teaching English to speakers of other languages (and second languages in general), covering both theoretical material and practical applications of theory to language teaching.

Elective courses:

An introduction to the structural and social aspects of human language. Topics essential to prospective teachers are first and second language acquisition, usage, dialects, phonology, and syntax.

This course addresses topics, issues and methods related to assessing English language proficiency in English as a Second Language (ESL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom, both in the U.S. and in international contexts. It explores standardized language proficiency tests, as well as informal and alternative methods of English language learner (ELL) assessment.

This course addresses the selection and development of second language instructional materials. The course will include theoretical considerations and practical applications such as evaluating and adapting instructional materials. The goal of the course is to provide students with opportunities to examine and develop instructional materials for a variety of second and foreign language classrooms, as well as to use authentic instructional materials for communicative purposes.

This course focuses on the teaching of grammar as it may be applied to a variety of ESL/EFL contexts. Thus, it is not a grammar course as such, because the emphasis of the course is on ways of teaching grammar rather than on acquiring or mastering knowledge of grammar itself (although the development of students' own English grammar knowledge will be a peripheral outcome of the course).

This course introduces students to the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA), which focuses on how humans learn subsequent languages after they have acquired a first language. It explores the variables associated with outcomes in second language learning, as well as what it means to acquire competency in the four skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) in a language other than one's first.

This course functions as a forum to pair in in-school field placement in a U.S.-based P-12 English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom or community ESL-related service, with the learning of successful educational practices and models in contemporary ESL/EFL education. Through in-class discussions and tasks, coupled with the field placement, the course creates a significant opportunity for students to reflect on and make connections between the knowledge and skills they have acquired during various components of the TESOL program, as well as the course content.

*Other courses may be taken upon approval.