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School of Education
English as a Second Language Education
Professor organizing multicultural materials
School of Education

English as a Second Language Education


  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Undergraduate

135 credits

required for program

135 credits

135 credits

required for program

Break down language barriers and learn to integrate diversity in the classroom. The English as a Second Language education (ESL) degree will prepare you to teach English to children in grades K-12 within a public or private school setting. Our Christian literacy experts will prepare you to teach English domestically and internationally. This degree also prepares you for further graduate study.

100%

of Northwestern's education graduates felt professionally prepared

Dual Licensure

available for ESL/Elementary Education

97%
%}

of seniors felt their major encouraged critical thinking

Why study English as a second language education at Northwestern?

We believe in equipping the next generation of teachers with the character, expertise, and cultural competence needed to stand out among their peers. Here you will learn from seasoned teachers who share your faith and enjoy helping others learn.

The School of Education offers you the opportunity to travel to Haiti for one week to learn how education is different outside the U.S. This will equip you to teach in diverse communities. You can also study abroad in China over spring break or participate in a Civil Rights Pilgrimage spring break trip with other education majors. You can gain even more experience by participating in our international student teaching program.

With additional credits, you can be recommended for dual licensure in ESL (Grades K-12) and elementary education (Grades K-6) with an academic emphasis in communication arts and literature education. The combination of ESL education and elementary licenses work together wonderfully to support future students, and also have the benefit of adding flexibility to your teaching career.

Northwestern’s School of Education provides you with four levels of classroom practicum experience. The first allows you to find your personal "fit" within the teaching profession. The second level focuses on developing theory and skills related to diversity. The third level engages you to apply methodologies within your chosen field by creating, teaching, and evaluating lessons in a school classroom. The final level is full time student teaching in a chosen licensure field.

The School of Education provides teacher education programs approved by the MN Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board and as a result meet the state standards adopted for licensure programs as defined in state Rule 8710.2000 through 8710.8080. All licensure programs are aligned with INTASC (Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium) standards and the Minnesota Standards of Effective Practice.

The School of Education has hosted Christian Educators Association International (CEAI) events, and is a member of CEAI.

The School of Education attends the Compass Educator Breakfast each fall (through Grace Church in Eden Prairie, MN).

If you enjoy working with children, are eager to serve, passionate about teaching, want to help people learn the English language, and are interested in a career in education, this might be the right degree for you.

What will you learn?

You will develop effective written and verbal communication skills and be able to teach English to children in grades K-12.

Some classes include:

  • Advanced English Grammar: Syntax
  • Language, School, and Society
  • Theory of Second Language Acquisition
  • Teaching Grammar for ESL
  • Introduction to Linguistics
View Course Catalog
I am an ESL teacher for Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). I started the ESL Program at a high school; we received many new students that came from other countries like Somalia, Iraq, Malaysia and Thailand. I am also the only ESL teacher at another high school. I spend my mornings at one school and my afternoons at the other. Half of my students are from Spanish-speaking backgrounds and the other half come from all over the world. There are 22 languages represented in my classroom. I have been teaching for MPS for two years and spent one year teaching in Bulgaria as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant or an ETA.
Emily Herlinger
School of Education , 2015

Careers in English as a second language education

There are a variety of career and academic pathways that begin with a degree in English as a second language education.

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Meet your professors


Professors at Northwestern are focused on their students first. Our faculty include experts in their respective fields who want to help you grow in your faith while you earn your degree.


Meet the entire department

Lara Bronson, Ed.D.

Assistant Dean/Chair, School of Education
Associate Professor of...

Dr. Lara Bronson serves as the Assistant Dean/Chair at University of Northwestern – St. Paul in the School of...

Jonell Pacyga, M.A.

Assistant Professor
English as a Second Language Licensure Program...

Specialty Areas ESL Education, Oral Skill Development in Second Language Learning, Motivation in Language...

Contact Information

School of Education

Nazareth Hall, N3008
3003 Snelling Avenue North
St. Paul, MN 55113

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