Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Minor, State Endorsement

School of Education

Teacher teaching in an elementary school classroom

The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Program at Westminster University

The Teaching English to Speakers 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.

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.

Who the TESOL Program Is 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.

What You'll Learn in the TESOL Program 

  • 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 TESOL courses

  • TESL-321: Foundations of Multilingual Education
  • TESL-323: Instructional Methods for Diverse Language, Learners

  • TESL-322: Language Acquisition and Development
  • TESL-324: Content Instruction for Diverse Language Learners


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Our Faculty

Marilee Coles-Ritchie, PhD

Rebecca Penerosa, PhD
Associate Professor

Anneliese Cannon, PhD
Associate Professor


accreditation employers trust

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


related programs

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

"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."

Read The Story

Aimée Nguyen
(’16, MAT ’17)


What Are the Key Benefits of the TESOL Program?

  • 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.

Tuition and Aid

There's No Better Investment Than You

Westminster University knows you want an education where you matter—a place that will serve as a launchpad for a successful career and a meaningful life. Westminster will work with you individually through every step of the financial aid process. From scholarships to grants and loans, Westminster helps you make it happen.

With the highest percentage of students who complete one or more internships in the state, Westminster students hit the ground running with real-world experience. Plus, 90% of students were either employed or attending graduate school within 5 months of graduating. With a Westminster degree, you don't have to choose between a successful career and a fulfilling life.

Learn About Tuition

You’ll be automatically considered for scholarship and grant opportunities.

In addition to general merit scholarships, other scholarship programs are available to support you throughout your time at Westminster.

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Your tuition, fully paid

All students should have the ability to explore their passions. Westminster University is proud to cover the cost of tuition for qualifying students through the Westminster Commitment.

Learn About the Westminster Commitment