Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

The teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) program provides a foundation for studying languages and how they are learned, as well as practical experience with teaching English. Being an interdisciplinary minor, you will be introduced to the fields of linguistics, sociolinguistics and applied linguistics, where you’ll explore how languages have developed, how they are structured and how they are used in real-life situations. You will also investigate how learners learn first and second languages and study principles and methods of language teaching in different cultural and societal contexts, both from a historical perspective and in terms of current practices.

Through this program, you will combine your experiences in studying abroad and in speaking a second language with your interests in linguistics and the study of language learning and teaching.

Program Details

As a TESOL minor, you will have opportunities to learn about language teaching principles and methods, and gain practical experience with teaching English through a required field study. Some of the opportunities to gain practical experience will be through community-based programs such as English as a Second Language (ESL) and/or programs abroad such as English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

You may also have on-campus opportunities to serve as a teaching assistant to language instructors in the classroom or tutor language learners through Earlham’s Academic Enrichment Center.

To earn a minor in TESOL, you must complete the following courses:

Course Code
Credit Hours

Participation in an international study program (International students may be exempt.)

Three core courses and the Field Study course:

Course Code
Credit Hours
Sub-Total Credit Hours

90% of work seekers who majored in the humanities between 2018-2022 were employed, pursuing graduate school or volunteering within six months of graduation.

  • Students who earn a minor in TESOL will be prepared to pursue a certificate or a master's degree in TESOL or a related field after graduation. Having a TESOL, TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) or TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification is often a minimum requirement for English teaching jobs online and abroad.

  • Students interested in careers in language-related fields may need to complete advanced degrees. Speak with an advisor to discuss options.

Can I do off-campus study

Yes! In fact, with the exception of students who already have international experience, one of the TESOL minor requirements is to study off campus. Many students who have studied in Japan, Spain, or France, for example, returned to those countries to teach English.

Learn more about available programs via our Center for Global and Career Education.