Department of Languages and Literatures

Majors and Minors in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

A major in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) focuses on understanding the components of languages--sounds, words, and syntax or grammar--and the interrelationship between language and cultural attitudes, values, and practices, and then on applying this understanding to teaching English to those whose first or native language is not English (English language learners).

This major offers excellent preparation for vocations such as teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) both within the United States and in other countries, developing instructional materials--including resources for assessing language fluency--and working in government agencies and non-profit organizations in international settings. In addition, students who complete the Professional Sequence for Teacher Education and who enroll in TESOL courses may apply a given number of TESOL credits toward an ESL K-12 Endorsement on an Iowa Teacher license.

All majors and minors are encouraged to consult an academic advisor each semester to review their program and degree requirements.  For information on requirements for Teacher Licensure programs and teaching endorsements, select the "Information for Students" tab on the Teacher Education at UNI homepage.

Click here for a brochure about TESOL at UNI (Word document; last updated Spring 2018).

TESOL Major

This major prepares students to teach English to non-native speakers. Coursework covers topics in linguistics, language acquisition, and language teaching, and introduces students to effective methods of teaching while encouraging an awareness of world languages and cultures. Click here for the TESOL Major program of study (Word document; last updated Spring 2018).

TESOL-Teaching Major

This major prepares students to teach English to non-native speakers in the k-12 school system. Departmental coursework covers topics in linguistics, language acquisition, and introduces students to effective methods of teaching while encouraging an awareness of world languages and cultures both in and out of the schools. Coursework in the College of Education includes the professional education sequence required for teaching licensure. Click here for the TESOL-Teaching Major program of study (Word document; last updated Spring 2018).

Students should speak with an advisor to make sure that all education requirements are met. Options for teaching endorsements can be found at the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners website.

TESOL/Spanish Major

This major prepares students to teach both English and Spanish in the public schools. Coursework covers Spanish language study, the study of Spanish-based literature and cultures, and topics in linguistics, language acquisition, and language teaching. It introduces students to effective methods of teaching languages while encouraging an awareness of world languages and cultures. Click here for the TESOL-Spanish Major program of study (Word document; last updated Spring 2018).

TESOL Minor

This minor assists students in their preparations to teach English to non-native speakers. It introduces them to topics in linguistics, language acquisition, and language teaching, and provides students an awareness of the importance of language in our society. Click here for the TESOL Minor program of study (Word document; last updated Spring 2018).

TESOL-Teaching Minor

This minor assists students in their preparations to teach English to non-native speakers in the k-12 school system. It also provides the necessary coursework to qualify students for their teaching endorsement in TESOL. Departmental coursework introduces them to topics in linguistics, language acquisition, and language teaching, and provides students insight into ELL in the schools. Click here for the TESOL-Teaching Minor program of study (Word document; last updated Spring 2018).

Students should speak with an advisor to make sure that all education requirements are met. Options for teaching endorsements can be found at the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners website.


Click here here to send an email inquiring about a second endorsement in French-Teaching.