English Second Language Minor

The minor in English as a Second Language (ESL) is designed for students pursuing a degree in education, international missions, nonprofit management or another major area of study. Students learn how to teach English to foreign language learners in a variety of settings, both in the United States and abroad.


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For people living in countries outside the United States, knowing English helps them learn more about the culture behind the celebrities they see or read about and provides them with preparation to work in or travel to English-speaking countries.

An ESL class may have 20 different students who are native speakers of 20 different languages. An ESL teacher’s job is to instruct students on how to speak the English language by utilizing the concepts and building blocks of the language.

ESL Curriculum Highlights

Practicums are an important part of this program. Olivet students apply the concepts they learn in the classroom to actual teaching experiences as they complete the required 40 hours of ESL clinical experience.

For the 30-hour field practicum semester prior to student teaching, students design and submit their own proposal outlining how they will provide accessible instruction as an ESL teacher. In the past, Olivet students have served on summer mission trips to Romania, been part of Shalom Project trips during breaks and tutored local language learners.

For the ESL endorsement, education students must complete 100 contact hours with K-12 language learners. Students can volunteer as a coach, tutor or camp counselor working with area residents who aren’t native English speakers. The required student teaching opportunity also gives students experience in taking on more responsibilities for directing the learning activities of a group of students in a real-world classroom. The minimum time is 60 full official school days. A classroom teacher, the principal of the school, and the university supervisor, will supervise the student teacher and provide feedback on how to improve their instructing strategies. This experiential learning opportunity is a time for Olivet students to grow, learn and develop as future ESL teachers.

If students want to include the endorsement on their résumé, they must prepare for, take and pass the ESL specialization test.

School of Education

English Department

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Mission Work

The Shalom Project sponsors student volunteer trips to serve people living throughout the U.S. and around the world.

Learn more about Shalom Project

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Field Experience

Before their student teaching experience, students will complete short-term field experiences. Olivet students must complete between 100-130 hours of field experiences. The Teacher Education Program at ONU assists them in securing the school placements for all their field experiences.

Olivet’s chapter of the Student Education Association (SEA) helps students do additional “educational service” activities each academic year. SEA empowers students and other future educators to invest in the lives of the next generation. Through professional and social activities, students bond with their classmates, faculty and area educators who are already working in their chosen careers. SEA is the largest student organization on campus with more than 200 students who participate in activities each year.

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