English as a Second Language

Culture and Communication

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

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. Many of them dream about working in or traveling to English-speaking countries.

An ESL class may have 20 different students who are native speakers of 20 different languages. As their teacher, students couldn't possibly — or be expected to — speak all of their native languages. A teacher’s job is to teach them to speak English, as they teach them in English.

Practicums are an important part of this program. Apply concepts students 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. In the past, students have served on summer mission trips to Romania, been part of Missions in Action (M.I.A.) trips during breaks, and tutored language learners locally.

For the ESL endorsement, 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.

Before their student teaching experience, students will complete field experiences. Students will complete between 100 to 130 hours of field experiences. The Teacher Education Program will assist them in securing the school placements for all their field experiences. Our Student Education Association (SEA) is an organization to help 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 will bond with other students, faculty and educators who are already working in their chosen careers. SEA is the largest student organization on campus with more than 200 students who take part in activities each year. We make a major impact in the surrounding school districts and community!

The student teaching assignment 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 students. A faculty member will observe them on site. This is a time for students to grow, learn and develop as a teacher.

Prepare for and take the ESL specialization test. Students are not required to pass this test in order to receive the ESL endorsement. But if students want to advertise them as specialized in ESL, they will want to do this.

Chicago's Literary Community Next Door

With convenient access to some of the top publishers, book sellers and writing professionals in the country, Olivet students often journey to Chicago for literary events. The American Writers Museum, the Poetry Foundation, the Chicago Public Library and the Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest are just a few of the many draws.

Chicago Public Library

Student Publications

Our entire world is made up of elements, both literally and figuratively. There are elements of fire, water, air and earth. There are elements of fiction, of music, of electromagnetics. Tygr, the student art and literary magazine published each academic year, is dedicated to cultivating individual perceptions of the elements that make up our world. Written and published by students with faculty advisors, this magazine brings together a unique collection of Olivet’s creativity. 


Study Abroad

More than a dozen study abroad programs provide opportunity for experiencing the Christian faith in other cultures and countries.

Learn More about Study Abroad

Mission Work

Missions in Action (M.I.A.) sponsors student mission trips to serve people living on the continents of Asia, Africa, South America, as well as in the U.S.

Missions in Action

Aurora Yearbook

English majors have opportunities to contribute articles for Olivet’s student yearbook. Finding the stories and capturing the personal angles are a creative pursuit.

Teaching Assistants

Students who excel in writing often work closely with their professors in presenting lectures, grading papers and tutoring at-risk students.

Meet the Faculty

Beth Schurman

Preparing the next generation of English teachers is a passion for Beth Schurman. She is an experienced high school English teacher and also a higher education teaching professional. In her work with student teachers, she observes them in their assigned classrooms. An accomplished writer and speaker, she has presented at the National Council of Teachers of English and the Midwest Association of Teacher Educators conferences.

English Faculty

Alumni Careers in English

Communications directors
Freelance writers

Teachers of English in other countries

English with a Christian Purpose

The best way to see if Olivet is a good fit for you is to visit the campus. We offer unique, customized visit days every weekday, and special Purple & Gold days, too, where you can get up close at all things ONU.

Schedule a Visit