Education at Aquinas College

English as a Second Language (ESL) Minor

ESL - English as a Second Language Minor = 24 credits

Certification/Endorsement Code: NS

Michigan Subject Area Test Code: 086

The ESL minor can be added to any content-area teacher certification program or it can be completed as a non-certification minor. Appropriate for anyone working with English language learners, this program can be completed in 12-18 months with courses typically offered in a hybrid or online format.

This endorsement is frequently included on Critical Teacher Shortage lists.


  • EN322 Emergent Literacy (3)

    Offered spring semesters. Restrictions: requirement for LD major, language arts, ESL and early childhood education endorsements. This course is not an education method elective. Foundations of language and literacy development beginning in infancy to grade 3, concluding with reading and writing activities with an emphasis on the “hundred languages of children”; special attention is given to symbolic representations, cultural differences and the learning environment. The importance of parental involvement, integrated and balanced curriculum in early childhood classroom is addressed. Prerequisites: EN201/501 or Michigan Teaching Certificate, EN207/507. Field component: twenty (20) hours in a literacy-rich environment.

  • EN443/EN543 Literacy for the Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learner (3)

    Offered fall and summer semesters. Required for language arts, learning disabilities, ESL and reading endorsements. Not an education method elective. This course is designed to present effective literacy instruction for linguistically, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse students. Topics explored will include matching students to books, academic vocabulary instruction, classroom management, and classroom learning environment. Students will work in a diverse classroom throughout the semester, observing for literacy practices and assisting students with reading and writing needs. Prerequisite: EN442/541. Field component: thirty (30) hours tutoring in school setting (daytime).

  • EN457/EN557 Introduction to Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) (3)

    Offered fall, and spring semesters. Required for all Bilingual Spanish and English as a Second Language minors. Appropriate education method elective for elementary and secondary candidates. Introduction to central ESL theories, terminology and teaching methodologies and strategies for those new to the field of ESL with an emphasis on specific issues concerning mainstream K-12 teachers working with English language learners. Links between theory and practice are made through a field component. Course participants with an interest in teaching English as a foreign language or teaching foreign languages are welcome and will be accommodated. Prerequisite: EN201 or Michigan Teaching Certificate. Field component: variable hours.

  • EN458/EN558 Advanced Methods and Materials of Teaching English as a Second Language (3)

    Offered fall semesters. Required for ESL minors. Not an education method elective. The course will have as its focus two important areas of English language teaching: materials and methodology. Students will evaluate various kinds of ESL instructional materials for English language learners and examine methods for teaching English to speakers of other languages. Emphasis is on teacher techniques and strategies for teaching the four skills, grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary. Prerequisite: EN457/EN557. Field component: variable hours.

  • EN459/EN559 Assessment and Evaluation in ESL (3)

    Offered spring semesters. Required for Bilingual Spanish and ESL minors. Not an education method elective. Geared to studying the processes for designing, analyzing and implementing assessment measures for English language learners with a focus on classroom-based evaluation and forms of authentic assessment. Links between assessment and instruction, examination of formal and informal types of formative and summative assessments and their value as feedback for teachers, parents and administrators are emphasized. Field component provides participants opportunity to investigate various aspects of assessment of professional interest. Prerequisite: EN457/557. Field component : variable hours

  • EN471/EN771 Theories of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (3)

    Theories of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (3) Offered spring semesters. Required for Bilingual Spanish and ESL minors. Not an education method elective. This is an introductory course to bilingual/multi-lingual and English language education with an emphasis on the theories and practices underpinning bilingual programs and the teaching of learning of English language learners. The course provides an overview of the field, including the main concepts of bilingualism, and different models of bilingual and ESL programs. A main component of the course will be to examine peoples’ beliefs and experiences of becoming bilingual. Another component will center on specific educational issues that affect bilingual development in a school setting. The field experiences of this course will act as cohesive ties between what we explore, study and experiment with in course readings and discussions and the real world of bilingual/multilingual learners and teachers. Prerequisite: EN457/557. Field component: variable hours.

  • EN476/EN576 Second Language Acquisition (3)

    Offered spring semester. Required for ESL minors. Not an education method elective. This course is an introduction to the subject of second language acquisition and learning. The prime objective of the course is to help educators better understand how people learn (or don’t learn) languages as well as to examine the complex issues surrounding SLA in educational contexts. The course provides participants with opportunities to analyze the processes of child and adult SLA, how they differ from L1 acquisition, and the implications of these theories for teaching and learning of second languages. Personal experiences with SLA and teaching second language learners will be utilized to tie together theory and practice. Field work and course texts will be used as a spring board for projects in which course participants will investigate a SLA topic that interests them and/or directly relates to their own classroom context. Prerequisites: EN457/557 or EN443/543. Field component: variable hours.

  • EN494/EN794 Practicum ESL/Bilingual Education (3)

    Offered fall and spring semesters. Required of all Bilingual Spanish and ESL minors. Field placement in a Bilingual Spanish or ESL or classroom under the supervision of a certified Bilingual Spanish or ESL teacher. Prerequisite: All bilingual or ESL coursework and School of Education approval. Field component: one hundred sixty (160) hours in an approved site..