TESOL & Multilingual Education Core Coursework Descriptions

Introduction to Linguistics, LING 1811 (3 cr.)

Provides an introduction to a theoretical study of the nature of natural language, using examples primarily from present-day English. Students are expected to learn analytical skills to understand how human languages (and the human mind) work and how the sub-components (sounds, words, sentences and meaning) of natural languages are systematically organized.

Bilingualism & Biliteracy Development: Foundations of Second Language Acquisition, EDUC 3100 (3 cr.)

Students in this course learn about the many cognitive and social benefits of bilingualism while considering how to support students at all stages of their language development They learn about second language acquisition theory, including the most recent research, and understand how it differs from first language acquisition. Students will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of various types of instruction for English language learners while exploring the internal and external factors affecting second language acquisition such as motivation and length of instruction. They also learn about biliteracy development and the transfer of skills across languages. By the end of this course, students will be able to explain how languages are learned.

Assessment of Language Development, EDUC 3330 (3 cr.)

This course includes a review of assessment theory and its application in teaching English language learners (ELLs) and multilingual students. This includes an emphasis on performance-based assessment in language education. In addition, the course explores equity issues related to assessment practices in light of bilingualism and cultural backgrounds. Students will analyze how language and cultural differences impact responses to tasks and learn to identify bias present in assessment methods. They will demonstrate how to provide meaningful feedback to ELLs and incorporate test-taking strategies into their lessons. By the end of this course, students will describe best practices of assessment theory and apply this to the creation of authentic assessment plans for language education. They will also demonstrate thinking critically about assessment methods in regards to multilingual learners based on increased knowledge of language proficiency levels and cultural inclusivity.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language Theory and Methods, EDUC 3211 (3 cr.)

This course is intended for students interested in teaching k-12 and adult multilingual students. It offers a practical introduction to English language teaching to non-native speakers of English by linking practice to current theory and research. In addition to creating unit plans based on principles and knowledge of learning outcomes, students employ meaningful teaching techniques to increase motivation while attending to classroom management. This class provides a solid pedagogical foundation for teaching listening, speaking, reading, writing, pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. Students review major language instruction practices including cross-cultural communication, and address the impact of cultural variables on English language learning in an international setting. This course and program do not lead to a Minnesota teaching license.

TESOL/TEFL Practicum, EDUC 4099 (1 cr.)

This practicum is required for students in the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Multilingual Education minor or Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certificate. The course includes observation of experienced English as a Second Language teachers as well as hands-on experience working with English language learners and emerging bilinguals. In this course, students synthesize theoretical research with reflective observation, thus adding to their understanding of evidence-based teaching. In practicum placements, students will be exposed to a variety of age groups and proficiency levels in order to broaden their understanding of the field of TESOL and TEFL within public schools and immersion programs. Students with proficiency in another language may also have the option to be placed in immersion schools. Students complete 40 hours of combined observation and direct work with English language learners and emerging bilinguals. At the end of this practicum, students have a deeper understanding of the connection between theory and practice.

Language Policy & Education, EDUC 4050 (2 cr.)

The course reviews the connection between language, culture, and identity while focusing on the global state of immersion education in which content is taught in a language other than the majority language. Students will examine issues related to language ideologies and power both in the United States and abroad. They will explore the philosophical goals of immersion education, comparing and contrasting the different models of one-way immersion and two-way immersion (also known as bilingual education). This course includes a historic overview of language policy in the United States. Students will analyze past and present legislation as they discuss the role of education in language planning. By the end of this course, students will be able to match key features of immersion programs, including one-way and two-way programs, to the particular needs of a student or community and will be able to situate models of language education in a sociopolitical context.