Department of English

Teaching English as a Second Language

Our Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) programs will prepare you to teach students in the United States and throughout in the world. A campus-wide focus on cultural diversity will introduce you to a community of learners in a local context.

Our online options will allow you to complete your degree from anywhere in the world. You will learn the intricacies of linguistics and teaching from multilingual and multicultural specialists who have lived, worked and taught throughout the world. You will have the opportunity to put your skills to work in a graduate assistantship at St. Cloud State's English for Academic Purposes program or the Intensive English Center, a program that trains more than 100 English language learners from more than 15 countries each year.

These two centers offer 20 graduate assistantships each year. 

Our Programs

Your choice of TESL or linguistics programs will depend on your career goals.

International students seeking admission to St. Cloud State, can complete their English studies in the Intensive English Center (IEC) and then gain admission to St. Cloud State undergraduate and graduate programs through graduation from the IEC.

For admitted college international students who need to improve their academic English, they can take EAP courses which count for graduation. 

For linguistics employment or further study

For undergraduates interested in linguistics for employment or further studies,

For entry-level TESL positions in non-English speaking countries

For those seeking entry-level TESL teaching positions in non-English speaking countries, we have undergraduate and graduate TESOL certificates.

  • The Undergraduate TESOL Certificate provides St. Cloud State students who seek international teaching and travel after graduation an internationally recognized credential for entry level positions teaching English as a foreign or second language. This Undergraduate TESOL Certificate can be completed on-campus only. 
  • The Graduate TESOL Certificate provides the same credential for those who have already graduated from college. The Graduate TESOL Certificate can be completed 100% online or on-campus or a combination of both.

For K-12 ESL licensure in Minnesota

For those seeking K-12 ESL licensure in the State of Minnesota:

  • For initial licensure, the undergraduate K-12 ESL license can be completed through courses in the TESL Minor and the Secondary Education Sequence with a major: for example, Linguistics or Spanish. This undergraduate initial licensure program is mostly completed on-campus.
  • For initial licensure at the graduate level, the Graduate TESL Master of Art: K-12 ESL licensure emphasis and the Graduate Education Sequence are:
    1. On-campus
    2. 100% with the Bemidji State University FasTrack Secondary Education Sequence
  • For second licensure at the graduate level, the Graduate TESL MA: K-12 ESL licensure emphasis both on-campus and online 100% or any combination.

For college teaching positions

For those seeking college teaching positions in the United States or internationally:

  • If further graduate studies are anticipated: TESL MA: thesis option;
  • If focused on teaching internationally beyond entry-level positions: TESL MA: TEFL emphasis.

For college professors with a previous Master of Arts or Doctoral degrees and those who want to add college ESL courses to their teaching duties, the Advanced TESOL Certificate may be an option.