ESL/Bilingual Education


The Department of Curriculum and Instruction, in coordination with the Department of Languages and Literatures, offers a minor in both English as a second language (ESL) and Bilingual Education (BE). These minors lead to licensure in the state of Wisconsin and are added onto licensure in another primary area. In addition, a minor in Teaching English to Adults, which does not lead to licensure, is offered for non-Education majors who wish to teach adults in post-secondary settings in the United States or abroad.

Why ESL & Bilingual Education?

Did you know that in 2009, 1 in 9 students in U.S. schools were English Language Learners?  And, that number is growing rapidly: By 2025, 1 in 4 students in U.S. Schools will be English Language Learners.  What's more, in Wisconsin alone, 86% of the state's school districts have English Language Learners, and that number is continuing to grow.  In other words, in some capacity, all teachers will work with students who are learning English in school.  But many more teachers need to be prepared to do so.  ESL and Bilingual-Bicultural Education is an exciting and rapidly growing field in need of many dedicated and well-prepared teachers.  

Licenses in ESL or ESL and Bilingual Education enable future teachers to work with students who are learning English while they are learning the content of the curriculum.  Because ESL/BE minors will also have their "major area licensure," they will potentially be able to work with a wide variety of students including native English speakers, recent immigrants who speak a Language Other Than English (LOTE) at home, and students who were born here but whose primary language is a LOTE. All of these students need skilled, dedicated teachers to give them equal access to the academic curriculum.

If you have further questions after reviewing information on our website you may email: Melanie Schneider regarding ESL or bilingual questions or Jenna Cushing-Leubner regarding World Language questions

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