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Twin Cities Campus

Teaching English as a Second Language Minor

Curriculum & Instruction
College of Education and Human Development
  • Program Type: Undergraduate free-standing minor
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2024
  • Required credits in this minor: 14 to 15
Four courses are required to complete the undergraduate minor: Teaching English as a Second Language. Students learn about the structure of the English language and best practices for teaching and learning a language in formal and informal settings. The coursework can lead to further study in second language acquisition and applied linguistics at the graduate level. This program DOES NOT lead to state teaching certification or licensure needed to teach K-12 in public schools. ESL teaching licensure is offered only at the graduate level. More information is available on the C&I website (
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Minor Requirements
Required Courses for Minor
CI 3610 - Linguistics for Teachers [SOCS] (3.0 cr)
or LING 3001 - Introduction to Linguistics [SOCS] (4.0 cr)
or LING 5001 - Introduction to Linguistics (4.0 cr)
CI 3611W - Basics in Teaching English as a Second Language [WI] (4.0 cr)
CI 3612 - Introduction to Pronunciation and Grammar for ESL Teachers (4.0 cr)
CI 3613 - Intercultural Communication and English Language Teaching (3.0 cr)
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· College of Education and Human Development

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· Teaching English as a Second Language Minor
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CI 3610 - Linguistics for Teachers (SOCS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
For pre K-6 pre-service teachers. Introduction to linguistics. Linguistic terminology and how to apply methods of linguistic analysis to English, focusing on educational settings and classroom instruction.
LING 3001 - Introduction to Linguistics (SOCS)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Ling 3001/3001H/5001
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
The ability to acquire and use language is a biological trait of the human species. This capacity for language manifests itself as thousands of particular languages spoken around the world in communities large and small. But what is language? What does it mean for a human to ?know? a particular language? How do children acquire this knowledge? How do we use language to communicate? These are some of the important questions addressed by the field of linguistics, the scientific study of the human capacity for language in its physiological, cognitive, historical, and social manifestations. This course introduces some of the essential findings of linguistics: first and foremost, that all varieties of all languages are intricately structured at multiple distinct but related levels. Second, that this intricate structure can be described in terms that are not only precise, but which apply to all human languages. We will work to replicate some of these findings by deploying simple analytical methods on data from a variety of languages. These methods allow us to answer questions about the different structural components of language: phonology (how do speech sounds pattern?), morphology (what are possible words and how are they built?), and syntax (what is the hierarchical structure underlying sequences of words?). In all instances these methods require that we pay attention to basic notions of semantics, from which more complex conceptions of meaning will emerge. Having characterized language as an intricately-structured system of knowledge, we will then possess the tools to ask a number of additional questions about language and cognition. How does such complex knowledge play into the actual task of sentence production or comprehension? What do we know about the neural implementation of this knowledge in human brains? How does child language acquisition proceed, and what makes it so much more robust than language acquisition later in life? Do animals have languages of their own? Can they learn human languages? Finally, we will turn our attention to variation in language patterns observed over the passage of time, across geographical space, and within social systems. How and why do languages change over historical time? What can we know about languages spoken before the invention of writing? What distinctions exist between languages spoken in different places, and how can we tell whether similarities are due to genealogical relationships? How do new languages emerge? How do languages disappear? How does language use vary between individuals from the same place or the same community? How do socioeconomic class, ethnicity, and gender relate to the linguistic behavior of individuals? How does language policy affect educational outcomes? What about social cohesion and conflict? Although we will find that most of these questions lack definitive answers, we will develop an understanding of what it takes to ask them meaningfully and precisely. In particular, we will be able to eliminate false or misleading answers, especially when they fail to take into account the observable and describable properties of the human capacity for language.
LING 5001 - Introduction to Linguistics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Ling 3001/3001H/5001
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Scientific study of human language. Methods, questions, findings, and perspectives of modern linguistics. Components of the language system (phonetics/phonology, syntax, semantics/pragmatics); language acquisition; language and social variables; language and cognition; language change; language processing; language and public policy; language and cognition.
CI 3611W - Basics in Teaching English as a Second Language (WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: CI 3611W/SLS 3001
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Writing intensive course that combines service learning internship with classroom lectures, discussions, group work, experiential activities. In this course, service learning requires students to act as teachers and professional leaders with students for 30 hours a semester. Prepares students for teaching ESL to adults in community programs. prereq: Have studied another language.
CI 3612 - Introduction to Pronunciation and Grammar for ESL Teachers
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: CI 3612/SLS 3401
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduces English language analysis with key concepts/theories in English pronunciation system/grammar. Issues within each/explore way ESL textbooks/instructors can advance ESL learners' language proficiency in these areas. prereq: An Introduction to Linguistics course, e.g., CI 3610 or LING 3001
CI 3613 - Intercultural Communication and English Language Teaching
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: CI 3613/SLS 3501
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Foundations of international/cross-cultural communication. Increased understanding of personal preferences/experiences in learning languages/using them in international communication. How these skills vary across individuals/contexts.