Skip to main content
Belmont University logo

English as a Second Language (ESL)

Classrooms are growing more and more diverse by the day; socioeconomically, racially, ethnically, and linguistically. In Middle Tennessee and across the United States, school districts, higher education institutions, and community organizations are in desperate need of well-prepared, culturally responsive, effective educators to meet the needs of students whose first language is not English. Belmont’s English as a Second Language (ESL) programs prepares students to meet the needs of those English-learning scholars.

Belmont’s School of Education offers an undergraduate major and an undergraduate minor, both which prepare teacher education candidates for ESL licensure/endorsement for grades Kindergarten through twelve:

English as a Second Language (ESL), B.A.

For undergraduate students wishing to pursue ESL as a major and their initial area for teacher licensure/endorsement, the ESL major allows students to purse a B.A. degree, while pursuing a minor in another area of study.

English as a Second Language (ESL), Minor

For undergraduate students pursuing teacher licensure in early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education, or arts education, the ESL minor (18-credit hours) provides the preparation needed to add the ESL endorsement to your Tennessee teaching license. For undergraduate students not pursuing teacher licensure, the ESL minor provides the preparation needed to be effective ESL instructors who are culturally responsive to the needs of English learners in private schools, adult and higher education, or community organizations.

Belmont’s ESL programs are approved by the Tennessee Department of Education as educator preparation programs leading to teacher licensure, and both programs are accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Special program features include:

  • Nationally recognized and locally respected education faculty members with terminal degrees, many years of experience as classroom teachers, teacher leaders, administrators, and teacher educators
  • Specialized courses and clinical preparation for meeting the unique needs of students acquiring English while also continuing their learning in academic content areas
  • Opportunities to engage with English language learners and experienced ESL educators in school and classroom settings from your very first education courses
  • Preparation for supporting the whole child, and bridging gaps between families, communities, and schools
  • Preparation for effectively integrating technology into your planning, instruction, and assessment practices
  • Preparation and support for using culturally responsive approaches to instruction and classroom management
  • A student teaching experience in the final semester of study which includes mentoring and profession support from an experienced ESL teacher, your School of Education faculty, and a clinical teaching supervisor