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English as a Second Language-Teaching

The English as a Second Language program, also known as ESL, is housed in the Department of World Languages and Literatures and is offered as a interdisciplinary minor at UW-Stevens Point.  Courses from Communicative Disorders, Education, English, Political Science and Psychology departments make up the minor and are in accordance with state requirements and professional standards. 

As the number of English Language learners grows in our public schools nationally, so does the need for ESL teachers.  Courses are designed to give students a framework in linguistics applied to second language education and provides students with the skills, methods, strategies and practice teaching for working with English language learners. With an introduction to linguistics, an introduction to theories of second language acquisition, as well as the knowledge you will need to teach and/or train effectively at all age levels, this program has many present-day applications.  

The minor is available to undergraduate students pursuing education degrees and for current teachers seeking to add-on the ESL certification to their current teaching license. This is not available as a stand-alone teaching program. 


This minor is or undergraduate general education students and certified teachers pursuing an add-on minor certification. The state of Wisconsin requires students to master content specific to the field of teaching ESL. These content requirements are covered through the required courses at UWSP. UWSP requires a minimum of 22 credit hours in ESL. Before students receive a student teaching assignment, they need to display mastery of the content areas by passing the Praxis II exam.

Minor Requirements

The ESL-Teaching minor consists of 22-29 credits. 
The ESL-Teaching minor is taken in conjunction with teaching majors in early childhood, elementary education, K-12 majors, or secondary teaching majors. 


Proficiency in English with minimum scores required by the Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction on verbal and reading sections of the PPST.
World Language Courses (totalling 8 credits)

Student Teaching Requirement

This minor requires a student teaching assignment. If you are pursuing an ESL teaching license, please contact an advisor in the School of Education or the ESL Coordinator, Dr. Tobias Barske, to discuss the timeline of your program. Failure to do so may result in a delay of placement for the supervised practice teaching (FLED 398).

Typically, students are placed in a school that has a free-standing ESL program where they complete either the first or the second half of their student teaching experience working with ESL supervising and cooperating teachers. Preparation for student teaching in ESL at UW-Stevens Point consists of a minimum of 30 hours during which students observe classes, develop and submit lesson plans, develop a unit, reflect upon and journal teaching experience, participate in testing and assessment, participate in relevant outside activities, including parent conferences, work with and get feedback from a practicum teacher, and videotape and critique their own teaching. 

For more information, visit the Course Catalog, search by the name of this program, and filter by semester.   


Students have to pass the Praxis II exam (test code: 20360) with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction before they are allowed to student teach in the area of ESL in Wisconsin.

For more information contact the ESL Advisor and Program Coordinator

Dr. Tobias Barske
Assistant Dean, School of Humanities and Global Studies

Optional Certificate!  

Students who complete the ESL minor may also want to pursue the Bilingual-Bicultural Education Certificate offered through the Department of World Languages and Literatures at UW-Stevens Point.  The certificate is only a few more credits  and program participants acquire abilities to teach content both in English and another language (either Spanish or Hmong).  You will only be awarded the certificate if you successfully complete the English as a Second Language Minor with K-12 Teacher Certification.

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