Jul 20, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages [BA]

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The Bachelor of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is designed for students who want to engage with international populations in the US or abroad. It is rooted in a desire to communicate with people who come from different language and cultural backgrounds, from the dual perspective of teachers who wish to serve international sojourners in the US and of those who wish to journey abroad to engage with students in their home cultures. It is meant to improve the teaching and learning of English as an additional language, to encourage reciprocal communication between peoples the world over, and to promote global citizenship.


Beginning classes focus on language (LNGE). You will hone your knowledge of English language structures and discover how language and culture influence each other in a variety of settings in the U.S. and around the world. After exploring how students learn a language, upper-level classes focus on English language teaching methodology and practice. You will also have opportunities to plan and implement language teaching activities.


A major in TESOL will allow you to enter a career teaching English to speakers of other languages in the US or abroad or work in related fields such as language testing and assessment, publishing, or non-profit organizations. Students might also choose to continue to one of many graduate programs, including the internationally recognized professional degree, the MA-TESOL, which can lead to a career teaching in colleges and universities domestically and internationally.

Department Information

World Languages | Jeff Popko, Ph.D., Department Head | 219 Alexander, 734.487.0130, apopko@emich.edu

Advisor Information

Cynthia Macknish, Ed.D., Associate Professor, 330 King Hall, 734.487.3347, cmacknis@emich.edu

Program Admission

Lower-division classes (LNGE 202 , 223 , 240 , & 242 ) are open to all students. Students may complete any or all of these LNGE classes prior to applying to the major. Students seeking admission to the major should contact the TESOL Advisor prior to registering for TSLN 325W , the major’s Writing Intensive course.

Prior to officially entering the major, students must have:

  1. Sophomore standing
  2. Superior English test scores (e.g. New SAT 1250, ACT 22, TOEFL iBT 88, IELTS 6.5) OR a cumulative GPA of 3.0 with at least 24 credit hours completed
  3. Students must complete two semesters (minimum 6 credits) of a World Language at the university level.

Students who wish to be certified to teach ESL in Michigan must double major, completing a Teaching Major concurrently with the BA-TESOL.

General Education Requirements:

For specific requirements, see General Education  or print a worksheet .  

Major Requirements: 36 hours

Program Total:

Students must earn a minimum total of 124 credits at the 100-level or above.

Beginning in Fall 2022, all baccalaureate degree programs for all undergraduates (regardless of catalog year) will require a minimum of 120 credit hours for completion.

Critical Graduation Information

Each undergraduate student will be responsible for the fulfillment of the requirements or their equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration at a college or university or a subsequent catalog including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

In the event an undergraduate student does not complete the degree requirements within seven years of the date of their original registration at a college or university, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their major/minor in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

The following are minimum requirements for all bachelor’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some majors and minors require more than the minimum in one or more of the areas below; students are urged to consult the online catalog for the requirements of their particular programs.

  • Earn a minimum total of 124 credits at the 100-level and above. Courses with numbers below 100 will not be counted toward this degree requirement. At most 8 credit hours of physical education (PEGN) activity courses will be counted toward this requirement.
  • Meet the requirements of the General Education program (see information below).
  • Complete a Writing Intensive (GEWI) Course in your major.
  • Earn a minimum of 60 credits from a four-year college or university; courses taken at community colleges cannot be used to meet this requirement. (Some formal program-to-program articulation agreements modify this requirement. See specific agreements for details.)
  • Earn a minimum of 30 credits from courses taken at EMU.
  • Complete 10 of the last 30 hours for the degree from courses taken at EMU.
  • Have a minimum of 30 unique credit hours in their major and 20 unique credit hours in their minor for a total of at least 50 unique credit hours between them. Some majors that require 50 or more hours themselves do not require a minor; students should check requirements of the selected major in the undergraduate catalog to see if a minor is required.
  • Earn no more than 60 credit hours in one subject area (prefix). Credits in excess of the 60 maximum will not be counted toward the minimum of 124 credits required for a bachelor’s degree.
  • Earn the minimum number of credits in 300-level and above courses in each major and minor as specified below - these credits must be earned in distinct courses; that is, no course can be used to fulfill this requirement in more than one major or minor.
    • Earn a minimum of 6 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each minor
    • Earn a minimum of 9 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that requires a minor.
    • Earn a minimum of 15 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that does not require a minor
  • Transfer credit will be awarded for courses taken at colleges and universities that are accredited by one of the recognized regional accrediting bodies only if the courses are college-level (equated to 100-level or above at EMU) and the student earned a “C” (or 2.0 on a 4 point scale) or better. Transfer credit may be awarded on a case-by-case basis for college-level courses in which a “C” (2.0) or better was earned at institutions outside the U.S. or at non-accredited U.S. institutions; individual departments/schools conduct the internal review of such courses within EMU, and additional documentation may be required. Please note: EMU awards only credit for transferred courses; grades are not used in the calculation of an EMU GPA.
  • Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in courses taken at EMU in order to graduate. In addition, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 must be reached in each major and minor. Only courses taken at EMU and those applied to a student’s major or minor will be used in the calculation of their major and minor cumulative GPAs. (Note: some programs may require a higher GPA - check with your program advisor.)

General Education Requirements EMU’s General Education Program requires students to choose from a menu of approved courses in several different areas; do not assume that other courses in the same department or with similar names will fulfill these requirements. A detailed description of General Education requirements is available in the General Education  section of the catalog.

Students who transferred to EMU may have modified general education requirements based on Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) or articulation agreements; consult your academic advisor for additional information.


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