English as a Second Language

Academics / Departments & Programs / Education / AcademicsEnglish as a Second Language

Degree Overview

As you explore this minor, consider this: the population of English language learners is growing rapidly in the United States. Projections indicate that by 2020, 10 percent of Michigan students will be English language learners.

And Calvin is one of the few Christian universities that offers an ESL program.

With a minor in this growing field, you'll be equipped to reach students in your classroom who are learning English. At the same time, you'll gain valuable cross-cultural experiences that will position you well in your field.

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Program Distinctives

Pair it with anything - With only 20 credits required, you can combine the ESL minor with a number of other majors or minors.
Student teaching - Experience is a critical part of Calvin's education program. Gain field experience as a Calvin ESL minor and discover what you love about teaching.
Local ESL programs - In Grand Rapids, one in seven people don't speak English, so many of the local schools have ESL programs. Start crossing barriers as a student teacher.
High certification rates - Calvin's education department prepares you for the future. Our graduates have a 93 percent pass rate on the teacher certification exam—one of the highest in the state.

Program Requirements & Opportunities

  • Courses
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  • Advisor

    Jennifer Holberg

    Jennifer Holberg

    Professor
    Co-director of the Calvin Center for Faith & Writing
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    Marcie Pyper

    Marcie Pyper

    Emerita
    Full profile

  • Other Details

    Secondary education candidates should consider the English major in addition to the ESL minor.

    IDIS 301 must be taken during the same fall semester as Education 302 and 303.

    The ESL minor may be combined with the language arts minor, but English 370, 372, and 375 may not overlap. In addition to English 370, 372, and 375, the candidate must complete Speech Pathology and Audiology 215 or 311 and English 374. When combined with the ESL minor, the language arts minor requires 5 courses (3 cr. each) beyond those already required for elementary education and the ESL minor. The language arts major requires 6 courses (3 cr. each) beyond those already required for elementary education and the ESL minor. Two courses may overlap between the language arts major and ESL minor.

    The ESL minor may be combined with the Spanish minor, but Spanish 340 may not overlap. In addition to Spanish 340, the candidate must complete English 370. IDIS 356 or 357 may overlap. Two courses may overlap between the language arts major and ESL minor.

    Adult learners and teachers in the ESL endorsement program must demonstrate competency in at least one world language. Competency is defined as the successful completion of the equivalent of two years of study in college or four years in high school with a minimum grade of C in each course.

    Students who would like to be certified to teach both ESL and bilingual Spanish may complete both programs at Calvin along with the Spanish major. Because of the number of overlapping courses, only one of the minors may appear on the Calvin degree. The other minor will be added as an additional endorsement to the teaching certificate after graduation. Students interested in this option should meet with the Teacher Certification Coordinator to set up a plan. Students must complete field experiences in both ESL and bilingual Spanish settings. The field experiences will be arranged during Education 303 and IDIS 301 or completed as an independent study for two semester hours.

Connect education and language

Study the words that surround us. Get a deeper understanding of the English language—and enhance your ESL minor—with a Calvin linguistics major.

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Boost an elementary education major

Make a difference in a child's life. Pair your English as a second language minor with an elementary education minor.

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