English as a Second Language


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

Degree Overview

Learn how to meaningfully engage with people who might otherwise be left out of the conversation. Studying English as a second language expands the reach of any degree.

When you add an ESL minor, you’ll learn a broad set of skills for interacting with non-native speakers, children, and people with language disorders. You’ll take classes taught by experienced Christian faculty who share your deep empathy for people marginalized by Western society.

And when you graduate, you’ll be confident in your skills, mindset, and connections.

Program Distinctives

Versatile skills - This ESL minor isn’t tied to any specific non-English language—it’s a set of skills for communicating with anyone who isn’t a native English speaker. That means it’s a big advantage in virtually any career.
Cross-disciplinary - You’ll approach communication from all angles. Your professors are experts in many different fields, including speech pathology, linguistics, and sociology.
Meaningful connections - West Michigan is home to many refugees and immigrants from around the world. You’ll find volunteer and internship opportunities with the many organizations that serve them.

Take the next step:

Degree Information

  • Courses
  • Advisor

    Abraham Ceballos-Zapata

    Abraham Ceballos-Zapata

    Assistant Professor
    Full profile

  • Other Details

    Projections indicate that by 2020, 10 percent of Michigan students will be English Language Learners.

    Secondary 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 English 374. The candidate may choose between Speech Pathology and Audiology 215 or 311. When combined with the ESL minor, the language arts minor requires five courses (three credits each) beyond those already required for elementary education and the ESL minor. The language arts major requires six courses (three credits 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, IDIS 301, or completed as an independent study for two semester hours.


Abraham Ceballos-Zapata's staff picture
Abraham Ceballos-Zapata



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