Photo of education studies major Amanda Rooke '19

Amanda Rooke '19

“A major part of being an ESL teacher is accepting other cultures and having a willingness to be on equal footing with everyone in your classroom. It has to be a two-way street.”

Amanda Rooke’s love of languages inspired her to specialize in ESL education. For her, language is the gateway to learning about different cultures and building respectful relationships with others.

The English as a second language (ESL) teacher preparation program is based on the philosophy that proficiency in English is essential to prosper in American society.

The English as a second language (E.S.L.) teacher preparation program is based on the philosophy that being proficient in two languages is not only an asset, but also a necessity in today’s global community. In our program, you become skilled in teaching English and learn to be comfortable reading, writing, and conversing in a foreign language. We educate competent and caring E.S.L. teachers who understand migrant and immigrant students, who know how to effectively develop the English skills of these students, and who know how to teach content areas to their students using sheltered E.S.L. methodologies.

Candidates for licensure complete rigorous coursework relating to first and second language acquisition, linguistics, language assessment, methods of teaching E.S.L., and the historical, philosophical, and legal bases for E.S.L. and bilingual education. They also become skilled in an advanced use of the English language and in a foreign language to at least a novice level of college proficiency. Massachusetts’ curriculum frameworks at the candidate’s level of licensure are understood and implemented with appropriate sheltered E.S.L. methodologies. Graduates have gone on to teach in schools or pursue master’s degrees in English as a second language.

Teachers of English as a second language will:

  • Have excellent command of the English language, appropriate for an Elms College graduate.
  • Understand and apply theories of second language acquisition.
  • Know the principles of linguistics, including phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics of American English and its many variations.
  • Explain the basic differences between English and other languages.
  • Apply theories and methods of instruction in reading and writing in a second language.
  • Effectively teach academic content to English language learners, combining the four language skills in interactive approaches.
  • Utilize the curriculum frameworks at the appropriate level to plan instruction.
  • Employ sound language assessment procedures.
  • Select, administer, and interpret language assessment instruments.
  • Outline the historical and legal bases for E.L.L. and bilingual education.
  • Be knowledgeable about, and sensitive to, cross-cultural issues.
  • Possess fluency at an intermediate college level in a language other than English.

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Initial teaching licenses earned at Elms College qualify candidates to begin teaching in Massachusetts and more than 40 states, islands, and territories.