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Bachelor of Science in Education, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

English learners and their families are one of the fastest growing populations in Ohio’s public schools, where approximately 115 languages are spoken. Many children and adolescents are simultaneously acquiring English proficiency, mastering academic content, and learning the cultural expectations of their school and community. 

The TESOL BSEd program in Ohio State’s Department of Teaching and Learning prepares new teachers for the dual role of educator and advocate for English learners and their families.

Language learning has always been a passion of mine. The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages BSEd program is all-inclusive, with linguistics, general education and in-depth English language courses, second language acquisition, and the most memorable methods course of all. I graduated from Ohio State feeling prepared to take on the real world and excited to share my knowledge of the English language with families from all around the globe. I gained a lifetime of experience and knowledge that I feel comfortable applying in my everyday life as an ESL teacher. I can say, without a doubt, that my best decision in life was majoring in TESOL at The Ohio State University!
Mackenzie Mellott, BSEd, 2015
TESOL Specialist, Hancock County (Ohio) Educational Service Center


School districts, universities and educational organizations throughout Ohio and the United States are in high need of trained English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers who can skillfully address the academic, linguistic, cultural, literacy and social needs of the multilingual communities they serve. 

The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages program is a rigorous, multi-disciplinary program that requires research and classroom-based practice for understanding language acquisition, implementing meaningful and effective English-language teaching, and promoting student success for all English learners. 

As a TESOL major, you will take courses in multiple academic fields as well as teach in ESL classrooms in  elementary, middle and high school grade levels. Upon successful completion of the coursework and field/student teaching placements, you will be recommended for an initial multi-age teaching license through the Ohio Department of Education. This degree is only offered on the Columbus campus.

The principle philosophy behind the TESOL curriculum is to provide a multi-disciplinary foundation in subjects relevant to teaching K-12 English learners, as well as numerous opportunities for TESOL majors to experience and reflect on effective pedagogy across multiple grade levels. This program emphasizes content knowledge in linguistics, literacy, English and world languages; TESOL methods and assessment; and coursework focusing on child or adolescent development and the foundations of education. An important goal of this BSEd program is to position TESOL graduates to be become advocates for all English learners, their families and communities and the TESOL profession.

Aspiring TESOL candidates are strongly advised to participate in a university-sponsored education abroad program, community-based projects, and/or volunteering opportunities with language learners (either domestically or internationally). Through these activities, successful TESOL candidates have demonstrated deeper understanding of the linguistic, cultural and pedagogical aspects of learning a new language while immersed in a non-English dominant setting.

Ohio State academic programs are designed to prepare students for licensure or certification in Ohio. If you plan to pursue licensure or certification in a state other than Ohio, please review state educational requirements for licensure and certification at

Career Paths

Graduates may seek ESL teaching positions in grades K-12 at both public and private schools in Ohio. According to the U.S. Department of Education (2016), TESOL education in Ohio is experiencing a critical teacher shortage, and ESL positions are available in a wide variety of school districts throughout the state. Ohio teacher licensure credentials may be transferable to other states. 

Additionally, graduates may seek teaching opportunities in other English-language teaching settings in the United States, including two- and four-year colleges and universities, community/non-profit educational organizations, and intensive English programs. The TESOL BSEd degree can be useful for seeking a variety of positions outside the United States to teach English as a foreign language (EFL) in state-sponsored and private educational institutions, as well as through U.S. and international organizations that hire to teach English in various countries.


Deadline to Apply: 
January 15
Program Start: 
Autumn semester
Prerequisites/Pre-major Requirements: 
minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA; minimum 2.75 GPA in content courses

Sample Coursework: Second language acquisition, methods and culture in TESOL, equity and diversity in education, language arts and ESL instruction
Other requirements: Minimum of four TESOL field placements in elementary, middle and high school grade levels, taken during the third and fourth years in the program. This includes a year-long placement in an elementary, middle, or high school culminating in 15 weeks of full-time student teaching in the final semester of the program.
Academic opportunities: Education abroad; minor or a concentration in a world language (highly recommended), linguistics, or another academic discipline that enables effective communication with and serve English learners and their families.; research and advanced undergraduate study with Foreign, Second, and Multilingual Language Education faculty members may be available for exceptionally performing students.

Students are directly admitted to the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Education program. A major readiness check, due January 15, through TK20, showing nearly all pre-major and GE courses, evidence of meeting the minimum GPA, as well as completion of two essays is required to begin coursework within the major.

View the Curriculum Sheet


Alan Hirvela, PhD, Professor
Leslie Moore, PhD, Associate Professor
Peter Sayer, PhD, Associate Professor
Francis Troyan, PhD, Associate Professor
Youngjoo Yi, PhD, Associate Professor

Affiliated Instructors
Dima Alghothani, PhD, Lecturer
Brenda Custodio, PhD, Lecturer
Karen Macbeth, PhD, Intra-ESL Project Specialist
Elizabeth McNally, PhD, Lecturer
Steven Wisnor, MEd, Program Manager


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