Program Overview

This minor prepares students currently pursuing a BS in education to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) in Michigan's K-12 school system.

This program prepares students to enter classrooms with the ability to

  • Work with diverse student populations with varying levels of English language proficiency
  • Understand the cultural basis of language, and language learning
  • Design appropriate curriculum and materials for English learners
  • Serve as a resource for their colleagues and community

Program Requirements (24 credit hours)

Click here for the 2021 bulletin

Click here for the 2019 bulletin

Note: To attain a State of Michigan ESL teaching endorsement, candidates must also pass the English as a Second Language (086) Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC).

Sign an ESL Minor or Learn More

To sign an ESL Minor or learn more about this program, contact Dr. April Burke at

Click here to make an appointment with Dr. Burke.

Our ESL Students at Work

Students enrolled in the ESL minor have the opportunity to volunteer in the local schools or the university's English Language Institute. 

Read more about what our students are doing here.

Meet Your Ambassadors

2020 Ambassadors

Aubri Schultz

Madi Farstvedt

Eve Sypien

Tamera Tanalski

Maddie Cummins-Freund

2021 Ambassadors

Rebekah LeightonImage of Rebekah Leighton

I just finished my fourth year at CMU, where I've been studying Elementary Education with a major in Language Arts and a minor in ESL. I've known that I wanted to teach since I was in the fourth grade. Specifically, I wanted to work with ESL students, because I became literate in English through such a program. I am determined to make the most out of my time in school and cannot wait to apply what I learn.

Image of Christa RwakayijaChrista Rwakayija

I am currently a senior in the elementary education program. I will be graduating with a double major in psychology and language arts, as well as a minor in English as a second language. I am very passionate about volunteering and have a profound commitment to working with children of different ages. I have volunteered for three months at a children’s orphanage, La Pouponnière de Dakar, located in Senegal and have also taught English language learners in Rwanda and Burundi. I love traveling as well which allows me to adapt to new situations and learn about new cultures!

Featured Alumna

Madison Veneklase '18


Madison Veneklase is a CMU graduate as of 2018 from Grand Rapids, Michigan. During her time at Central, Veneklase majored in Secondary English Education and minored in English as a Second Language. For her pre-student teaching, she was able to go to Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. Additionally, she student taught English at Farwell High School and in Immokalee Middle School in Florida.

Upon graduation she was hired by Cedar Springs as a long-term substitute teacher with a post-graduation contract. Veneklase currently teaches English Language Development for 6-12th graders. As an English Learner coordinator for the district, she plans WIDA testing, communicates with teachers and administrators, and designs EL curriculum.

In Veneklase’s own words, “My favorite parts of teaching ESL are learning about my students and their cultures and being a part of a monumental moment in students’ lives while they are learning a new language and experiencing a new culture.”

Related programs offered by Central Michigan University

Second Degree in ESL  For more information contact Dr. April Burke

Undergraduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages