Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

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Our Program

TESOLTESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. The program gives students the knowledge to describe English and other languages to those in the other parts of the world. They also discover how language is acquired as a native speaker or learned as a foreign language. The program includes tutoring practices. Students work one-on-one or with a group of non-native speakers in the four language skills areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

TESOL classes provide students with the ability to articulate their knowledge in a meaningful, systematic manner to non-native speakers. The major and minor includes a foreign language requirement. The cultural component of the TESOL program offers knowledge and practical experience in cultural studies, including possibilities of travel abroad.

Degree Options

For students planning to teach in public schools, TESOL can increase the marketability of future teachers and they can be prepared for the challenges presented by a multicultural classroom containing non-native speakers with varying levels of English language proficiency. In acquiring K-12 certification in TESOL, students observe master teachers at work and student teach. Student teaching is arranged through the College of Education and Professional Studies.

For students seeking employment in the public sector or overseas: TESOL enables the students to prepare for employment in private U.S institutes devoted to intensive or remedial English training of nonnative speakers.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree: TESOL provides the background knowledge necessary to pursue a master’s or doctorate degree in TESOL or in linguistics.


Some clubs and organizations that TESOL students have been involved with are international clubs, modern language clubs, English and writing clubs, and tutors. Students also help with ELT Program (English Language Transition). Students who assist with the ELT program will help with classwork, extending reading, and writing assignments. Additionally, they provide small group instruction focusing on grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary.

Global. Innovative. Excellent

UW-River Falls has a partnership with Taiwan: Shih Chien University. This program allows UWRF students to pay UWRF tuition but attend Shih Hsin University for the semester. You will be responsible for your room and board, airfare, personal needs, travel costs, and associated university fees. This program allows students to take classes needed for the TESOL major or minor, but have the opportunity to explore and experience a new culture. Students are encouraged to study abroad to get a feel and respect of other cultures while they are learning about it. UW-River Falls is one of few institutions in the country that offers a TESOL program for an undergraduate degree.