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Real-World Teaching Preparation

Prepare to teach English as a second or foreign language in the United States and abroad. Designed for non-licensure students, the Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) minor offers valuable experiential learning opportunities that you can apply directly to your career. You can complete an internship working with local organizations like the Global Refugee Center and Right to Read, helping people to learn English and gain self-sufficiency. This is also an ideal program if you’re looking for international experience, as there are many opportunities to teach abroad and even find a career overseas.



Karla Del Carpio Ovando, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies

Karla Del Carpio Ovando, Ph.D., is originally from Chiapas, Mexico. She is passionate about languages and teaching, and has won teaching awards in Canada and Mexico. Del Carpio’s research interests include second language acquisition, language teaching and learning, intercultural bilingual education and indigenous languages revitalization. Through her work, she wants to provide native people with a voice, and help to make a better and more just society where indigenous people’s cultural and linguistic diversity is honored, respected and preserved. 

Learn More About Dr. Del Carpio Ovando


Minor Option

In addition to the TESL minor program, we also offer a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education endorsement designed for licensure students.

Minor Requirements

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education (CLD) Endorsement

Develop your knowledge of the English language while learning theory and practice to teach English as a second language. When you complete the CLD endorsement you’ll be recommended for the Linguistically Diverse: English as a Second Language K-12 endorsement. This program must be completed in conjunction with the Elementary Education, Secondary Education or K-12 licensure program.

Related Programs

Your Future in Teaching English as a Second Language

If you’re interested in teaching abroad or helping immigrants and refugees in the United States learn English, the TESL minor is a great way to explore the field and start your career. You’ll find highly collaborative classes and faculty who are accessible and here to help you succeed.

Consider UNC’s TESL minor if you want to:

  • Teach English overseas or in the United States
  • Gain international experience
  • Work in small classes with close faculty mentorship

You’ll learn:

  • English grammar and linguistics
  • Historical context of bilingual education
  • Methods for teaching ESL students

Sample courses:

  • History and Philosophy of Bilingual Education
  • Topics in Chicana/Chicano Art and Culture
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Traditional and Modern Grammars
  • English Linguistics
  • Intercultural Communication

Beyond the Classroom

Looking to gain international experience and see the world? The Teaching English as a Second Language minor at UNC could be the program for you.

Where can your minor take you?

According to research by the British Council, more than 1.5 billion people worldwide are learning English. As a result, there are now more English teaching jobs for adults in the U.S. and abroad than ever before.

You can find teaching jobs at schools, universities and many types of businesses abroad. Here in the United States, there is also a large population of immigrants and other adult English language learners. There are even career options that don't involve teaching, such as administrative positions for an ESL program, textbook writer or private language.

Current Research in TESL

In addition to being caring, dedicated educators who work closely with students, our professors are noted researchers in their fields of study. Current research projects in TESL include:

Math and Science Teaching

Elizabeth Franklin, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator); Lori Reinsvold, Ph.D.; Teresa Higgins, Ph.D.; Jenni Harding, Ph.D.

Math and Science Teaching (MAST-EL) is a collaborative national professional development grant involving three colleges at UNC. The 32 undergraduate grant participants have an extremely high graduation rate and high job placement rate, and partner school and parent satisfaction rates are very high. There has been significant improvement in the math and science content knowledge of our dual endorsed elementary education/CLD endorsement students as well as teachers on the project; significant improvement in attitudes about teaching math, science and language to English learners; and significant improvement in teaching strategies as measured by an observation protocol developed for the project.


The Greeley Young Authors Program

Deborah Romero, Ph.D.

The Greeley Young Authors program is an exemplar university-community partnership that provides engaged learning opportunities for our preservice ESL candidates to interact with highly qualified ESL teachers and work with a range of culturally and linguistically diverse students to support their multilingual and multiliteracies.

Each spring the program meets at a local high school for approximately 12 weeks. High school students, who are also English learners, apply to participate and meet weekly to write their stories and personal reflections, poetry and other texts. Students write in English or a language of their preference. Over five years we have served almost 100 English language learners and some 30 UNC undergrads have participated.

In addition to empowering high school students-as-authors bringing their voices to the broader community, the program supports preservice teacher development, inspiring the next generation of teachers and students to write their stories for publication.


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