What is an Elementary Education BS in Teaching English as a Second Language?
Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in English as a Second Language degree program prepares teacher candidates for teaching in a K–8 classroom, specifically geared toward working with students who are considered English Language Learners. Graduates may seek an elementary teaching license to teach these students in an elementary classroom setting. Throughout this program, students will examine adolescent development, instructional planning, educational trends, cultural differences/cross-cultural studies, student engagement and managing learning environments, while gaining a strong liberal arts foundation.
ESL-focused content areas of the curriculum include:
- Phonics and literacy development for ELL (e.g. learning techniques for developing listening, speaking, reading and writing skills)
- Curriculum and methods appropriate for teaching in an ELL instructional setting
- Principles of evaluation and structuring ELL assessments
- Foundations in Structured English Immersion (SEI)
- Strategies to promote English language development
The program concludes with the Student Teaching for Elementary Education with an ESL Emphasis course, which exposes teacher candidates to a full-time, 15-week student teaching component that includes practical ESL elementary classroom experiences. Candidates will engage in research, analysis and hands-on teaching to support the creation of a Teacher Work Sample.
What Do I Need to Do to Become an ESL teacher?
Students will have opportunities to enhance their learning during the program through the application of concepts, theories and research. Course assignments guide students through 160 hours of observational and practice-based experiences. Teacher candidates must have access to an elementary and ESL classroom to complete these assignments.
Teach candidates must be able to:
- Complete a 15-week student teaching component for a 1-8 ESL classroom with a certified ESL teacher
- Contact their state department of education for licensure requirements and program approval
- Review state-specific requirements for a complete endorsement in the area of English as a Second Language
- Complete the five courses focused on Arizona requirements for an ESL endorsement
- Consult the University Policy Handbook and a student services counselor for information regarding the policies and procedures within a teacher licensure program
Why Earn a BS in Elementary Education for ESL from Grand Canyon University?
Earning a bachelor’s degree in ESL elementary education enables students to make a difference not only in education, but in helping diverse students gain the essential skill of mastering the English language. This skill is imperative for successfully moving forward in education and life. At GCU, students follow a values-based, faith-integrated curriculum that’s designed from a Christian worldview. Candidates develop not only into teachers, but servant leaders who possess the ethics, morals and compassion to meet the varying needs of ELL students.
Furthermore, this program at GCU is:
- Regionally accredited and approved by the Arizona State Board of Education, program content maximizes a student’s current knowledge in teaching and learning
- Designed to include instructors with expertise in their respective fields including the areas of linguistics, second language acquisition and curriculum development
- In alignment with the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) practices and standards set by the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
- Intended to allow graduates to qualify for an ESL endorsement in the state of Arizona, as well as their elementary teacher license
What Can I Do with a Bachelor’s in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL)?
Graduates will be prepared to teach students in the K – 8 environment, specifically ELL students. Potential career outcomes include these positions: elementary ESL teacher, middle school ESL teacher, resource and community education instructor and ESL tutor. Potential workplaces range from schools to social service organizations. Candidates will earn an elementary education teaching certificate and have the proper additional courses to earn an ESL endorsement in the state of Arizona.
General Education Requirements
General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.
Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.
- UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
- UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.
- MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
- PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
- BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, crosscultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.
- HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
Required General Education Courses
This course provides an overview of the principal political, economic, and cultural themes and constitutional developments that shaped the United States from the Colonial period into the 20th Century.
This is the first in a two-course sequence designed for prospective elementary school teachers. Concepts include set theory, functions, numeration systems, number theory and properties of the natural numbers, integers, rational numbers, ratios, proportions, decimals, and percents, with an emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking.
Program Core Courses
Teacher candidates survey how children and early adolescents grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas while understanding the implications for designing and implementing developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences. This survey of the seminal concepts, principles, theories, and research related to development of children and young adolescents allows teacher candidates to build foundational knowledge for constructing learning opportunities that support individual student's development, acquisition of knowledge, and motivation. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.
Teacher candidates build foundational knowledge on planning instruction and formal and informal assessment strategies. Teacher candidates will examine instructional planning based on knowledge of students, learning theory, connection across the curriculum, curricular goals, and community. Formal and informal assessment strategies for planning, evaluating, and strengthening instruction for elementary students are also examined. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required.
This is the second in a two-course sequence designed for prospective elementary school teachers. Concepts include elementary probability, data analysis, descriptive statistics, geometry of shapes in two and three dimensions, congruence and similarity, measurement, and geometric transformations, with an emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking. Prerequisite: MAT-150.
Teacher candidates are introduced to the educational needs of students with mild to moderate disabilities and their families, including the definitions, characteristics, prevalence, causes and educational approaches to these disabilities and disorders. Teacher candidates will identify cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional patterns of learning and development for students with mild to moderate disabilities. Teacher candidates also survey the special education process involving the application of various laws and regulations. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance not required.
In this course, candidates will explore school, community, and family culture. Emphasis will be placed on the major goals, principles, and concepts of multicultural education, including multiple perspectives in culture, history, and understanding cultural and individual differences in teaching and learning. Research is utilized to investigate the social, community, cultural, and familial contexts that influence learning and development. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ESL-223N.
In this writing intensive course, teacher candidates examine how to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and encourage students' positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation. Teacher candidates build foundational knowledge regarding the importance of establishing and maintaining positive collaborative relationships with families, school colleagues, and agencies in the larger community to promote the intellectual, social, emotional, physical growth, and well-being of children. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required.
Teacher candidates will examine how to teach foundational skills to develop proficient readers with the capacity to comprehend texts across a range of texts and disciplines. Teacher candidates will build additional knowledge regarding print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and fluency to promote early literacy and independent readers. Practicum/field experience hours: 20. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ELM-210 or ECS-125.
Teacher candidates examine a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students to develop a deep understanding of the major concepts and procedures that define number and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement and data, and probability. From this foundational knowledge, candidates select, adapt and use research-based methods, instructional strategies, and interventions to advance the mathematical abilities of students and have them apply their knowledge and abilities in meaningful ways. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ELM-210.
In this course, teacher candidates examine how to foster and support student autonomy in the classroom. Candidates analyze how to provide purposeful feedback and establish a learning environment in which students participate in their own learning and engage in collaborative goal setting, self-assessment of progress, reflective thinking, and questioning with intention. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ELM-210.
In this writing intensive course, teacher candidates study how to teach a diverse population of students by examining the foundations and dimensions of social justice in education, social constructs, privilege, prejudice, and oppression with the goal of becoming culturally competent educators. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.
This course is a survey of the Arizona constitution and government. It meets the teacher certification requirement for Arizona government.
In this course, teacher candidates examine the fundamentals of the legal, historical, and educational foundations of Structured English Immersion (SEI) and other instructional programs for English language learners. Theoretical principles of language acquisition and the role of culture in learning are examined. Methods of assessment are identified and analyzed. Teacher candidates identify strategies to promote English language development and improve student achievement. Through Universal Design for Learning they plan, deliver, and evaluate standards-based instruction for English language learners. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.
Teacher candidates will examine fundamental concepts of physical, life, earth and space sciences, and health education. Teacher candidates will build foundational knowledge on a variety of age-appropriate inquiry-based instructional strategies to teach science, to build student understanding of personal and social applications, to convey the nature of science, and student development for the practice of skills that contribute to good health. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ELM-210.
In this course, candidates will examine approaches to developing literacy for second language learners in P-12 schools. Emphasis will be placed on instructional and practice strategies for developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills; developing language and literacy through the content areas; using children's and young adult literature; and assessing students' literacy development in the second language. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ESL-240 or ESL-250.
In this course, candidates become familiar with the fundamentals of linguistics. Emphasis will be placed on phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, and first and second language acquisition theories. Candidates will synthesize research-based methods of incorporating linguistic principles into their teaching practice.
In this course, candidates will review curriculum and methods appropriate for the teaching of subject areas in an English language learner instructional setting. Emphasis is placed on: (a) linguistic, cognitive, developmental, and socio-cultural considerations in the design of multicultural curricula; (b) exploration of multicultural instructional methods and materials for use in language arts and content areas; (c) critique of current commercially prepared products. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ESL-223N.
In this course, candidates will explore the principles of evaluating and structuring assessments. Candidates will design rubrics and examine assessment for the purposes of identification, placement, and instructional delivery. Emphasis will be placed on learning ways to integrate assessment procedures into any curriculum, and designing assessment tasks that allow for improved learning. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ESL-358 or ESL-421.
Teacher candidates will examine a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students to develop deep understanding of the major concepts and modes of inquiry from the integrated study of social studies and other related areas. Teacher candidates will build foundational knowledge on promoting elementary students' abilities to make informed decisions as citizens of a culturally diverse democratic society and interdependent world. Teacher candidates will integrate the content, functions and achievements of the performing and visual arts as primary media for communication, inquiry and engagement among elementary students. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ELM-210.
Teacher candidates will build foundational knowledge on how to use concepts from reading, language, and child development to teach reading, writing, speaking, viewing, listening, and thinking skills. Teacher candidates select, adapt and use research-based methods, instructional strategies, and interventions to individualize meaningful and challenging learning for students, with an emphasis on literacy. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: ELM-210 and ELM-305.
Teacher candidates are engaged in the student teaching experience that includes practical ESL Elementary (1st – 8th) classroom experiences, research, analysis, and teaching to support the creation of a Student Teaching Evaluation of Performance (STEP). Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in POS and content area; a 2.8 GPA; successful completion of NES or your state’s mandated content area exams; and approval and placement by the College of Education Office of Clinical Practice. All paperwork for student teaching must be submitted by the due date the semester prior to student teaching.
Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview. New modern classrooms, suite-style residence halls, popular dining options, resort-style swimming pools and a focus on creating a dynamic student life make GCU a top choice for high school graduates and transfer students. Exciting events, well-known guest speakers and Division I athletics round out the traditional student experience. Our welcoming campus community is the perfect place to find your purpose.
Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere. GCU offers the most experienced leadership in delivering online degree programs. Full-time faculty members and fully trained adjunct instructors, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Designed with the career-oriented professional in mind, our online classes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Choose from programs across our distinct colleges, in high-demand employment areas. Classes begin frequently.
Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom. Night classes are designed for a specific number of students, providing a warm and nurturing environment that supports an engaging experience. In an evening cohort, you will progress through your degree program with the same career-minded classmates, providing an opportunity to network and forge relationships that go beyond the classroom. Classes begin frequently at various locations, including our main campus.
* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.