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Education – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Degree: BS

Campus: Columbus

College: Education and Human Ecology

The teachers of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) major is one of seven undergraduate programs in Ohio State's Department of Teaching and Learning that provides students the training needed to become a teacher. 

The structure and content of the program is designed to assist students in developing the knowledge, skills and disposition needed to become effective leaders and advocates for social justice in the field of education. Each program is led by world-renowned faculty, staff and graduate associates who oversee the progress of each individual pre-service teacher as he or she progresses through an intense program of study. Upon completion of the program, students will also obtain initial licensure to work with English language learners in K–12 school teaching settings in Ohio. This major is offered only on the Columbus campus.

Students who come to Ohio State to study TESOL education directly enroll into the College of Education and Human Ecology as pre-majors with the potential to apply for the major once a significant amount of the General Education and pre-major courses have been completed. Students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.75 to be considered for the major program. The selection process is highly competitive and the completion of the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Students should consult their academic advisor as they near completion of the pre-education requirements to discuss the application process for the major. 

This program is designed to prepare students to sit for applicable 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 and state licensing board contact information at

The TESOL teacher education major provides students with the preparation necessary to teach in grades K–12. The components of this major have been designed to meet state and national standards, Ohio licensure requirements and General Education requirements at Ohio State.

The curriculum provide students a multi-disciplinary foundation in subjects relevant to teaching English learners in grades K–12 and numerous opportunities to experience, learn and reflect on effective pedagogy across multiple grade levels. This pathway emphasizes disciplinary content knowledge in linguistics, literacy, English and foreign languages; TESOL methods and assessment courses; and educational foundations courses focusing on child or adolescent development and the psychological and social foundations of education.

The Global Option in Education and Human Ecology is an option for students in good academic standing on any Ohio State campus. In this program, students develop their ability to communicate with and work alongside individuals from other cultures through education abroad programs and globally themed course work. 

Field experiences are introduced early and culminate in an extended student teaching experience in the senior year. Teacher education is conceptualized as an apprenticeship with equal parts content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge and skill.  

Because they provide placement sites for all Columbus campus students, the schools in Franklin County, particularly Columbus City Schools, are critical partners in teacher education. Students will have field experiences each year of the program, with a one-semester student teaching experience at the end of their program.

The First Education Experience Program is an open option service-learning general education course that allows undergraduate students to explore education as a possible career path through real-world experiences and seminars. As a FEEP student you will learn first-hand about the education field by spending time in local PreK-12 schools or other education settings. As a service-learning course, FEEP will allow you to gain and apply academic knowledge through civic engagement with communities and require you to complete a service-learning project. This course is a required prerequisite for several undergraduate licensure programs in education and is open for students who want to explore non-classroom education settings.

The College of Education and Human Ecology Honors Program offers students rigorous course work and opportunities to work closely with faculty to design and complete a research project. Students in this program also have access to smaller classes, priority scheduling and unique housing opportunities. A significant outcome of the Honors Program is the high level of understanding gained in designing and conducting research studies and/or using and analyzing research findings and developing an understanding of the role of research in the expansion of knowledge in fields within human ecology.

Kappa Phi Kappa is a national professional co-ed fraternity in education devoted to the professional development of its members through activities and opportunities, making members aware of career opportunities in education, informing interested members about the education programs at Ohio State, helping members meet possible future colleagues, and helping to support the Columbus community through various community service activities. 

TESOL graduates may seek teaching positions in grades K–12 at U.S. public and private schools. Since the State of Ohio has high standards for teacher preparation, graduates could potentially be hired as teachers anywhere in the United States. Given the depth of the curriculum and the breadth of the field experience and student teaching requirements, TESOL graduates may also seek teaching opportunities in other educational settings, including post-secondary institutions, community/non-profit organizations, and intensive English programs.

In addition, the TESOL degree can be useful for seeking a variety of positions outside the United States to teach English as a foreign language (EFL). English-language teachers abroad work in both state-sponsored and private educational institutions, as well as through U.S. and international organizations that hire individuals to teach English in various countries. 

Beginning salaries for recent TESOL graduates vary greatly depending on the school district and state of employment. On average, new teachers with no previous teaching experience can expect starting salaries of $36,000-$42,000 per year.

Through their course and field work, students will:

  • Use their understanding of children’s and adolescents’ characteristics and needs and of multiple interacting influences on children’s and adolescents’ development and learning to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive and challenging for all children and adolescents.
  • Know about, understand and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s and adolescents’ families and communities. 
  • Know about and understand the goals, benefits and uses of assessment. 
  • Integrate their understanding of and relationships with children/adolescents and families; their understanding of developmentally effective approaches to teaching and learning; and their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for all children and adolescents.

Office of Undergraduate Student Recruitment
College of Education and Human Ecology
A100 PAES Building
305 Annie & John Glenn Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210

Teaching credentials

Graduates with a BS in TESOL education will receive Ohio teacher licensure for grades K–12 upon successful completion of program and state requirements.