English for a Career in Teaching
English majors learn critical and creative thinking, with an emphasis on problem solving, strong communication skills, and empathy and cultural sensitivity — all important abilities for teachers.
An English major is necessary preparation for teaching at the middle or secondary level, or for teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) abroad. English teacher shortages affect a number of states, including North Dakota, and are forecast to grow in coming years.
Teaching English as a Second Language
Teaching ESL abroad is a great way to explore the world after college; there are also many opportunities to teach English as a Second Language to adults in the United States. These kinds of ESL teaching do not typically require a teaching license, but potential employers want to see coursework in teaching ESL on students’ transcripts.
Students interested in teaching ESL should consider an English major and pay particular attention to the linguistics courses offered in the department: English 209 (Introduction to Linguistics), English 309 (Modern Grammar), English 370 (Language and Culture), English 418 (Second Language Acquisition), English 419 (Teaching English as a Second Language), and English 442 (History of the English Language). These courses, all of which count towards the English major, provide a solid grounding in teaching ESL.
Teaching English in Community Colleges
Teaching English at the community college level does not require a teaching license, but it does require at least a master’s degree in English. Undergraduates interested in teaching at the community college level should pursue an English major in preparation for graduate work in English.
Teaching English in Middle or High Schools
An English major is necessary preparation for teaching at the middle or secondary level.
UND students seeking teacher licensure in English take the regular English major and use three of the major’s elective slots for English 309 (Modern Grammar), English 359 (Young Adult Literature), and either English 308 (creative nonfiction) or English 408 (writing for digital environments). In addition, there are a number of courses in the Department of Teaching and Learning required for licensure, including a middle school minor for students who are interested in teaching at that level.
English teacher shortages affect a number of states, including North Dakota, and are forecast to grow in coming years. One particular area of need is teaching English Language Learner (ELL) students. UND offers coursework, mostly through the English department, for a teaching license endorsement in bilingual/ELL education. English courses taken for the endorsement also count towards the English major.
Connect With an English Advisor
Students interested in pursuing English education should meet with the English education advisor, Kim Donehower, to discuss the full slate of courses required for teacher licensure.