The TESOL and Intercultural Studies programs focus on the teaching and learning of languages, with a particular focus on the profession of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). TESOL is a multifaceted discipline demanding the highest form of professional competence and expertise in a number of specialized areas. At Wheaton, the goal of the TESOL and Intercultural Studies programs is to develop Christian professionals who are skilled in theory and practice for culturally relevant service in a constantly changing world. 

TESOL and Intercultural Studies consists of the following programs which deal primarily with cross-cultural education at the K-12, adult, and higher education levels. 

  • The MA in TESOL and Intercultural Studies – Our primary graduate program, which is currently offered in residential, field-based, and “TESOL Flex” (Summer/Online) formats with students who take courses on Wheaton’s campus, online, and in Thailand every January.
  • Institute for Cross-Cultural Training (ICCT) programs in second language acquisition, language coaching, cultural adaptation, and TESOL which serve the global Church through online training programs and various workshops and courses on campus.
  • The TEFL Certificates (ELIC and TeachBeyond) offered in the summer for new teachers heading to the field, with 50+ students. We are approved by the Colorado State Board of Education to offer the TEFL Certificate for ELIC on the campus of Colorado State University every July. We also offer online classes in applied linguistics for 2nd- year ELIC teachers in the fall and spring.
  • Undergraduate and Graduate ESL and Bilingual Endorsements. 18-credit-hour endorsement programs for undergraduate and graduate students earning teaching licensure. Our endorsements are approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and meet the standards for ESL and bilingual endorsements in most states. Graduate students can earn these endorsements by enrolling in either the M.A. in TESOL and Intercultural Studies or in the 24-credit-hour graduate Certificate in TESOL.

For graduate students, the Billy Graham Center offers special scholarships to international students, furloughing international workers, and candidates who are committed to overseas service under an established agency, and those who are committed to service in urban settings. Close proximity to culturally-diverse churches and public and private English as a Second Language (ESL) programs in the metropolitan Chicago area enables students to relate classroom experiences to real-world contexts.

Chair,  Professor Steven Layne
TESOL Program Director, Professor Alan Seaman
Assistant Professors Pam Barger, Sara Vroom Fick
Emerita Associate Professor Cheri Pierson

TESOL and Intercultural Studies Courses

LING 503. Academic Comp & Communication. (0 Credits)

Group and individual instruction in expository writing and oral communication skills for students from non-English backgrounds. Students receive intensive preparation in English for academic purposes such as research papers and class presentations. Graded pass/fail.

LING 531. Theological Perspectives on Language and Education. (2 Credits)

A theological examination and understanding of language and education in both U.S. and international contexts. This course prepares teachers to think theologically about content, curriculum, and various contexts for learning.

LING 552. Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Gender and Leadership. (2 Credits)

An exploration of the role of women in missions, including their impact on mission strategies, their unique contributions, and a discussion of the critical issues they have faced since the time of the modern missionary movement.

LING 561. Intercultural Communication. (4 Credits)

Foundational principles of intercultural communication from the fields of social psychology, cultural anthropology, and communication theory integrated with selected areas of personal encounter in cross-cultural settings with a particular emphasis on cross-cultural teaching.

LING 562. Foundations of Intercultural Communication. (2 Credits)

Foundational principles of intercultural communication from the fields of social psychology, cultural anthropology, and communication theory.

LING 563. Cross Cultural Teaching and Learning. (2 Credits)

Contributions of nonformal educators, cognitive psychologists, and educational anthropologists to cross-cultural teaching and learning; attuning instruction to thinking styles, pedagogical expectations, and cultural values.

LING 573. Qualitative Research for Second Language Educators. (2 Credits)

A survey of qualitative research techniques for use in cross-cultural contexts, with a special focus on second language education.

LING 588. Asian Culture and Communication. (2 Credits)

An introduction to Asian cultures with a particular emphasis on the themes/issues of the 21st century. Includes an introduction to relevant languages and language-learning strategies. Principles for effective cross-cultural communication and adjustment are also considered.

LING 601. Introduction to TEFL Methodology. (2 Credits)

An introduction to the key concepts and skills involved in teaching English as a foreign language (EFL). The course provides a model-based introduction to methods for teaching English as a foreign language with a specific focus on oral communication.

LING 602. Second Language Acquisition in Intercultural Contexts. (2 Credits)

Principles and skills for the successful learning of foreign languages, including practical instruction in phonetics and language-learning strategies.

LING 606. Descriptive English Grammar: Foundations. (2 Credits)

A survey of the foundational systems of English grammar, including practical issues and procedures involved in teaching grammar to ESL/EFL learners.

LING 607. Descriptive English Grammar: Syntax and Discourse. (2 Credits)

A survey of specialized features of English grammar, including areas of difficulty for English language learners and complex multiclause structures.

LING 608. Second Language Acquisition. (4 Credits)

Principles and skills for the successful learning of foreign languages, including practical instruction in phonetics and language-learning strategies.

LING 609. Introduction to Linguistic Science. (2 Credits)

See LING 321.

LING 611. Theoretical Foundations of TESOL Methodology. (4 Credits)

Survey of theory and research relevant to the teaching and learning of English as a second/foreign language. Emphasis on practical applications from linguistics, psycholinguistics, and sociolinguistics.

LING 612. Descriptive English Grammar for TESOL. (4 Credits)

A survey of English grammar and discourse analysis, including practical issues and procedures involved in teaching grammar and discourse to ESL/EFL learners.

LING 613. TESOL Classroom Dynamics Practicum. (2 Credits)

A survey of current research and methodology related to classroom instruction. Includes an analysis of the student's teaching skills in a supervised field placement. Appropriate for both inexperienced and experienced teachers, as well as TESOL administrators.

LING 614. Curriculum and Materials Development for TESOL. (2 Credits)

Principles and practices in the development of curricula for ESL/EFL courses, textbook evaluation, and the management of English language teaching programs. Cross-listed with LING 329.

LING 615. Teaching Reading and Composition to ESL/EFL Learners. (2 Credits)

Theoretical and practical issues involved in teaching reading and composition, including procedures for planning and implementing classroom instruction.

LING 616. English Phonology for ESL/EFL Teachers. (2 Credits)

The sound system of English, including procedures for planning and implementing pronunciation instruction for ESL/EFL learners.

LING 617. Principles of ESL/EFL Assessment. (2 Credits)

See LING 325.

LING 618. English Language Learning Content Methods and Materials. (2 Credits)

See LING 326.

LING 619. Teaching Speaking and Listening to ESL/EFL Learners. (2 Credits)

Specialized training in ESL teaching methods related to oral communication. Includes techniques for the analysis of oral discourse and current methodology related to language-learning strategies and the use of media.

LING 631. Principles of TESOL Teacher Mentoring. (2 Credits)

This course promotes a deeper understanding of how to engage teachers in conversations and activities that encourage professional growth. Teacher mentors will learn how to observe and give feedback to novice teachers and how to make use of a variety of professional development strategies. Taught in Asia.

LING 632. Seminar in TESOL Teacher Mentoring. (2 Credits)

This course helps teacher mentors identify and solve problems within their teaching context. Mentors will develop an understanding of the broad context of education and language education in the country and region where they work and will apply this knowledge as they guide teachers. The mentors will also become skilled at helping teachers conduct research as a means of understanding and solving problems in their classrooms. Taught in Asia.

LING 633. Practicum in Teacher Mentoring. (2 Credits)

Practical experience in teacher mentoring, including observing and giving feedback to teachers, advising them in lesson planning and classroom dynamics, and counseling them about their future teaching situation. Taught in Asia.

LING 634. Adult ESL Literacy. (2 Credits)

Problems and issues in adult literacy, with a specific focus on methodology for teaching immigrants, refugees, and other English language learners, both in the US and abroad.

LING 635. Principles of Materials Development for TESOL. (2 Credits)

Students will gain an understanding of the fundamental terminology, concepts and processes involved in the development of textbooks and other published materials, including web-based and audiovisual materials for English language teaching.

LING 636. Practicum in Materials Development. (2 Credits)

Students will develop materials for an existing project through a step-by-step process which is modeled during a series of class sessions. This will lead to a more extensive individual materials development project for an organization or publisher, under the guidance of the professor or a mentor.

LING 637. Problems and Issues in TESOL Materials Development. (2 Credits)

Students will present materials they have developed for a publisher or organization and will critique the materials developed by others. Discussion of current problems and issues in materials development, both theoretical and practical, will be stimulated by these presentations and the course readings.

LING 639. Introduction to Linguisitics. (4 Credits)

This course is a study of the concepts and methodology of modern linguistics. It offers a survey of the various branches of linguistic science and their relationships to other disciplines. Cross-listed with LING 331.

LING 642. Bilingual Methods and Materials. (2 Credits)

See LING 323.

LING 643. English Language Learning Methods for Specialists. (2 Credits)

See LING 328.

LING 644. English for Specific Purposes. (2 Credits)

This course examines the field of English for specific purposes, and related subfields of the discipline such as English for academic purposes (EAP), English for business purposes (EBP), English for occupational purposes (EOP), and English for Bible and theology (EBT).

LING 692. Comprehensive Examination. (0 Credits)

Prerequisite: submission of Candidacy form. Fee $75. Graded pass/fail.

LING 695. Independent Study. (1 to 4 Credits)

LING 696. Internship. (2 or 4 Credits)

Graded pass/fail.

LING 698. Thesis/Applied Thesis. (4 Credits)

LING 699. Applied Thesis/Thesis Continuation. (0 Credits)

See M.A. Thesis/Applied Thesis/Action Research.