Male and female students laughing during a group conversation

The PK-12 ESL Minor program is for individuals who have a current Wisconsin teacher certification or are in the process of completing a teacher certification program and want to add an additional certification in PK-12 English as a Second Language Education.

Program Type


Program Format

On Campus

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An ESL Minor Will Provide You With

  • Strategies and methods to support the linguistic and academic needs of ALL of your students.
  • The tools necessary to modify/adapt your lessons and activities to ensure that ALL students can participate.
  • An opportunity to develop/strengthen cultural competence to help you understand and support ALL of your students.
  • Tools and resources to become an advocate for EL students and their families.
  • Job flexibility and marketability.
  • A second teaching license in PK-12 ESL Education.

English Language Learners (ELLs) are amongst the fastest-growing group in U.S. schools. According to the National Education Association (NEA) by 2025, 1 in 4 children in classrooms across the United States will be an English Language Learner. Are you prepared to support English Language Leaners in your classroom? 

In today’s job market, more and more districts are hiring mainstream classroom teachers who possess the knowledge and tools to support English Language Learners. Are you ready to stand out as a candidate?

Student Testimonials

English Education and ESL: “The addition of my ESL certification allowed me to able to connect with students on different levels.”

Physical Education and ESL: “The theories, strategies and concepts allowed me to evolve as a Physical education teacher. It helped me get a better understanding of how students learn. It provided me with numerous strategies for scaffolding material that would improve students’ efficiency to learn.”

Early Childhood Special Education and ESL: “The strategies used in ESL/Bilingual easily transfer to students with special needs as you are finding ways to make content accessible and comprehensible. The program focuses a lot on instructional strategies that I was able to incorporate into my daily teaching.”

Career Opportunities

This ESL Minor teacher certification allows program completers to work as classroom teachers and/or PK-12 English as a Second Language specialists.

The UWM PK-12 ESL Minor consists of 24 credits including supervised field experiences. The program is designed to be completed at your own pace, with evening classes, virtual and summer courses as options.

Program Requirements


Tatiana Joseph, Assistant Professor in Teaching and Learning.
  • Assistant Professor, Teaching and Learning
  • Program Director, English as a Second Language Education
  • Program Director, World Language Education