English as a Second Language (Teaching)

This is a licensure program that prepares students to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) at the K-12 level. Students receive a BS degree from the English Department by completing the ESLT major and the Professional Education sequence of courses. Students must be admitted to the Education Program before enrolling in Education courses.

Getting Started

  • Before you start taking courses at Winona State University, you need to determine your initial status. If you have taken college-level courses or completed a degree before coming to WSU, you may have already received credit for certain prerequisites and/or General Education requirements.
  • Next, declare your major, which will also get you connected to your advisor. Contact Ditlev Larsen at DLarsen@winona.edu and ask him to add you to the ESLT Majors e-mail list.
  • Try to register for the courses that will help you complete your degree as quickly as possible. 
  • As you begin your coursework, make sure you are completing the courses and earning the grades that you will need in order to apply for admission to the Education program.

First Year

  • Take ENG 111 as soon as possible (ideally, in the fall), and earn a B or better.
  • Take CMST 191, and earn a B or better.
  • Take a Math course numbered 100 or higher, and earn a C or better. Teaching majors are encouraged to take STATS 110, which will score you a bonus point for Education Admissions.
  • Keep your GPA above 2.75. The higher your GPA, the more quickly you will get into the Education program.
  • Begin preparing for your application to the Teacher Education Program.
  • Other courses to take, if available: HERS 204 and ENG 250.
  • Begin saving documents for your various portfolios (English, Professional Educator) Expect to create multiple portfolios throughout your educational and professional careers. Each portfolio will address a different specific audience.
  • Summer: Take your MTLE exams.

Second Year

  • Complete an Online Application for the Teacher Education Program. If you don't gain admission to the Education program this year, it will probably take you more than four years to complete your degree.
  • The semester after admission to the Teacher Education Program, take EDFD 401 and 461.
  • Take a variety of courses each semester: ESLT required courses, ESLT elective courses, General Education, and professional education courses.
  • Continue assembling and organizing portfolio materials.

Third Year

  • Continue taking a variety of courses each semester: ENG, EDFD, EDUC.
  • Take EDFD 449.
  • Watch out for special registration requirements for EDUC 429 and EDFD 459.
  • Apply for student teaching one year in advance.
  • Check your DARS to make sure all requirements are being met.
  • Consider taking your MTLE exams.
  • Continue assembling and organizing portfolio materials.

Fourth Year

  • Take EDFD 459 and 462 and ENG 490 the semester before you student teach.
  • Take your MTLE exams if you have not already done so.
  • Complete your portfolios.
  • Double check your licensure and graduation requirements.
  • Make the most of your student teaching experience.

*More detailed information from the Education Department is available at the Education Advising Website. The dates, deadlines and other information on this website are updated each semester.

In order to obtain a license to teach English as a Second Language (ESL), students must gain admission to the Education Program, complete the Professional Education Sequence and, finally, complete a Student Teaching Experience.

The Minnesota Department of Education And Winona State University require future teachers to take several tests. 

  • Admissions - after your first year. Five weeks before the semester in which you will apply to the Education Program, you need to pass all three Basic Skills Tests from MTLE: reading, writing and mathematics. For most incoming students, this means taking the tests the summer after their first year on campus so they can apply at the beginning of their second year.
  • Licensure - the semester before you student teach. The semester before you student teach, you must pass the pedagogy test and the content-area test for your license.

Visit the new MTLE (MN Teacher Licensure Examinations) website.

There is a question and answer page you can examine on this site. If you click on Tests (look in the dark blue heading on the top of the page) and then click on a specific test, you will be able to find out the test fees, dates and locations. You can also obtain practice questions and preparation advice. Practice tests and study guides are available for purchase. Rochester is the closest test site for WSU students.

All students must pass* the MTLE basic skills test before they can apply to the WSU Teacher Education Program. You will need to take the tests five weeks before the semester begins so you will have your scores for that semester's admissions meeting.

This test replaces the old PPST (a.k.a. PRAXIS I) that was offered by Education Testing Services. You must pass all three basics skills tests, which cost $25 each. In order to take any test, you will have to pay a $50 registration fee that is good for one year.

*Previously, students were required to take the tests prior to admission, then pass the tests before licensure. Starting in the fall of 2012, applicants to the Education Program must pass all three basic skills tests in order to be admitted.

Towards the end of their careers at WSU, all candidates for a Minnesota Teaching License must take and pass a pedagogy test and a content area test for each content area of their Teaching Program. We recommend taking these tests the semester before student teaching. The pedagogy test has two subtests that cost $35 each. The content-area test has two subtests that cost $35.00 each. All tests require a one year $50.00 registration fee.