Linguistics

The English Department offers both undergraduate and graduate courses in linguistics and TESOL. The undergraduate offerings provide students with basic knowledge of language study and analysis and expose students to the fundamental issues in language education and learning, including teaching English as a second language to non-native and immigrant students.

At the graduate level, the Department of English and the College of Education jointly offer a 21-credit program of study leading to Michigan ESL endorsement as well as a 33-credit M.ED-TESOL program. Both programs provide students with advanced training in educational linguistics, TESOL, and classroom pedagogy, and are geared towards teachers and graduate students who wish to enter the field of TESOL, a rapidly expanding profession both at home and abroad.

English as a Second Language   |TOP|
ESL courses are intended to help students whose first language is not English to improve or sharpen their academic skills in order to meet the rigorous demands of their college study. These classes are open to students who have been admitted to the university's academic programs but are deemed as needing further instruction in English either by their program advisors or because of a lower than required TOEFL score. Admissions counselors may also recommend ESL study when students are initially admitted to Grand Valley

All ESL courses are taught by faculty of the Department of English. As needs increase, there will be more ESL support available to students. Current courses include:

ESL 094 English as a Second Language (ESL): Skills I
ESL 095  English as a Second Language (ESL): Speaking and Listening Skills
ESL 098  English as a Second Language (ESL): Composition

Linguistics and Language   |TOP|
Linguistics courses are grouped into Linguistics and Language, one of the eight topical categories from which English majors can choose, depending on their emphasis area and interests. Courses in this category focus on major topics in linguistics: language structure, language history, language and pedagogy, and language in social context, while introducing fundamental principles in linguistic theory and research. Courses include:

ENG 261 The Study of Modern English
ENG 362 History of the English Language
ENG 363 Applied Linguistics
ENG 364 Sociolinguistics
ENG 365 Teaching English as a Second Language
ENG 366 English Grammar and Usage
ENG 390 Topics in Language and Rhetoric (Special Topics)
ENG 461 Language and Gender
ENG 465 Teaching Second Language Reading and Writing
ENG 467 Language Disorders and English Literacy
ENG 469 ESL Practicum Seminar

ESL Endorsement   |TOP|

The Department of English and the College of Education jointly offer a state-approved graduate-level ESL endorsement program. The program is designed primarily for Michigan certified teachers who wish to teach or are already teaching ESL in Michigan public schools, and who need to meet the State ESL endorsement mandate passed by the State Board of Education in 1997.

The program embraces the following goals in training high quality ESL teachers for west Michigan's increasingly diverse language minority students:

  • Equip teacher-trainees with a broad-based knowledge of English linguistics and its pedagogical implications for educational settings.
  • Provide them with a theoretical background in the critical issues in second language learning, minority language education, and assessment and evaluation.
  • Expose them to the various teaching methodologies used in the TESOL profession and offer them practical tips on material selection and classroom instruction.

The program requires a total of 21 credit hours, or 7 courses, offered by the Department of English and the College of Education. The length of time required to complete the program varies from student to student, depending on individual circumstances (e.g., full-time vs. part-time study). In order to accommodate students' work schedule, the courses are usually offered as evening classes that meet once a week for three contact hours.

Please be advised that Michigan State Board of Education, not Grand Valley State University, grants ESL endorsement. State approval of GVSU's endorsement curriculum means that the courses offered in the program are recognized by the State and count towards State ESL endorsement requirements. Once a student has satisfactorily completed the program, he or she will be eligible to apply for State endorsement.  ESL endorsement courses include:

ENG 660 Principles of Educational Linguistics
ENG 664 Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching
ENG 665 Second Language Acquisition
ENG 668 Second Language Assessment
ED 631 ESL Methods and Materials
ED 633 Race, Class, and Language
EDG 685 Practicum/Graduate Field Experience

21 credits

Candidates must have an elementary or secondary certification, pass the Michigan Subject Area Test, and maintain a 3.0 GPA. Students will be awarded K-8 or 6-12 ESL Endorsement by the Michigan Department of Education.

Applied Linguistics Minor   |TOP|
The Applied Linguistics minor is designed to provide systematic study of language and applied issues in language teaching, language learning, and language use. The minor is an excellent disciplinary complement to such fields as African/African American Studies, Anthropology, Classics, Communications, Computing and Information Systems, English, Education, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Psychology, and Writing. The minor requires a minimum of 21 hours: 9 hours in the foundation and 12 hours in electives. Three electives must be taken from English electives and one elective must be taken from Cross-departmental electives.

Requirements for a Minor in Applied Linguistics
Credits: 21

Foundation Courses (required) (9 hours) 
ENG 261 Study of Modern English (prerequisite for all other ENG courses)
ENG 363 Applied Linguistics
ENG 364 Sociolinguistics

Electives (12 hours) 
The minor requires four electives. Three electives must be chosen from the English electives. The fourth elective must be chosen from the Cross-departmental electives, or be an elective approved by an English linguistics advisor.

English electives (9 hours) 
ENG 362 History of the English Language
ENG 365 Teaching English as a Second Language
ENG 366 English Grammar and Usage
ENG 390 Special Topics in Language and Rhetoric
ENG 392 Language and Power
ENG 461 Language and Gender
ENG 465 Teaching Second Language Reading and Writing
ENG 467 Language Disorders and English Literacy
ENG 469 ESL Practicum Seminar

Cross-departmental electives (3 hours) 
AAA 350 African American Identity and Communication
ANT 207 Language and Culture
CLA 410 Literary Translation: Theory and Practice
CS 343 Structure of Programming Languages
CS 365 Artificial Intelligence
CS 461 Compiler Design and Construction
FRE 305 French Phonetics
FRE 355 Introduction to French Linguistics
GER 321 German Phonetics
GER 322 Intro. to German Linguistics
GER 421 History of the German Language
HNR 313 Language in the Cognitive Sciences
PHI 203 Intermediate Logic
PHI 470 Philosophy of Language
PSY 305 Infant and Early Childhood Development
PSY 357 Psychology of Language
SPA 308 Spanish Phonetics
SPA 309 Advanced Spanish Grammar
SPA 327 History of the Spanish Language
SPA 329 Sociolinguistics of Spanish
SPA 335 Introduction to Spanish Linguistics

M.Ed TESOL Program   |TOP|
The Department of English and the College of Education also offer a joint graduate program of study leading to a Master of Education (M.Ed) degree with a concentration in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). The M.Ed in TESOL is for those students who desire to pursue professional careers in teaching English to nonnative speakers of English at elementary, secondary, or community college levels in the United States or abroad.

Our TESOL program combines linguistic theory and educational research with practical applications of classroom methodology and management so that students will not only gain knowledge of critical linguistic and educational issues facing the profession but also learn the practical aspects of classroom teaching and learning. While the program is mainly geared towards local teachers and students who aspire to become ESL professionals, it also welcomes international students who wish to pursue a graduate degree in order to teach English in their home country. International students should contact the admissions office for application forms.

The M.Ed TESOL requires 33 credit hours of coursework. The degree can be earned by taking 12 additional credit hours of coursework above and beyond the 21 hours required for ESL endorsement. This curricular arrangement makes it convenient for those who have earned endorsement credits and wish to continue working towards a graduate degree.

M.Ed TESOL Course Requirements
ENG 660 Principles of Educational Linguistics
ENG 664 Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching
ENG 665 Second Language Acquisition
ENG 668 Second Language Assessment
ED 631 ESL Methods and Materials
ED 633 Race, Class, and Language
EDG 685K Practicum

One elective (3 credits)

Social Foundation CoursesSelect One (3 credits):
ED 671 Educational Policy and Practice
ED 672 Social and Cultural Foundations of Education&
Research Foundation Course (Prerequisite to ED 693/695)
ED 660 Educational Inquiry and Evaluation

Capstone (Application form required. Apply in advance. Advisor approval required) (3 credits) (Select One):
ED 693 Master's Project
ED 695 Master's Thesis

33 credits

Candidates must have an elementary or secondary certification, pass the Michigan Subject Area Test, and maintain a 3.0 GPA. Students will be awarded K-12 Endorsement by the Michigan Department of Education.

Linguistics Faculty     |TOP|