For those interested in pursuing an English as a Second Language teaching career, the path to formal accreditation has long been the reserve of postgraduate degree programs. Indeed, both of the most widely regarded ESL certifications – the CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) and the MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) – are specifically designed to begin their focus on ESL education after the completion of postgraduate study. The reason for this is clear: until recently, few undergraduate English teaching degree programs existed. Interested undergraduate students were instead offered options like American’s Universities Combined Bachelor’s Degree and MA in TESOL, which specifically advises students to earn a Bachelor’s degree in any major prior to their MA in TESOL studies but itself requires a minimum of five and a half years to complete. Separate bachelor’s and master’s programs can take even longer.
Fortunately, however, the tide is slowly turning. More and more schools in the US and Canada are offering undergraduate English teaching degree programs. In fact, the official TESOL Association even maintains a list of schools that offer such programs. Prominent on this list is Brigham Young University–Hawaii, whose Department of English Language Teaching and Learning offers one of the widest varieties of programs in the industry. Indeed, not only does BYU-Hawaii offer a Bachelor’s degree in TESOL but it also one in TESOL education in particular. The distinction between the two lies in the language learner. The TESOL major, for example, is designed to allow candidates to teach privately (to businesses, the military, and other adult students) while the TESOL Education major is better suited for those interested in teaching young learners at public schools. In this way BYU-Hawaii provides specialized coursework for those interested in pursuing their ESL careers abroad and domestically regardless of their career interests. At the same time, BYU-Hawaii offers more chances for specialization through its minors in TESOL, linguistics, and – for international students – English as an International Language. Thus, if you are interested in an English teaching degree BYU-Hawaii might be the perfect place for you!