Why study Teaching English as a Second Language at MC?

Are you ready to make a difference in a student’s life? Maryville College’s major in Teaching English as a Second Language (TSEL) prepares you to work with prekindergarten through 12th grade language learners. Studies emphasize linguistics, second language acquisition, the psychology of language development and the pedagogical skills needed to have an impact on young English learners. With a requirement to minor in a foreign language, you will better understand the process of learning a language, which will help you connect to your students.

Maryville College Works is a comprehensive career preparation program that is integrated into the College’s four-year liberal arts curriculum. Key components include assessment, advising, networking and professional experiences.

On Campus Opportunities

For more than 30 years, Maryville College has operated an intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) program on its campus. Every five weeks, the College welcomes new students from around the world who wish to improve their English language skills. Students majoring in TESL have the opportunity to interact in both formal and informal settings with students from a wide variety of countries, to observe ESL classes, and potentially to pursue work-study or internship arrangements with the ESL program.

External Relationships

Alcoa City Schools
Blount County School System
Maryville City Schools

Meet a current student

Byjan Kajaei ’18
Hometown: Antioch, Tenn.

Byjan has taken advantage of numerous opportunities to explore her chosen field. She teaches ESL as a volunteer at a local site and has been working with the College’s Center for International Education since her freshman year. In the summer of 2017, Byjan studied abroad in Nagoya, Japan, in an immersive Japanese language program. “Thanks to those experiences, I am much better equipped to teach my future students and pursue a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL),” she said. “The Career Center has also been vital in my preparation, helping me solidify my resume and conduct the job search.”

Outcomes of Recent Gradsclick or touch to open

Featured Graduate

Nikki Wilks ’12
Currently: English Teacher at Kingsbury High School in Memphis, Tenn.

Although Nikki didn’t know she would be teaching English instead of ESL when she graduated, her major prepared her for her role at Kingsbury, one of the most diverse schools in Memphis, Tenn. “Kingsbury’s students speak 22 native languages. Nearly 20 percent of them are immigrants or refugees from more than two dozen countries. I’m getting to experience cultural diversity that would be hard to come by unless I was an extensive world traveler,” she explained. “Maryville requires a minor in a foreign language because they want us to know what it feels like. It’s helped me be more patient in the classroom and get more creative with the way I’m teaching.”