Teaching English as a Second Language (Grades K-12) Major

For people who live in the United States and don't know English well, life can be tough. Even taking a bus or buying a soft drink becomes a challenge — let alone succeeding in school or at work. Luckily, teachers certified to teach English to non-English speakers can help. These instructors love knowing that every single lesson makes a huge difference in their students' ability to get through the day. If you too want to make a direct, positive impact on people's lives, you may want to consider teaching English as Second Language (ESL).

Career Potential

  • Public school ESL teacher
  • ESL instructor in the private sector or overseas

What Will I Learn?

Develop the content area knowledge and the pedagogical background to teach English as a Second Language

  • In public school K-12 classrooms with the certification major
  • In the private sector with the non-certification major

Special Features

  • Study abroad
  • Internship opportunities
  • Language clubs
  • Foreign language learning center

Get Involved

College is more than a classroom. Enhance your experience with extracurricular opportunities:

  • Tutor our international students and community members
  • Participate in and assist with SUNY Cortland’s Second Language Educators Conference

Student Clubs

Education Club

Next Steps

Contact Us

Office: Old Main, Room 228-B
Phone: 607-753-2021
Fax: 607-753-5965

Fast Facts

Cortland was home to the first study abroad program within SUNY in the early 1960s.

Type of Degree

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Credit Hours: 120


We recognize excellence in our students with awards and scholarships.

  • Award for Excellence in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

See all scholarship opportunities

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