Faculty Senate to discuss TESL minor


Korrie Bysted/Iowa State Daily

Greta Levis works on making english second language a minor.

Kelsey Bruggeman

The Faculty Senate is scheduled to vote March 11 on adding teaching English as a second language as a new minor into the linguistics program at Iowa State.

Teaching English as a second language will already sound familiar to graduate students. TESL is currently a graduate minor that is available to qualifying students.

“The undergraduates want to be able to go out and do it,” said Faculty Senate President Veronica Dark. ”It is a skill that they need.”

Students want to be able to go out into the world after graduation and have the accreditation and skill that is needed to teach English. Instead of observing the practice of teaching English, students will study how to do this.

“There are two audiences. They have a graduate program and some higher level undergraduate students [who] were in this program, but they had a lot of undergraduate students who would be going out into the community who wanted to be able to show that they can teach English as a second language because they had training,” Dark said.

The new program would strengthen the current program in place for graduate students and no new faculty members will be needed.

The new minor would not be limited and students in any given college can register. Linguistics 219 is the prerequisite course needed to be have the minor.

“What we’ve seen is that there are a number of people who want to be certified in teaching English as a second language but don’t want to become certified in biology or Spanish, or even math,” said Greta Levis, linguistics adviser.

New topics of discussion are introduced to the senate body at the meeting before it is fully addressed.

If the minor is approved by the Faculty Senate, it will then go to the provost of the university to be voted on. If the provost votes to approve it, the university president will be the final vote.

The rules in the Faculty Senate give members in any committee time to think and possibly make changes to what will be discussed or voted on.

“It was decided that we needed to have an undergraduate minor and then we can also have the graduate certificate,” Dark said.

There is support all over the university and it is likely that there will be no problems. Rob Wallace, chair of the academic affairs council, said he doesn’t foresee any problems with the minor being voted yes.

Levis said that there has been 100 percent support so far. Levis would handle any student who is signed up for the minor.

“It’s a program that students want, faculty is willing to do it, and so I think this will be good for the university,” Dark said.