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Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Major

Students majoring in TEFL take courses in linguistics, education, and a variety of courses focusing on other cultures that prepare them to live and teach in a foreign country. TEFL majors complete an internship abroad and often double major in Spanish, Spanish education, or reconciliation studies.

Why should I study TEFL?

English is an important tool in a global economy and interconnected world. With a TEFL degree, you’ll equip others to advance their careers and develop the skills needed to interact with people from English-speaking cultures. It will also help you understand the socio-historical context of the countries where you might live and work.

What can I do with this degree?

With this degree, you'll be fully prepared to successfully live and teach English abroad in any foreign country or here in the United States. You can also choose to combine a profession in another field with skills for teaching English in a foreign country. 

What skills will I develop?

With a TEFL degree, you'll be prepared to:

  • Understand second language acquisition and teaching English in cross-cultural contexts
  • Lead students and peers
  • Teach group activities
  • Work with learners of all ages
  • Practice cultural awareness
  • Communicate across language barriers
  • Think on your feet
  • Cultivate resourcefulness and creativity
  • Look at your own language and culture from someone else’s perspective
  • Live and teach in a foreign country

What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?

Study Abroad

In this major, students gain experience teaching English abroad. This life-changing experience will put your classroom knowledge to a practical test. This can be done in any country with a Bethel-affiliated program or another program.

Interdisciplinary and Experiential Learning

You’ll have the opportunity to take classes in a variety of disciplines to better understand and support English learners. Your language teaching skills will be used to help English learners thrive in the Twin Cities, and you’ll develop an understanding of the community support systems serving diverse populations.

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