College of Arts and Sciences

student teachers 2020

English Education Major Option

The Department of English in conjunction with the College of Education and Human Services offers a degree in English Education leading to licensure that enables WIU graduates to teach secondary English Language Arts. The program is designed to provide our students with substantial content and pedagogical knowledge—knowledge that will prepare them for a lifelong career in teaching. Our goal is to help students develop habits of critical, reflective, and creative thinking around all areas of English Language Arts and Social Justice Pedagogies.


WIU English Education graduates have high job placement rates in schools throughout Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. Some go on to teach in other areas of the United States and abroad. Many candidates have jobs prior to finishing student teaching. We strive to work with students to prepare for the teaching profession and placement throughout their time in our program. We work closely with alumni and schools throughout the area to help students find teaching positions. See where our Alumni  are currently teaching.

We provide students opportunities for professional development and hands-on learning experiences during their time at Western. We host the WIU Writing Festival for area high schools every year. Students regularly attend and present at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Conference. Students work with English Education faculty offering after school Writing Clubs at Macomb Schools.

We take great pride in our focus on teaching for Social Justice. Our national standards state that teacher education candidates must “demonstrate knowledge of how theories and research about social justice, diversity, equity, student identities, and schools as institutions can enhance students’ opportunities to learn in English Language Arts.” Throughout their time studying English at WIU students are engaged in social justice in both content and methods courses where instructors spend time working closely with students discussing issues of social justice and teaching social justice in the classroom.

Program Faculty

English Education Methods courses are taught by full-time faculty who have doctorates in Education and have taught in a variety of school settings. They have been recognized for their excellence in teaching at not only the University but nationally and internationally. Faculty have received awards in Teaching Excellence, Teaching with Technology, a Fulbright Teaching Award, and a variety of research grants. They are active in state and national English Teacher organizations.

Program Coursework

Through the English department’s connection with the School of Education, English Education majors have unique opportunities to work closely with faculty across the campus. Within the English Department, majors take content and methods courses that prepare them for teaching English Language Arts. Coursework in the College of Education gives English Education majors a strong background in educational philosophy, working with diverse populations, classroom management, assessment, educational psychology, and working with learners with special needs. 

Field Experiences

English Education candidates have a number of opportunities to teach and observe in local schools and classrooms. Candidates have two semesters of practicum experience prior to student teaching. They work in area schools, teaching and observing for at eight to ten weeks for each practicum experience. 

Student Teaching

Candidates spend sixteen weeks student teaching in one of four regions. They work directly with their mentor teacher and university supervisor during this time. They also work closely with English Education Faculty to help them complete the edTPA. On Average, English Education Candidates score higher than state and national averages on the edTPA. 

Honors Program

We encourage eligible prospective majors to participate in the Centennial Honors College in a program designed to provide the exceptional and motivated candidate with additional opportunities for individualized educational experiences.

Candidates complete research-oriented projects within required department courses and participate in seminar discussions on current issues with faculty and fellow honors students. Recent English Education Honors students have completed projects in teaching Shakespeare and looking at the difference between teaching English grammar in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Study Abroad

English Education majors often take part in study abroad programs. Some majors study abroad for a semester and others study abroad through various WIU Faculty-led study abroad programs, including the English Department’s Harry Potter Study Abroad program led by English Education Faculty.

Contact Information

English Education Program
Department of English
1 University Circle
124 Simpkins Hall
Macomb, IL 61455-1390

Phone: 1 (309) 298-1511

If you wish to contact an individual faculty member, see our faculty directory.