Wheaton logo 2020 color version also for mobile

Faculty Profiles

Sarah Vroom-Fick headshot photo

Sara Vroom Fick, M.A.

Assistant Professor of Education

On Faculty since 2013


Sara comes to Wheaton after thirteen years as an English as Second Language instructor at the middle and high school levels. She started her career in St. Paul, MN, teaching immigrant and refugee students at a public high school. She then served as a missionary teacher at the International Christian School of Vienna in Austria. There, she was able to develop and implement an intensive content-based beginner program for the middle and high school levels. For the last three years at ICSV, she trained teachers and was the director of the K-12 ESL program. In both locations, she worked in highly multicultural and multilingual classrooms. These settings developed her interest in culture’s impact on classroom dynamics and native language development.

At Wheaton, she looks forward to continuing her own study in these areas as well as sharing both that knowledge and her overall journey with a new group of students. She is excited to help build the ESL Endorsement program and encourage a new generation of teachers to consider the roles of language and culture in the classroom. In addition to her professional interests, she enjoys traveling, theater, and creative sewing projects. She also enjoys finding the perfect spots for various national cuisines and is currently on the hunt for some good Ethiopian food in the west suburbs.

University of Illinois at Chicago
Ph.D., Literacy, Language and Culture

Wheaton College
M.A., Intercultural Studies and TESOL, 2012

University of Northwestern-St.Paul
B.A., ESL Education and Bible, 2000

  • ESL Teaching Methodologies
  • ESL
  • English as a Second Language Education
  • TESOL International Association
  • Literacy Research Association
  • Illinois TESOL-Bilingual Education
  • Illinois Association of Multilingual Multicultural Education

Biliteracy development in multilingual general education classrooms
Symposium presented at the Literacy Research Association Annual Conference, Carlsbad, CA, December, 2015

Socio-emotional learning for refugees: Yale's RULER curriculum and gender
Research presented at the Illinois Association for Multilingual Multicultural Education Conference, Oak Brook, IL, December, 2015

Techniques for teaching English to younger children throughout the world
Research presented at the International TESOL Convention, Toronto, ON, March, 2015

Being a bridge: Using ESL to connect the cultures of your students and native English speakers
ESL Ministry Conference, Chicago, IL, April, 2014

Writing and recording original audio tracks for authentic listening
International TESOL Convention, Portland, OR, March, 2014

  • EDUC 136 Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students
  • EDUC 136L Cross-Cultural Tutoring Practicum
  • LING 222 English Grammar for Teachers
  • LING 224 Theoretical Foundations of TESOL
  • LING 326 ELL Methods and Materials
  • Student Teaching Supervision
  • Native language development
  • Language and identity
  • Culture’s impact on classroom dynamics
  • Language Policy Development
  • Content based language education

Cross-cultural perspectives on teaching English as a foreign language to children: A multinational survey, TESOL Journal
Seaman, A. & Vroom, S., 2014

Writing skills: Exploring cultural influences and classroom applications, ITBE Link
Markely, H., Sappington, K., & Vroom, S., 2012