Certificate in TESL/TEFL

The Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language (TESL/TEFL) graduate certificate provides training to those interested in teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language. The certificate is given to those who complete the practical preparation needed to teach English both within and outside the US to post-secondary students and adults. The courses for the program focus on the specific knowledge and skills specified for ESL teachers as identified by Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc (TESOL).

Students have the option of completing the program online as part of our MA in ESL online degree.

Students may also choose to complete a portion of this certificate abroad as part of our programs in Alicante, Spain and the Czech Republic. To find more information about the Pilsen, Czech Republic Study Abroad program contact Daniel Harper in 127 Patterson Hall.

Please see the Graduate Catalog for specific program requirements. Students are encouraged to work closely with their faculty advisor and the Coordinator of the Applied Linguistics Concentration to meet these goals.

The certificate program requires completion of fifteen (15) semester credit hours.

Twelve (12) credit hours must be met by satisfactory completion of the following core courses:

  • ENGL 7531 Theory and History of ESL
  • ENGL 7532 Principles of Skills Assessment
  • ENGL 7535 ESL Grammar
  • ENGL 7530 Field Experience and Practicum in ESL

Three (3) elective hours may be selected from:

  • ENGL 7533 Method/Techniques of ESL in K-12
  • ENGL 7536 Issues in Second Language Writing
  • ENGL 7537 Issues in Second Language Reading
  • ENGL 7538 Cultural Issues in ESL
  • ENGL 6533 Issues and Techniques in English as a Foreign Language
  • Note: Those also seeking ESL add-on endorsement must complete ENGL 7533 and ENGL 7538. Praxis II for ESL is also required for the add-on endorsement.

Note: This certificate program is not a program to prepare K-12 ESL teachers. Pre-service and in-service teachers seeking an ESL certificate and an add-on endorsement in ESL for K-12 should see the Teacher Add-On Licensure program.

Admissions Requirements

  • Applicants should hold either an MA degree in any field or a BA degree in any field with a GPA of at least 2.75.
  • International students must have a TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 79 (internet-based).
  • Applicants must submit a one-page personal statement and two letters of recommendation to the English Department.
  • Since 12 credit hours in the certificate program may also count toward the MA degree, it is expected that many fully-admitted students will earn the certificate on their way to the MA degree. Such students wishing to earn the Certificate must apply to the Graduate School using the Change of Status form. 
  • Certificate students wishing to earn the MA must make formal application for the master's program following all guidelines specified by the English Department and the University.

For more information about the TESL/TEFL certificate program, contact Dr. Rebecca Adams at 901.678.4892, Patterson Hall 431. For more information about the English graduate programs, contact Ms. Sarah Ellis in the English Graduate Office, Patterson 461, 901.678.1448.

For more information about the Certificate program in TESL/TEFL requirements, visit the English Graduate Catalog.