Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Program

TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. In recent decades, TESOL has become the umbrella term for a range of English language teaching contexts and specializations, including ESL (English as a Second Language, referring to teaching in English-majority regions) and EFL (English as a Foreign Language, referring to teaching in English-minority regions).

As English continues to expand as a language for international communication, the need for qualified English language instructors is increasing. Additionally, there is increased demand for ESL teachers in the United States to provide linguistic and cultural support for new immigrants. Together, these developments offer an opportunity for SUU students to serve the local, national, and international language learning communities.

The ALCC administers two TESOL programs at SUU: an 18-credit undergraduate institutional certificate that can be completed as part of any undergraduate program, and a 9-credit graduate learning block as part of the Master’s of Interdisciplinary Studies (MIS) program.

Undergraduate Institutional Certificate in TESOL

Although a TESOL Certificate can take many different forms, this credential is desirable for those who plan to teach in ESL Adult and Community Education programs in the USA, as well as EFL teaching positions overseas. The most respected and reliable TESOL Certificates require training in linguistics, intercultural communication, and education. The TESOL Institutional Certificate program (18 credits) at SUU provides candidates with a solid foundation in the essentials of the TESOL academic field along with practical experiences in ESL classroom observation, tutoring, lesson planning, and teaching.

Candidate Eligibility

The TESOL Institutional Certificate is targeted primarily at SUU undergraduate students who are in a degree-seeking program. The TESOL Institutional Certificate is an add-on program that students complete in addition to their existing program of study.

This program is not intended for K-12 US school teachers. The SUU Department of Teacher Education has a separate program for teaching ESL in the K-12 US schools context.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the coursework for the TESOL Institutional Certificate will be able to:

  • Identify the main systems of the English language and processes through which they are acquired;
  • Articulate cultural differences among global communities and how those differences impact language learning contexts; and
  • Design and deliver effective English language teaching based on sound research and appropriate instructional strategies.

Required Coursework

The TESOL Institutional Certificate is comprised of 18 credits. Nine credits provide the core foundation of the certificate with courses in TESOL, English language, and Linguistics: TESL 1010, ENGL 1120, and LANG 3030.

Candidates also choose one course (3 credits) from each of the two strands, Teaching and Culture, for a total of 6 credits. It is recommended (but not required) that candidates complete all three of the core courses before enrolling in the Teaching strand and Culture strand courses.

The applied skills portion of the certificate is primarily provided through 3 credits of practicum experience; in general, most candidates will complete 1 credit of practicum experience per semester, so the program will usually be completed in a minimum of three semesters.

CORE (9 credits)

All three courses:

  • TESL 1010 Principles of TESOL 3 credits
  • ENGL 1120 Introduction to Grammar 3 credits
  • LANG 3030 Introduction to the Study of Language 3 credits

TEACHING FOCUS (3 credits)

Any one course from the following:

  • EESL 4340 Integrating Lang Acquisition & Content Instruction 3 credits ♦
  • ENGL 2030 Methods of Teaching Grammar 3 credits *
  • ENGL 2900 Methods of Teaching Writing 3 credits *
  • LANG 4900 Methods of Teaching Foreign Language 3 credits *✢

♦ This course is normally for Education student; however, the prerequisites for this course can be waived if students have already completed TESOL 1010, ENGL 1120, and LANG 3030.

* These courses are designed for specific programs, so enrollment may be limited. TESOL Certificate students need instructor permission to enroll.

✢ LANG 4900 is cross-listed as SPAN 4900, FREN 4900, and GERM 4900.

CULTURE FOCUS (3 credits)

Any one course from the following:

  • ANTH 3010 Language, Thought, & Culture 3 credits
  • COMM 2150 Intercultural Communication 3 credits
  • ENGL 2200 Literature and Culture 3 credits
  • ENGL 3270 World Literature: Non-Western 3 credits
  • FLHD 3370 Cross-Cultural Marriage, Family, and Human Dev’t 3 credits ✦
  • GEOG 1400 Human Geography 3 credits
  • HRHM 3250 International Cuisine 3 credits
  • HSS 1120 Introduction to Diversity 3 credits
  • LANG 3250 World Cinema 3 credits
  • MGMT 3050 International Business 3 credits ✦
  • MUSC 1050 Music of the World 3 credits
  • POLS 2100 Introduction to International Relations 3 credits
  • SOC 3250 Food and Culture 3 credits

✦ These courses have prerequisites and/or may require instructor permission.

PRACTICUM (3 credits)

TESL 4890 Practicum in TESOL (repeatable) 1-3 credits ✫

✫ Three hours of practicum service per week for a semester equates 1 credit of practicum experience. Candidates are advised to enroll in 1 credit of TESL 4890 per semester.