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 consists of 18 credits that offer a strong foundation in TESOL, English language, and Linguistics.

Candidates begin the sequence with TESL 1010 (Principles of TESOL) and TESL 1030 (Principles of Linguistics). Then candidates typically enroll in TESL 2200 (TESOL Methods and Assessment) and TESL 2250 (Structure and Varieties of English). After completing these courses, candidates take TESL 4400 (Second Language Acquisition and Research). 

The applied skills portion of the certificate is primarily provided through 3 credits of practicum experience with TESL 4890 (Practicum in TESOL); 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.

Summary of Requirements for TESOL Institutional Certificate (18 credits total):

  • TESL 1010 (Principles of TESOL), 3 credits
  • TESL 1030 (Principles of Linguistics), 3 credits
  • TESL 2200 (TESOL Methods and Assessment), 3 credit
  • TESL 2250 (Structure and Varieties of English), 3 credits
  • TESL 4400 (Second Language Acquisition and Research), 3 credits
  • TESL 4890 (Practicum in TESOL), 1-3 credits variable but a total of 3 credits are needed to complete the certificate. 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.