Program Details

Certificate of Completion in English as a Second Language (ESL)

Offered By: College of Education
Next Start Date:
Program Now Enrolling
Approx. Course Length:
Online: 8 weeks
Total Program Credits:
16 Credits
Transfer Credits:
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the program


Complete Your ESL Certificate Online with GCU

Streamline your path to teaching English as a second language with the College of Education's online Certificate of Completion in English as a Second Language (ESL) program. This certificate program can help you become an ESL teacher or tutor to students of all ages.

This online ESL certification program was designed to prepare licensed K-12 teachers and school administrators in the states of Nevada, Florida, Illinois and Louisiana for ESL leadership inside or outside the traditional classroom. Program curriculum meets the demands of ESL and teaching English as a second language (TESOL) district initiatives and the diverse needs of the modern school culture.

You must submit a copy of your current teaching license or provide evidence of a minimum of one year of teaching experience to apply for this program. In addition, it is essential to have access to a K-12 classroom to complete the program assignments.

Degree Outcomes

Immerse Students in English Language

In this online English as a second language certification program, you develop the skills to overcome language barriers and assist students in language development using English immersion strategies with curriculum development and assessment. Study theories and take courses to help you understand how to work with students from diverse linguistic, cultural, racial, ethnic, economic and intellectual backgrounds.

What You Will Learn

ESL Certificate Curriculum

The ESL certification program examines:

  • ESL assessment for the purposes of identification, placement and instruction
  • Advanced methods for teaching English language learners, including classroom organization and lesson planning
  • Sheltered Immersion Observation Protocol (SIOP) and Understanding by Design (UbD)
  • Fundamentals of linguistic theory, including the morphological, phonological and syntactic structure of the English language
  • Research and analysis of evidence-based English language learning concepts

Career Outcomes

Prepare for Your Career in ESL Education

This certification can help you take your career to the next level or help you move into a high-demand field that allows you to teach English language learners. Common career outcomes of the ESL certification program include ESL teacher, leader, tutor or consultant. Workplaces include a variety of settings, such as public and private schools, community welfare organizations, social service agencies, study abroad programs and ESL or TESOL programs.

Course List

The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version which is available in FL, IL, LA, and NV. In order to view the specific course content and credit length available for your state, please contact a counselor at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or click here to request more information.
16 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
16 credits

Program Core Courses

Course Description

In this course, students are instructed in immersion strategies, English language development strategies, and numerous research-based methodologies in current practice. Students examine ways of organizing the classroom for optimal language learning, including especially cooperative learning. In the course setting, they also develop, practice, and assess language lessons that align with state and national standards for teaching English language learners.

Course Description

Teachers must be course developers as well as designers of instruction for daily and weekly lessons. In this course, students compare Sheltered Immersion Observation Protocol (SIOP) and Understanding by Design (UbD). They also fully examine assessment for the purposes of identification, placement, and instructional delivery. They subsequently design and fully develop the materials for a language unit that aligns with the state and national standards and current assessment practices.

Course Description

To be an effective educator, one needs knowledge of how student diversity affects and influences instruction. This course gives attention to instructional models that have proven successful with students from diverse linguistic, cultural, racial, ethnic, economic, and intellectual backgrounds. It presents the major goals, principles, and concepts of multicultural education, including multiple perspectives in culture and history, as well as understanding cultural and individual differences in teaching and learning.

Course Description

This course familiarizes students with the fundamentals of linguistic theory, including the morphological, phonological, and syntactic structure of the English language. Other topics introduced are pragmatics, semantics, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, and first and second language acquisition. Although emphasis is placed on descriptive analysis of the English language, examples and illustrations from several language systems are used.

Faculty Bios

Program Locations



Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere. GCU offers the most experienced leadership in delivering online degree programs. Full-time faculty members and fully trained adjunct instructors, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Designed with the career-oriented professional in mind, our online classes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Choose from programs across our distinct colleges, in high-demand employment areas. Classes begin frequently.

* The Department of Education defines how an institution must calculate a program's On-Time Completion rate for federal disclosure purposes. The On-Time Completion rate is based on a program’s published required number of months to complete all degree requirements as provided in the institution’s catalog. Completion statistics are updated every January and are based on the cohort of students who graduated between 7/1 – 6/30 of the preceding year. The On-Time Completion rate is determined by the number of students in the cohort who completed the program within the published program length divided by the number of students in the cohort who graduated.

Online and Evening program disclosures

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.