TESOL Certificate

Graduate Certificate of Completion in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Offered By: College of Education

What is TESOL Certificate?

GCU offers the TESOL certificate program for licensed teachers and administrators. It is ideal for those who would like to work with English Language Learning (ELL) students in or out of the classroom. The Graduate Certificate of Completion in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is offered by the College of Education. Its specialized coursework offers an opportunity to add to professional credentials and open the door to future employment possibilities.

During this TESOL certificate program, you will gain a foundation in ELL instructional programs and policies. You will explore curriculum design, assessments, multicultural education and the instruction of bilingual students with special needs.

All courses meet the standards of the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) and are also aligned with the Standards for the Recognition of Initial TESOL Programs in P–12 ESL Teacher Education.

Earn Your Graduate Certificate in TESOL Online at GCU

GCU is a leader in online learning designed for modern adult learners. The TESOL graduate certificate program can fit your working schedule. Learn anywhere at any time from our highly qualified instructors, who are leading experts in their fields. The TESOL certificate requires the completion of 18 credits. Each online class is six weeks long.

When you graduate from this program, you will have an expanded, specialized skill set that you can use to become an educational leader. You will study the concepts, theories and research in best practices of English language instruction to ELL students. You will acquire foundational knowledge in these core areas:

  • Linguistics
  • Second language acquisition
  • Curriculum development

This program provides the knowledge needed to assist ELL students in overcoming language barriers. This enables ELL students to achieve their full potential in and out of the classroom. This program is suitable for educators who wish to work with ELL students at any grade level.

What Can You Do with a Graduate TESOL Certificate?

With this advanced credential, you can prepare to become an impactful leader in ESL/TESOL initiatives at the building or district level. The core program courses are as follows:

  • Foundations of Instruction for English Language Learners
  • School, Community and Family Culture
  • Linguistics
  • ELL and Bilingual Curriculum and Methods of Instruction
  • ELL and Bilingual Assessment
  • Methods of Teaching and Evaluating ELLs with Special Needs

This graduate certificate in TESOL program takes a comprehensive look at the design of effective assessment tasks. Teacher candidates explore best practices in designing a culturally responsive curriculum, taking into consideration the societal, cultural and familial influences on a student’s learning. Candidates examine the core principles of linguistics and their integration into instructional practices.

As a specialist in ESL/BLE/TESOL learning experiences, you may pursue work in public or private schools, or in school districts. Graduates may work with students at any grade level. Other career paths that may be related to the TESOL certificate include:

  • School consultant
  • Community college instructor/consultant
  • Educational policy advocate
  • Private tutor

To apply for this graduate teaching english as a second language certificate program, you must have at least one year of teaching experience. It should be documented on the Teaching Verification Form, or you may send in your current teaching certificate. You must also have access to a P-12 classroom that includes ESL students. This is a requirement to complete the assignments and the practicum course.

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Total Credits: 18
Online: 6 weeks
[More Info]
The University will accept one course of the total certificate requirements in transfer.
Online: $580 per credit [More Info]

Course List

18 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
18 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course provides foundational knowledge of policies and instructional programs for English language learners (ELLs) in the United States. Emphasis will be placed on understanding, comparing, and evaluating current language models. Educators will be introduced to instructional strategies and professional development opportunities. Focus will be placed on advocating for bilingual education (BLE), ELLs, and families.

Course Description

In this course, educators will explore school, community, and family culture. Emphasis will be placed on the major goals, principles, and concepts of multicultural education, including understanding individual needs and learning differences. Research is utilized to investigate the social, community, cultural, and familial contexts that influence learning and development. Focus will be placed on creating a positive classroom environment through culturally inclusive teaching. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: TSL-532.

Course Description

In this course, educators become familiar with the fundamentals of linguistics. Emphasis will be placed on psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, and first and second language acquisition. Educators will synthesize research-based methods of incorporating linguistic principles into their teaching practice. Prerequisite: TSL-550.

Course Description

In this course, educators will review curriculum and methods appropriate to the teaching of subject areas in bilingual and English language learner instructional settings. Emphasis is placed on linguistic, cognitive, developmental, and sociocultural considerations when exploring methods and materials to design multicultural curricula for use in language arts and content area classrooms. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

In this course, educators will explore the principles of (or for) evaluating and structuring assessments. Educators will examine assessment for the purposes of identification, placement, and instructional delivery. Emphasis will be placed on learning ways to integrate assessment procedures into any curriculum and designing assessment tasks that allow for improved learning of all students. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: TSL-558.

Course Description

In this course, educators will be introduced to the field of bilingual and English language learners (ELLs) with exceptionalities, including language differences, giftedness, and special education needs. Emphasis will be placed on researching the complexity of the over- and under-representation of students with exceptionalities in bilingual and ELL education. Educators will explore issues in relation to differentiating cultural and linguistic-related learning variations from exceptionalities and their instructional implications. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.


GCU Online Student

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.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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