Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)


The Certificate in TESOL is for non-education students and it is geared to those interested in teaching English or other content areas such as mathematics, biology, philosophy, or history among others, in bilingual settings abroad or in adult education programs after graduation. This 9-credit program links current research to best practices in the field of language teaching. It offers an introduction to language learning theories, teaching methodology, and classroom management, with opportunities to work with actual students and receive feedback from professors.

Admission Requirements

Advanced low in the ACTFL English proficiency scale or B2 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages for those who are not native speakers of English.

Degree Offered

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


Maria Villalobos-Buehner, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Spanish, World Language, ESL, and Bilingual Education
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Fine Arts 354

Associated Department:  Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Certificate Requirements

(9 credits)

In addition to the following courses a Practicum of 20 hours is required to complete the certificate.

Required Course:
FLE 420Teaching a Second Language3
Select one of the following:3
Applied Grammar & Syntax
Grammar and Style
Introduction to Linguistics and Psycholinguistics
Select one of the following:3
Chinese Culture and Civilization
Calligraphy As a Window to Chinese Language and Culture
French Culture
Understanding Global Relations
Intercultural Communication
Global Encounters
Race, Class and Gender in Contemporary American Society
Issues in Multicultural Studies
Racial and Ethnic Relations
Elementary Spanish II Abroad
Spanish Culture & Civilization
Latin American Latino Culture
Total Credits9

Courses and Descriptions

CHI 310 Chinese Culture and Civilization 3 Credits

This course introduces students to the history, people and culture of China. They will explore China’s powerful dynasties and empire and their cultural and aesthetic achievements, and will learn about nationalism, Mao’s revolutionary communism. They will study China’s religions, calligraphic, pictorial and ceramic traditions, literature, Chinese opera and cinema. Through an examination of Chinese customs, students will gain an appreciation of social relationships and cultural practices. No knowledge of Chinese language is required.

CHI 311 Calligraphy As a Window to Chinese Language and Culture 3 Credits

This course provides students with a chance to gain an intimate knowledge of Chinese language and culture through calligraphy. Students will learn the basic principles and techniques of writing Chinese characters with the writing brush. They will be introduced to the pronunciation, the composition and evolution of Chinese characters so that they will be able to read and understand what they write. Students will also learn how calligraphy is immersed in various aspects of Chinese culture. The main content of the course derives from examining applications of calligraphy to poetry, painting, and core concepts of Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism. They will have a chance to cross time and space, having dialogues with Confucius, experiencing Buddhist bliss of final “awakening” or “enlightenment” and abandoning themselves to the Daoist spontaneous flow with the movement of Nature and the cosmos. No knowledge of Chinese language is required.

ENG 236 Applied Grammar & Syntax 3 Credits

This course offers a review of the essential elements of English grammar and syntax and fosters understanding of how these elements work in notable argumentative and expository writing as well as in the student's own compositions. Focus is on both expert reading and effective writing. Changing attitudes toward usage, including influence of digital media on language use, are discussed. May be taken as preparation for, or independently of ENG 336, which addresses grammar, syntax, and style at a more advanced level.

Prerequisite(s): completion of composition requirements or permission of instructor.

ENG 336 Grammar and Style 3 Credits

By building a comprehensive knowledge of the conventions of English grammar, punctuation and syntax, students will learn how to analyze the way words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs work in expert writing, and they will apply this knowledge to their own writing. Emphasis is on argument, exposition, and analysis.

Prerequisite(s): completion of composition requirements or permission of instructor.

FLE 320 Introduction to Linguistics and Psycholinguistics 3 Credits

This course provides an introduction to general linguistics and basic contrastive study of English, French, German, and Spanish sounds, forms, and syntax. Students visit schools where they interview language learners and sample their speech for analysis. Applications of these studies are made to creating instructional materials and to teaching. Theories of language acquisition as well as factors affecting second language learning, including learning styles and personality, are studied. A rationale for communicative language teaching and learning is constructed. Note: This course is cross-listed as EDU 320. Students may not get credit for both FLE 320 and EDU 320.

FLE 420 Teaching a Second Language 3 Credits

This course focuses on interactive methods of teaching a new language as well as cross- cultural understanding. Students learn to plan using national and state standards for language instruction, organize activities, design and direct language learning tasks, and assess learning. Includes theoretical positions on communicative learning and teaching, the use and evaluation of currently used materials, the design of new materials, and field experiences in the language to be taught. Students develop their professional portfolios and philosophy of second language teaching, prepare a thematic unit of study, and present lesson segments. Open to prospective world language teachers, ESL and bilingual teachers, as well as practicing teachers seeking certification. Note: This course is cross-listed as SED 420. Students may not get credit for both FLE 420 and SED 420. A cumulative GPA of 2.75 is required.

Prerequisite(s): EDU 106 and EDU 206.

FRE 311 French Culture 3 Credits

A study of modern France and French value orientations as they are rooted in tradition and history and continue to shape everyday life as well as institutions, social organizations, artistic expression, education, attitudes and human interaction. A comparative approach will examine the underlying differences between France and the United States. Classes are in English.

GLS 180 Understanding Global Relations 3 Credits

Offers an introduction to Global and Multinational Studies by exposing the student to basic concepts necessary to understand the dynamics underlying the emerging worldwide society of diverse nations. The student will become acquainted with the mechanisms by which contacts are built across nations, and the factors that shape the conception of and relations with “the other.

GLS 252 Intercultural Communication 1.5-3 Credits

Develops intercultural communication competence through an awareness and understanding of diverse cultures and their impact on communication. This course will be different from the international communication course, which focuses on communication between nations. This course will focus on the more personal aspects of communication--what happens when people from different cultures interact face-to-face. It will introduce students to those general factors that influence communication with people from diverse cultures both internationally and within the United States, and offer a blend of skill development, communication theory, and hands- on application. Note: This course is cross-listed as COM 252. Students may not get credit for both GLS 252 and COM 252.

IND 210 Global Encounters 3 Credits

This course provides students with an exposure to foreign cultures consisting of both travel and study components. Destinations may include countries in Europe, Latin America, or Asia. While traveling, students will be required to attend lecture/discussion sessions, site tours, and other planned activities. This experience will be preceded and/or followed by additional academic work to be conducted on campus. Study topics may include aspects of the historical, social, economic, political, and aesthetic cultural components appropriate to the location(s) visited. The travel component of the course will be scheduled to avoid conflict with normal semester offerings. A travel fee is required. No foreign language skills are required unless otherwise indicated.

MCS 110 Race, Class and Gender in Contemporary American Society 3 Credits

This interdisciplinary course analyzes the ways in which race, class, gender and ethnic relationships shape the experience of all persons in this society. It examines the categories of race, class and gender as social constructs that have been historically developed and sustained by economic, social, political, and cultural factors.

MCS 220 Issues in Multicultural Studies 3 Credits

An examination of issues and questions posed by the existence of diversity in social life. Students build on what they have learned in MCS 110 by focusing in greater depth on selected aspects of multicultural interaction. Topics change each semester and are listed in the course roster. Recent topics include “Understanding Privilege,” “The Meaning of Difference,” and “Narratives of Human Difference: Science, Politics, Literature.”

Prerequisite(s): MCS 110 or permission of instructor.

SOC 207 Racial and Ethnic Relations 3 Credits

Examines the social origins of prejudice and discrimination, and analyzes intergroup trends in conflict, competition, and cooperation. Considers issues of immigration, economic and political power, and ethnic, racial, and religious pluralism.

Prerequisite(s): SOC 101.

SPA 102 Elementary Spanish II Abroad 3 Credits

This course is the second part of the first year experience in Spanish and is designed for students who have taken Spanish for Beginners I and who are interested in experiences abroad in a Spanish speaking culture. The aim is to develop the four basic skills (listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing) in and beyond the classroom. The discussion of distinctive cultural aspects of the Hispanic world is an integral part of this course as well as to encourage students to experience the world through the eyes of the other culture by exposing them to the literature and arts of the local culture.

SPA 310 Spanish Culture & Civilization 3 Credits

Spain’s cultural achievements are studied in light of the country’s unique historical and social reality through the use of historical, artistic, architectural, cinematic and literary sources. Cross-cultural awareness is enhanced through exercises that compare Spanish and American society. Classes are in English. No knowledge of Spanish required. This course may contain an optional travel component offered before or after the semester or during spring break.

SPA 311 Latin American Latino Culture 3 Credits

A panoramic survey of Latin American cultural achievements in light of the unique social and political history from the pre-Columbian period to the present. The cross- cultural perspective includes a study of Latino culture in the United States. Classes are in English. No knowledge of Spanish is required.