Graduate Certificate: Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language

The Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language is offered to prospective students who possess a bachelor’s degree and six credits of foreign language study. The certificate is an internationally recognized credential for teaching English in a variety of instructional settings overseas and in some adult education settings in the U.S. It does not fulfill the licensure requirements for teaching English as a second language in the Virginia public schools, although courses in this certificate program may meet partial requirements of UMW licensure programs. Graduate courses taken at other institutions and approved for the certificate must be officially transferred into the program.

Note: Official transcripts showing completion of six credits in modern foreign language course work are required prior to the awarding of the certificate. If a student’s primary language is not English, all six credits must be in advanced English course work.

Admissions Requirements
1. Submit a completed application for admission;
2. Have earned an undergraduate degree from a regionally-accredited college or university;
3. Submit official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work;
4. Provide a résumé outlining work experience and education;
5. An essay discussing the applicant’s aspirations for and potential contributions to the program.

Program Course Sequence

Required Graduate Courses:

  • TESL 500 Introduction to English Linguistics (3 credits)
  • TESL 502A Sociolinguistics and Cross-cultural communication (3 credits)
  • TESL 511A Applied Linguistics: Grammar and Meaning (3 credits)
  • TESL 512 Second Language Acquisition (3 credits)
  • TESL 530 Second Language Methods: Literacy and Language Skills (3 credits)
  • TESL 535 Individual Practicum (2 credits)

Documents, Deadlines & Policies

Graduate Admissions


Program Policies: Graduate Program Catalog

Questions about the program, contact:

Dr. April Brecht
Director of Advising Center Services
Phone: (540) 286-8032

Dr. Jane Huffman
Program Director for Advanced and Non-Degree Programs
Phone: (540) 286-8117