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

The Graduate Certificate in Teaching English Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) prepares educators to work with multilingual English learners (ELs) in both U.S. and international contexts. Coursework provides students with knowledge of applied linguistics, language acquisition theories, and methods of teaching. Students apply foundational concepts in TESOL through course discussions and experiences in classrooms in and around the nation’s capital. Course assignments and experiences are tailored to students' interests and career goals, from teaching in international settings to supporting ELs in U.S. elementary and secondary classrooms. The Certificate is designed for students at various stages in their careers, including:

  • Seasoned content area educators or leaders who seek to enhance their expertise in teaching ELs;
  • Recent college graduates or career-switchers who are interested in exploring the area of ELs teaching without earning a full Master’s degree;
  • Individuals who wish to teach English internationally in private English language schools or through worldwide exchange programs; or
  • Current graduate students in education who would like to augment their skills and qualifications with documented expertise in teaching English.

Additionally, the Graduate Certificate in TESOL can be applied toward earning a Masters degree in the Curriculum and Instruction Masters program and the International Education Masters program.

Contact Dr. Luis Javier Pentón Herrera at for more information about the Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).


The Graduate Certificate in TESOL consists of four 3-credit courses, for a total of 12 credits.

Core Courses

CPED 6551 Second Language Instruction
CPED 6557 Second Language Acquisition
CPED 6627 Teaching Second Language Reading and Writing
CPED 6556 Linguistic Applications in English as a Second Language

Career Outlook


Gaining expertise in TESOL opens the door to potential teaching opportunities within in the U.S. and internationally. With the influx of U.S. students who speak different languages, administrators prioritize hiring content area teachers who can demonstrate expertise in serving ELs. Paired with a content area specialization, the Graduate Certificate in TESOL makes prospective teachers competitive for teaching and leadership positions in school serving culturally and linguistically diverse students. The Graduate Certificate in TESOL positions teachers to pursue opportunities in the flourishing area of English language teaching.

Possible career directions include teaching and leadership positions in:

  • Elementary or secondary schools
  • Private language schools
  • Community volunteer language programs
  • International English language programs
  • International exchange programs (e.g., Fulbright English Teaching Assistants, Peace Corps)


  • Program Entry: Spring, Summer
  • Prerequisites: Bachelors Degree
  • Campus: Main Campus, Online

Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts (unofficial)

For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQ page.

We encourage you to apply as early as possible for the next available start term. Please contact the admissions team with any questions.

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Learn more about the Graduate Certificate in TESOL program located on campus (202-994-9283).