TESOL Certificate

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Certificate is offered to both Undergraduate and Graduate Students.
All courses in this Certificate program are offered online.

This online certificate prepares majors from any discipline to pursue teaching opportunities with English Language Learners (ELLs) in corporate settings and in private language schools in the United States and internationally.  It combines a theoretical foundation in Second Language Acquisition with practical experience.  No previous background in linguistics is required for admission. Some background in a second language is recommended.  It may be combined with any degree program.

The courses are designed to accommodate different needs and learning styles through computer-based, online instruction using synchronous and asynchronous multimedia tools: Wimba voice boards, virtual classrooms, and online social environments such as Second Life.  These approaches allow for flexibility in scheduling for students.  Students will be trained in using all necessary technology and supported throughout the course by faculty.

This stand-alone certificate is  available for students who are not currently enrolled at Valdosta State University, subject to application and successful admission.  International students must demonstrate competence in English by meeting the TOEFL score prescribed by university admissions.

For students who are not currently enrolled at VSU visit the Admissions Page and the Online Readiness page at eLearning.

For currently enrolled students at VSU visit Online Readiness and Blazeview Students Guide at eLearning to find out more about registering for online courses.

Requirements for the online Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)  

Download printable checklist here 

*ESOL 4010/6010 Applied Linguistics for ESOL Teachers

3 hours

A study of the nature, structure, and diversity of language, emphasizing the phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic patterns of English in comparison and contrast with features of other selected languages. Prospective teachers will explore the principles of linguistic systems and major theorists and schools of linguistic thought within the cultural framework of working with communities of non-native English speakers.

*ESOL 4020/6020 Cultural Perspectives for ESOL Teachers

3 hours

A study of culture and its relationship with language and education. Prospective teachers will investigate theories related to the nature and role of culture and cultural programs in the construction of learning environments and support linguistically diverse learners.

*ESOL 4030/6030 Methods and Materials for Teaching ESOL

3 hours

Methods of teaching English at the elementary, middle, and high school levels to students whose first language is not English. Topics include theories of second language acquisition, instructional strategies and materials, methods of evaluating proficiency and progress, and curriculum-building.

ESOL 4040/6040 Assessing English Language Learners

3 hours

The application of TESOL theories, principles, and current research to the assessment of P-12 and adult English Language Learners (ELLs). This course emphasizes the importance of reading and literacy as fundamental factors in second language acquisition.

ESOL 4050/6050 Teaching English Grammar for ESOL

3 hours

A survey of practical approaches to teaching English grammar to English Language Learners (ELLs) based upon the application of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research and theory. The course includes a review of common grammar questions and errors in ELL environments.

ESOL 4060/FLED 7500 Theory and Practice in Second Language Acquisition (SLA)

3 hours

Discussion, analysis, and practice of the various theories and models of Second Language Acquisition (SLA).

*Note:  These three courses within the certificate fully satisfy the add-on ESOL Endorsement requirements for certified teachers in Georgia.

Selected Educational Outcomes

Students will:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of how to apply Second Language Acquisition theories, principles, and current research in creating instructional materials and in assessing ELLs.

  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the role that Language Transfer plays in teaching and learning processes with ELLs in order to plan lessons that address possible interference between English and other languages.

  3. Identify suitable ESOL assessment tools, administer assessments, and develop instructional materials to address specific literacy challenges of ELLs.

A grade of “C” or better is required in each course.


Ransom Gladwin


office: 229-259-5109