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Graduate Certificate in TESOL

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Kevin J. Martin
Associate Dean,
School of Education

sed@viu.edu

Have you always dreamed of exploring and experiencing other cultures and countries? Do you want to travel abroad to teach English in the US and many other countries of the world? Do you want to be successful and make your dreams reality?

The Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language (GC in TESOL) program prepares future graduates for the world of work as language teaching specialists in the field of English language teaching. Graduates of the TESOL program are qualified to work in many different educational environments both in the US and abroad.

The program seeks to be a pioneer in the field of language teaching by building a curriculum that includes the recommendations from employers in the community during the creation and development of new courses overall goals.

This provides graduates with a needed edge in their job search, as the curriculum is focused on providing employers what they are looking for in current and future candidates.

The VIU difference is evident in the TESOL program in its commitment to the preparation of graduates with a solid foundation in the teaching of ESL/EFL.

The Graduate Certificate in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) program prepares its students to work as English teachers in a world where the global need for English language skills is growing. Upon successful completion of the program, students will have a sound grasp of the structure of modern English as well as basic concepts of language acquisition and language pedagogy, and gain valuable classroom experience through observation and supervised teaching.

The mission of the GC in TESOL program at Virginia International University is to provide foundational knowledge and skills required for graduates to be successful language teaching professionals in a wide variety of contexts and among diverse student populations in the US and abroad by equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and experience to contribute to and excel in innovative and collaborative work environments.

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will be qualified to teach English in a variety of educational settings in the US and abroad, such as:

  • Intensive English programs
  • Private language schools
  • Adult education programs
  • English as a foreign language programs in non-English speaking countries

NOTE: Please note that this program does not provide the licensure required to teach grades K-12 in American public schools. In order to obtain teacher licensure, please contact the respective state Department of Education to determine eligibility and requirements.

By completing our Graduate Certificate in TESOL program, students will be comprehensively prepared to:

  • Apply a solid linguistic and pedagogical base to their classroom teaching
  • Manage a variety of classroom scenarios effectively
  • Develop and create interesting and meaningful teaching materials
  • Evaluate and assess student performance
  • Use innovative technology in the classroom
  • Communicate effectively with students from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds

Top 5 Reasons to Choose the SED

  1. Programs designed around the skills and abilities employers are looking for. Additionally, each year we meet with and discuss trends in the field with our program advisor boards who provide input that we use to ensure that our curriculum adjusts to the needs of the field.
  2. Ongoing professional development opportunities outside of the classroom. In our innovative speaker series, Voices from the Field, we invite local community leaders, teachers, administrators, researchers, and other visionaries in the field of education to share their experiences, serve as relatable role models, give practical advice, raise our students’ awareness of new trends in the field, and expose students to opportunities for hands-on experience, professional development, volunteering, and more.
  3. Learner-centered classrooms. Our learning experience provides a dynamic and interactive experience in which students serve as both a knowledge-base and learner.
  4. Internationally minded student body and programs. VIU is a unique institution in which you can interact with students from all over the world. This setting offers students the ability to learn and grow from and with peers from differing backgrounds and experiences.
  5. Study On-campus or Online! We offer flexible schedules for busy working professionals with both on-campus and online offerings.

World Class Faculty and Staff

The TESOL program boasts a history of highly skilled and dedicated faculty and staff who are ready to assist students along their journey through the program. The program’s faculty bring experience in various areas including curriculum development and design, technology in the language classroom/program, language acquisition and student engagement.

In addition to providing top notch classroom experiences, the faculty at VIU are engaged in all aspects of the program including curriculum development, student advisement and development of programmatic resources among others.

Delivery of the curriculum is only one aspect of programs at VIU, come experience the personalized, accessible, engaging and fun experience!

Mode of Delivery

VIU’s School of Education embraces a learning model that allows for a hybrid learning environment in which students can benefit from a combination of online coursework and in-class meetings. The purpose of a hybrid format is to allow for flexibility in ways that enable students to learn and grow outside of the walls of the classroom.

Program-Specific Admission Requirements

Admission to the program does not require any previous coursework in pedagogy or language studies. A bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in any field is required for admission.

Each candidate is also required to submit a resume or curriculum vitae detailing his/her work history and education, along with a 500-word statement of purpose describing his/her academic interests, professional objectives, reasons for applying to the program, and areas of interest to be explored in the program. In addition, the candidate is required to submit a minimum of two (2) official recommendation letters, at least one of which must be dated within the past three years. These recommendations must be from professionals (preferably current or former instructors or employers) who can speak to the candidate’s academic abilities, and must be written in English or accompanied by official translations. Recommendations must include contact information with a minimum of an email address (preferably an institutional email address) and physical mailing address. By submitting recommendations, applicants are permitting VIU to contact recommenders on their behalf regarding their application.

Additionally, since the language of instruction at VIU is English, candidates will need to provide evidence of sufficient English language proficiency by obtaining academic-level scores on all components of the placement and exit test or by submitting examination information from an approved standardized examination (examples: TOEFL, IELTS, etc.).

Admission Requirements

Admission to the program does not require any previous course work in education. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent in any field is required for admission.

Candidates are required to submit a resume or curriculum vitae detailing current and previous work history and education, along with a minimum of 2 official letters of recommendation, written in English (or official translation), preferably from a current/former employer or instructor who can speak to the candidate’s academic abilities. Candidates are also required to submit a 500-word statement of purpose demonstrating an understanding of the program and VIU’s mission, and defining the applicant’s professional objectives, reasons for applying to the program, and areas of interest to be explored in the program.

Since the language of instruction at VIU is English, candidates will need to provide evidence of sufficient English language proficiency by obtaining academic-level scores on all components of the placement and exit test or submitting examination information from an approved standardized examination (examples: TOEFL, IELTS, etc.).

Career Paths for Graduate Certificate in TESOL Graduates

Graduates will be qualified to teach English in a variety of educational settings in the US and abroad, such as intensive language programs, private language schools, adult education programs, and English as a foreign language programs in non-English speaking countries. Employment opportunities are available at the experienced professional and management level for graduates of this program.

Accreditation

Virginia International University is an accredited institution of higher learning holding accreditation through the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) that is certified to operate by the Virginia State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).  Additionally, information on accreditation can be found in the Accreditation and Certifications section of this catalog.

Tuition and Fees
The current tuition and fees for this program can be found on VIU’s tuition and fees page.

NOTE: Please note that this program does not provide the licensure required to teach grades K-12 in American public schools. In order to obtain teacher licensure, please contact the respective state Department of Education to determine eligibility and requirements.

In working to achieve the mission of the program and those of the School of Education, the following outcomes will be achieved:

Program Outcomes
PO-1: Understand the nature, structure, and uses of human language and theoretical models of language acquisition.
PO-2: Critically analyze current research regarding language learning and teaching, and demonstrate knowledge of research findings and how to apply them.
PO-3: Demonstrate the ability to design English language courses and curricula that enhance learning and reflect the needs, goals, and values of students and other stakeholders.
PO-4: Demonstrate the ability to use established, new, and emerging technologies to promote access, engagement, and success in the classroom.
PO-5: Utilize critical-thinking skills to problem-solve issues faced by language learners and educators.
PO-6: Use community, institutional, and technological resources to demonstrate use of proper academic communication, ethics, and professionalism.

This program requires completion of a portfolio. You can find information here.

Students in this program will take part in a practicum experience. Information about the practicum experience can be found here.

VIU’s TESOL program offers you high quality instruction from skilled and experienced professionals in the field of TESOL, Linguistics, and Second Language Acquisition to equip you for a successful career in the growing field of English instruction. Our Graduate Certificate in TESOL program places strong emphasis on practical experiences as our TESOL students can observe our ESL teachers in VIU’s ESL program. Our TESOL students also have the ability to interact with our ESL students and teachers as well as the possibility to teach in our ESL program to gain practical experience.

Upon completion of our program, students will be comprehensively prepared to be English language teachers in a wide variety of settings and educational levels in the US as well as abroad.

Please note that our TESOL programs do not provide the licensure required to teach grades K-12 in American public schools.

Program-Specific Graduation Requirements

All candidates for graduation are required to submit a formal Summative Teaching Portfolio, the details of which include: Part A-Career Preparation; Part B-Two Writing Samples; Part C-Concentration Application; and Part D-The Practicum Experience. The required minimum cumulative GPA for graduation from this program is 3.0.

Program Details

  • Students will take 6 courses (18 graduate credits)
  • Program can be completed in two semesters of full time study
  • Can be completed part-time or full-time
  • Can be completed online or on-ground
  • Very affordable tuition
  • Convenient location and schedule

Program Structure

This program can be completed within two (2) semesters of full-time study and is offered in both the online and residential formats. A total of 18 credit hours (6 courses) are required for graduation. The program consists of four (4) core courses (12 credit hours) and two (2) elective courses (6 credit hours).

Area # of Courses Credit Hours
Core Courses 4 12
Elective Courses 2 6
Total 6 18

NOTE: Please note that this program does not provide the licensure required to teach grades K-12 in American public schools. In order to obtain teacher licensure, please contact the respective state Department of Education to determine eligibility and requirements.

Foundations in Applied Linguistics and Principles of Language Teaching Courses (will take all of the following):

Course Code Course Name Course Prerequisites Credit
APLX 500 Introduction to Language and Applied Linguistics None 3
or
APLX 615 Pedagogical Grammar for Communicative Classrooms None 3
AND ALL OF THE FOLLOWING
APLX 510 Introduction to Language Acquisition None 3
APLX 530 Language Teaching Methods None 3
APLX 665 TESOL Practicum APLX 530 or APLX 540* 3

*Can be a co-prerequisite and be concurrently enrolled.

In addition, students must take two elective courses in the areas of particular interest to them, for a total of 6 credits. Any of the MA in TESOL courses can be taken to satisfy this requirement except for the courses listed with the course code corresponding to the shared business courses (codes including BUSS).

Elective Courses (will take two of the following):

Course Code Course Name Course Prerequisite Credit
APLX 540 Language Curriculum and Materials Design None 3
APLX 550 Language Assessment None 3
APLX 572 Technologies for Language Learning None 3
APLX 620 Teaching Pronunciation None 3
APLX 623 Teaching Multiliteracy None 3
APLX 630 Sociolinguistics in the Classroom None 3
APLX 635 Intercultural Communication None 3
APLX 655 Special Topics in Applied Linguistics Advisor’s approval 3
EDUC 590 Program Administration Completion of teaching methods and successful completion of or concurrent enrollment in a curriculum course 3
EDUC 595 Program Development and Evaluation Completion of an assessment course 3
EDUC 574 Materials Development for Online Learning Completion of an introductory technologies for teaching course 3
EDUC 575 Online Teaching Principles and Practices Completion of an introductory technologies for teaching course 3
EDUC 576 Course Design for the Virtual Classroom Completion of an introductory technologies for teaching course 3
EDUC 640 Introduction to Research Methods Completion of 9 credits or permission of the instructor 3
NOTE: Students who wish to take a course outside of their major, but still offered by at least one program within the School of Education can petition to do so with permission from the instructor of the course and the Dean.  Requests are considered based upon a student’s previous academic performance including meeting the minimum attendance requirements for previous courses and maintaining satisfactory progress.
Information for Students on an F-1 Visa
Please note that students on an F-1 Visa are responsible for maintaining their own visa status. Students with an F-1 Visa are required to take the practicum course (APLX 665) with at least one other on-ground course in order to remain in-status. Further information on requirements for students holding an F-1 student visa can be found through the International Student Services Office.

The following is a sample schedule of a likely sequencing of courses in the Graduate Certificate in TESOL program. A listing of actual courses being offered each semester is available through the Registrar’s Office.

Code Course Name Credits
First Semester
APLX 500 or APLX 615 Introduction to Language and Applied Linguistics or Pedagogical Grammar for Communicative Classrooms 3.0
APLX 510 Introduction to Language Acquisition 3.0
APLX 530 Language Teaching Methods 3.0
Second Semester
APLX XXX TESOL Practicum 3.0
APLX XXX Elective Course 1 3.0
APLX XXX Elective Course 2 3.0

Read our Academic Catalog to learn more about degree programs, course offerings and descriptions, policies, procedures, and available student services at Virginia International University.