How to get teaching certificate

how to get teaching certificate

Program Summary

TESOL — Teach English at Home or Abroad

Nations and economies are becoming more interdependent, fueling a growing need for qualified individuals to teach English in the United States and abroad. Private English language schools, adult English language programs, and worldwide exchange programs (such as the Peace Corps and Fulbright's English Teaching Assistant program) typically seek individuals with entry-level English language teaching credentials.

The Graduate Certificate in TESOL offered by Penn State features classes written and taught by world-class faculty who are specialists in language methodology, applied linguistics, and English language education. As a student, you can learn about the rich connection between principle and practice through readings, discussions, project work, and extensive reflection. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to identify and work closely with a community of learners in your local context, enabling you to learn both from theory and practice to reach your personal career goals.

Advantages of Penn State's Online TESOL Certificate Program

  • Flexible 12-credit course schedule
  • Interactive online setting
  • Access to Penn State's vast academic resources
  • Completion of TESOL e-portfolio as support documentation of your skills

Step-up into the Master of Arts in TESOL

The online graduate certificate in TESOL is designed so that all 12 graduate credits will also apply to the Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language  (MA TESL) at Penn State. This way, if you choose to enter the master's degree program, you will only have to complete two to three semesters of on-campus learning at our University Park campus after earning the graduate certificate online.

Who Should Apply?

The Graduate

Certificate in TESOL is best suited for you if you are interested in a career in teaching English in the United States or abroad; are currently a teacher in another field; supervise teachers or service workers who are not native speakers of English; or if are a trainer or educator looking to work in our globalized society.

Typical students of this program are professionals who are exploring a career change; retired persons who are considering going overseas; experienced teachers who want to learn more about teaching ESL/EFL; and college graduates who are exploring a commitment to a career in international education.

Career Opportunities for Graduates

With a certificate in TESOL, you have a number of opportunities you can explore nationally and internationally, including teaching in:

  • private language schools
  • primary school and high school language programs
  • college and university language programs
  • corporate and service industry language-training programs
  • community volunteer language and literacy programs
  • worldwide nonprofit organizations and NGOs (Fulbright ETA program, Peace Corps)

Many of these competitive job positions require candidates to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in teaching English. The e-portfolio that you compile as your capstone project in our Graduate Certificate in TESOL will help you showcase your teaching skills to potential employers.

The graduate certificate in TESOL is not a certification to teach in public schools in the United States. Each state has its own requirements for the certification of ESL instructors. If you already have primary state certification in a specific content area, the TESOL certificate can serve as an additional specialization to give you an edge in a competitive job market.


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