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

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

Classroom Program


3 months minimum


15 Units

UCR Extension

Gain the training and knowledge to teach English anywhere in the world. Learn theories and techniques for teaching skills like reading and grammar, and get experience as an ESL tutor. Take your certificate abroad and pursue teaching opportunities, and later, transition into our advanced certificate or a Master's program at one of our three partner universities.

Whether you are a new or experienced teacher, this program can help you develop and refine your skills for teaching English-language learners. First, you'll learn about the fundamentals of teaching an ESL/EFL class. You'll build your personal teaching portfolio, observe and analyze actual classroom lessons, and become skilled in pacing, classroom management and other core concepts of teaching. Through constructive feedback from both peers and instructors throughout the program, you will gain an abundance of support and useful tips to help you blossom into a successful teacher. By the end of the program, you'll be ready to teach and inspire English-language learners all over the world. Classes in this program offer enrollment discounts of $50, if you enroll one at least one week in advance. Enroll early and save up to $250 on the price of the program.

Designed For

Individuals looking to teach English as a second language.

New teachers interested in teaching English abroad.

Experienced teachers interested in adding a certificate to their resumes.

Students applying to the UCR Master's in Education (emphasis in TESOL), or interested in getting transferrable units to a Master's in TESOL or Education.

What You'll Learn

  • How to evaluate students, materials, and teaching contexts to determine the best approaches for teaching.
  • Ways to apply knowledge of linguistics, language acquisition, English grammar, and teaching methods to real teaching scenarios.
  • Methods for creating activities and lesson plans that reflect current and effective approaches to teaching ESL/EFL.
  • How to deliver effective lesson plans through practice teaching events with peers and tutees.
  • How to critically reflect on teaching events and complete a professional teaching portfolio.

What You Can Do With This Certificate

Find positions teaching English as a second language are available in a variety of classrooms all over the world, or online.

Transfer units to the Advanced Professional Certificate in TESOL, and gain student teaching experience.

Transfer graduate-level units to a Master's degree program in Education or TESOL, and get an advanced degree.

“The experience I gained from the TESOL Professional Certificate Program turned out to be a significant life event. The program instructors were A+. They transferred their enthusiasm for teaching to me, and I still carry that enthusiasm each day. I am very grateful to the program for expanding my opportunities to help others.”

Dwight E. Russell

Upland, CA

Earning the Certificate

Prior to enrolling, please ensure that you meet the following minimum requirements:

  • High school diploma
  • 18 years of age or older
  • International students and/or non-native English speakers:
    • Total score of 80 TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with a 23 on Speaking
      • OR 550 PBT with 45 TSE
      • OR 6.5 IELTS with 6.0 on Speaking
      • OR equivalent.
  • Recommended:
    • Advanced academic writing skills or successful completion of Fundamentals of Academic Writing.
    • Advanced knowledge of English grammar or successful completion of Standard English Usage.
    • Undergraduate degree or college experience.
  • Completion Requirements: Achieve a grade of C or better in order to pass a class. For graduate-level courses, participants must achieve a grade of B or better in order to transfer the credit to a Master's degree program.
  • Graduation Requirements:
    • Successful completion of all TESOL coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
    • Passing grade on the TESOL Portfolio.
    • Passing grade in the ESL Student Teaching course.
    • International/non-native English speaking students who entered the program with an equivalent to an official language score must submit one of the following official scores: 550 PBT with 45 SPEAK, or 80 iBT with 23 on Speaking, or 6.5 IELTS with 6.0 on Speaking.

For more information see How to Earn a Certificate

Certificate Courses

Our certificate programs are designed to be flexible, allowing you the option to take just a few courses or to earn the complete certificate. If choosing to complete the certificate, we recommend you get the most out of your experience by following the suggested completion path below.


TESOL Orientation

EDUC 804.O

This orientation presents an overview of the program requirements, and covers many important facets of UCR Extension's Professional Certificates in TESOL, including:

  •     an introduction to UCR Extension
  •     an introduction to the field of teaching English
  •     an overview of the programs and courses
  •     a preview of capstone projects
  •     the expectations for academic writing in TESOL
  •     the volunteer tutoring program
  •     the Master's Pathway programs, including the UCR Graduate School of Education's M.Ed. in TESOL
  •     future opportunities in TESOL

All new students are required to complete the TESOL Orientation.  It is a prerequisite for the Frameworks and Methods for TESOL class.

Quarter 1

Foundations of TESOL

EDUC X331.01

3 units

Provides you with the fundamental pedagogical concepts necessary for teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language.  First, you analyze the levels and needs of language learners, the roles and responsibilities of teachers, and the effects of the learning context.  Then, you learn how to create performance objectives and write lesson plans based on communicative, student-centered teaching methodology.  Next, you learn skills to deliver effective EFL lessons, including techniques for giving directions, comprehension checking, monitoring, and error correction.  Finally, you learn how to reflect on the effectiveness of lesson planning and delivery.  Also discussed:

  • classroom management
  • teacher presence
  • professional development in the field of TESOL
  • teaching observations
  • requirements for observation reports, and for the final TESOL portfolio

You also design and deliver one mini-lesson to the instructor and your peers, and reflect on your development.


Frameworks and Methods for TESOL

EDUC X425.01

2 units

Frameworks and Methods for TESOL presents learning theories relevant to teaching ESL/EFL in all age groups, including Multiple Intelligence Theory, Zone of Proximal Development and scaffolding, Bloom's Taxonomy, and Experiential Learning Cycle. It also provides an overview and application of instructional methods for ESL/EFL that have been developed and used over the last 75 years, including:

  • Grammar Translation
  • ALM
  • Silent Way
  • Communicative Language Teaching

This is a graduate-level class. 

Quarter 2

English Grammar Structure & Methods


3 units

Prepares you to deliver grammar lessons in ESL/EFL classrooms by providing instruction on the English grammar structures, as well as effective principles, methods, and techniques for teaching.  You examine grammatical terminology and analyze grammatical structures for the purposes of instruction.  Also discussed:

  • current approaches to teaching grammar
  • activity types
  • materials and resources
  • assessment and error correction techniques           

After observing a grammar class and developing an original lesson plan, you deliver a grammar lesson, following a prescribed format, and complete a written analysis of grammar teaching. This is a graduate level class. 

Language and Linguistics


3 units

Provides an introduction to the theories of the nature of language, and the process of language learning, with an emphasis on the developmental processes of non-native speakers of English.  Emphasis is on key concepts of:

  • phonetics
  • phonology
  • syntax
  • semantics
  • the psychological, sociocultural and educational factors affecting language acquisition and teaching

Additional topics may include language varieties, language change, and L1 V. L2 acquisition processes. Students will analyze course topics through collaborative discussion and in writing, culminating with a final project. This is a graduate-level class.

Quarter 3

TESOL Portfolio

EDUC X331.2

1 units

TESOL candidates complete their portfolios with help of peer and teacher feedback. You will compile a professional, digital portfolio that reflects the theoretical knowledge and practical teaching skills you have developed during the TESOL Professional Certificate Program.  You also develop a capstone paper that explains your theoretical and practical approach to teaching English, based on knowledge and skills gained in the program.  Upon completion of TESOL Portfolio, you will have a record of your professional development and a tool for job-seeking in the field of TESOL.  This is a capstone project for the 15-unit Professional TESOL Certificate and the 28-unit  Advanced Professional Certificate in TESOL Programs.

“One of the best aspects of our TESOL program is the practical knowledge that students learn. I am confident my students are learning valuable skills and methods they can use in any classroom in any country all over the world.”

Christine Tsai-Taing

ESL and TESOL Instructor
International Education Programs
Riverside, CA

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