UC San Diego Extension Certificate Programs
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Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Certificate

UCSD Extension's Professional Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) offers coursework online. This program allows participants to acquire the specialized training and skills needed for a successful career teaching English as a second language, either in the U.S. or in another country.

The program provides the major competencies and knowledge necessary to be a specialist in the TESOL field, with a focus on the development of practical classroom skills and effective teaching techniques, plus a foundation in second-language acquisition theory. Each class covers concepts, methods, techniques, materials, and resources directly applicable to the classroom. The courses will be as useful to the experienced second language teacher as well as the novice.

The Program is geared to meet the needs of teachers or potential teachers at all levels-elementary, secondary, college, or adult. It will also greatly benefit foreign language teachers seeking professional development, including TESOL teachers who would like to know more about second-language acquisition, program administrators or coordinators responsible for the development of TESOL curriculum. In addition, the material covered will help teachers currently teaching or training in school English immersion programs.

UC San Diego Extension Certificate Programs

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Certificate Course Matrix
Course Title Course Number Units FA WI SP SU
Required Courses (All eight are required)
Fundamentals of Teaching English as a Second Language
Teaching and Testing ESL Reading and Writing Skills
  O   O
Teaching and Testing ESL Listening and Speaking Skills
Schedule Varies
Linguistics for Language Teachers
O   O  
The Role of Grammar in Teaching a Second Language
O   O  
Culture in the Language Classroom
  O   O
Theories of Second-Language Acquisition and Application to Teaching
TESOL Practicum (Required or documentation of one full year of ESL teaching experience)
TESOL Practicum
O   O  
Elective Courses (0 units required, professional development only)
Culture and Inclusion
L=La Jolla M=Mission Valley O=Online U=University City X=Location TBA
Certificate Programs

To Apply for the Certificate Program

From the 'Apply Now' button, login to your student account, complete the online application, and pay the application fee if applicable. It is preferable that you create an account before proceeding if you have not already done so.

Candidates are encouraged to apply in the certificate program as early as possible to take advantage of program benefits. See Certificate FAQs for more information.

Application Fee: $0 Apply Now!
Contact: Education, 858-534-9286
Email: unexeduc@ucsd.edu
Please note: Upon acceptance into the program, there will be a $60 certificate fee.

Conditions for Admission

Native speaker of English or one of the following language proficiency scores: 79 Internet-based (iBT) TOEFL; 760 TOEIC; 6.0 IELTS; or “pass” on the FCE or Advanced Cambridge exams.

Certificate Guidelines

All candidates who wish to receive the Professional Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)are required to:

  • (1)Enroll in the TESOL certificate program.
  • (2)Pay the certificate fee.
  • (3)Complete all required online courses with a grade of “C” or better.
  • (4)Coursework must be completed within 5 years of beginning the program.

Next Steps Experience

Connect your classroom education with real-world experiences through a Next Steps Experience course. These courses allow students to gain hands-on experience by working closely with instructors and/or peers on real-world projects.

Develop your understanding of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and explore topics such as fundamentals of teaching English as a second language; culture in the language classroom; linguistics for language teachers; role of grammar in teaching a second language; and theories of second-language acquisition.

Candidates are also encouraged to take the Next Step by enrolling in the TESOL Practicum where they can apply the skills and newly developed talents learned throughout the program by working with an experienced ESL professional in a classroom setting; this can be a volunteer position. Candidates will work closely with the instructor throughout the practicum course in this real-world experience.

Industry Requirements

If you wish to take one of the TESOL online courses for professional development without registering for the program, you may do so. Simply register for an available section.

Please Note

Although most students finish this certificate program within one to two years, in order to be eligible for a certificate from UC San Diego Extension, all required and elective coursework must be completed within five years of beginning a certificate program.


Gretchen Bitterlin
Professor, ABE/ESL Program
San Diego Community College District

Mary Ellen Butler-Pascoe
Director of TESOL
Alliant International University

Patricia Fernández
Resource Teacher, Sunnyslope School
South Bay Union School District

Cheryl Forbes
Regional Director
California Reading & Literature Project

Grant Goodall
Director, Linguistics Language Program
Linguistics Department, UCSD

Donna Heath
Senior Director, English Learner Services
San Diego County Office of Education

Claire Ramsey
Associate Professor, Education Studies Department

David Toledo Sarracino
Subdirector (Assc. Dean), Facultad de Idiomas (Lang. Dept.)
Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Tijuana