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College of Arts and Sciences


Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

TESOL Certificate Program

Providing a firm grounding in both linguistics and educational theory paired with practical teaching experience, the TESOL Certificate Program prepares future teachers of English as a second or foreign language to apply their skills in settings around the world.

The TESOL Certificate Program is a one-year course of study, primarily designed to supplement other degree programs in Linguistics, Foreign Language and Literature, English, or Education. The TESOL certificate by itself can sometimes lead to employment as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher but is more often combined with another degree. Because the TESOL Certificate is a six-course program and because up to three graduate courses from this certificate may apply towards an M.A., a student can usually earn a TESOL Certificate in conjunction with an M.A. in Linguistics with just one additional semester's coursework. The Program offers two tracks: EFL (English as a Foreign Language), primarily for post-secondary and/or overseas settings, and K-12 ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Alumni of the Linguistics Program who obtained the TESOL Certificate have stepped up to careers in teaching English as a second/foreign language both at home, in the K-12 system of South Carolina, and overseas, in Korea, China, and Saudi Arabia. The Certificate Program has close relationships with the English Programs for Internationals (EPI) at the University of South Carolina, which is among the top-ranked adult ESL programs in the nation. EPI faculty members typically are responsible for the instruction in pedagogically-oriented ESL theory courses, as well as for the practical training component of the Certificate Program.

Click here for certificate requirements.