man writing on white board, words in American English and British English

Advanced TESL/TEFL Certificate

The Advanced Certificate in Teaching English as a Second and Foreign Language is directed at individuals in the following groups with an interest in ESL/EFL teaching, provided they have the required background:

  • Graduate students from any major
  • Community members with an interest in advanced study of applied linguistics
  • In-service ESL/EFL teachers interested in advancing their understanding of teaching methodologies, language acquisition, and curriculum design
  • Subject-matter teachers of students who speak languages other than English interested in advanced study of applied linguistics
  • ESL/EFL program administrators interested in advanced study of curriculum design and teaching methodology

Individuals who hold the Advanced Certificate are qualified to teach ESL/EFL in a variety of situations:

  • in community college ESL/EFL programs
  • in adult schools
  • in private ESL/EFL schools
  • in university ESL/EFL institutes
  • in business
  • in a wide range of overseas locations

Advanced Certificate holders may also be qualified to administer ESL/EFL programs. The Advanced Certificate is not a master's degree. However, the required coursework can be part of a master's program in linguistics. You must already have completed the Basic Certificate (or equivalent) before you will be admitted into the Advanced Certificate program.

The following are learning outcomes for the Advanced Certificate:

  • Analyze patterns of language on multiple linguistic levels, from the sound to discourse structures. 
  • Explain how language is represented and processed in the mind/brain and/or how it is used in society.
  • Design language teaching materials appropriate for a specific population of language learners. 
  • Discuss and contextualize language teaching materials (including those in textbooks) in light of theory and research on language pedagogy. 
  • Teach and/or assume administrative positions in TESOL programs in any setting including K-12, adult education, community colleges, intensive English programs, and international programs such as the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program and the English Language Fellow Program.

The Advanced Certificate requires 12 units--four 3-unit courses.

  • Second language acquisition: Ling 652 
  • Applied linguistics: Two courses chosen from Ling 650, Ling 653, Ling 655, Ling 657
  • Elective: One chosen from
    • Ling 530 (English Grammar) (if not used for Basic Certificate)
    • Ling 622 (Advanced Syntax)
    • Ling 651 (Sociology of Language)
    • Ling 654 (Language and Cognition)
    • Ling 795 (Seminar in Linguistics) (when offered with applied linguistics content)

The prerequisite for the Advanced Certificate is the Basic Certificate or its equivalent. A student’s entire program comprising Basic and Advanced Certificates must include at least one course from Linguistics 430, 530, and 622. Under certain circum­stances, comparable courses taken at other institutions may count toward the certificate. Such courses must be evaluated and approved by the certificate advisor.

(1) Fill out the Certificate Enrollment Form and and send to [email protected]

(2) You must also be admitted to San Diego State University through the regular application process. You can register, and pay for, courses for the Advanced Certificate in two ways:

  1. as a graduate candidate for a master's degree, taking the courses as electives,or

  2. as an unclassified graduate student that is not pursuing a degree, but seeking the Certificate only. 
After completion of the coursework for the certificate, students should contact Darlene Bych ([email protected])  and provide an unofficial transcript showing that relevant coursework has been completed. 

Does the program accept transfer students?
Transfer credit may, in special cases, be possible for an equivalent course taken elsewhere. All applications for transfer credit are evaluated individually by the Certificate Program. No academic credit for coursework is granted for work experience.

Does it matter in what order I take the Certificate courses?
No. However, normally Ling 795 (Seminar in Linguistics) is taken after several courses in linguistics have been completed.

Is there a time limit for completion of Certificate course work?

How long does the Advanced Certificate program take?
Normally it will be possible to complete the Advanced Certificate program within two semesters. However, more time may be needed if you lack a necessary prerequisite for one or more Certificate courses.

Contact Us

Eniko Csomay, Graduate Advisor
Email: [email protected] | Phone: (619) 594-3377 | Office: SHW 246

Darlene Bych, Certificate Program Coordinator
Email: [email protected] | Phone: (619) 594-1915 | Office: SHW 215


Important Links

SDSU Catalog | Class Schedule