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Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)


English is the predominant language through which people communicate, connect and transact business in the emerging global community of the 21st century. The increased fluidity of international borders, the relative ease of travel and the growing global market presence have made the demand for quality English language programs and TESOL instructors higher than ever – both abroad and in the United States.

Designed to offer a balance of current theory and practical experience in second language acquisition instructional methods, the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages certificate will prepare you with foundational knowledge and real-world skills to effectively step into a career in TESOL. Courses provide a comprehensive study of core knowledge in the field, including aspects of linguistics and sociolinguistics, the structure of English, methodology of teaching and assessing English, literacy development, curriculum development and language assessment.

Who Should Enroll

Individuals who wish to teach English in a variety of ESL settings in the United States and overseas, recent graduates, international students, aspiring educators, career changers, and current teachers who wish to enhance their competencies in the field of TESOL.

“Once you complete the TESOL certificate program, you’ll have all the background you need to launch an exciting and gratifying new career abroad. There are so many rewarding opportunities in so many countries, in state-run language schools, private schools and private tutoring. New TESOL teachers are most often recruited through recruitment firms and agencies that handle most of the details, including housing and health insurance, so everything is taken care of.” Lesley Clear
TESOL course instructor and program advisor

Program Benefits

  • Identify key foundational linguistic theories and the connection between those theories and effective teaching practices
  • Plan and implement dynamic language lessons designed to meet the needs and interests of their learners
  • Explain what it means to teach most effectively with variety in learning modalities, learning tasks, material resources and learning contexts
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the structure of English and the ability to teach English grammar
  • Define the aural and oral skill sets necessary to master speaking and listening in English and the best means to develop those skills
  • Define the skills associated with reading comprehension and fluency and the best means to develop those skills
  • Identify key strategies to build their learners’ vocabulary skills
  • Equip their learners with the requisite skills to write for academic, professional and social purposes
  • Construct effective assessments to evaluate their learners’ competencies in all skill areas
  • List the most important considerations for teaching in their chosen learning context with adult learners in the U.S., or with varied age groups internationally
On-Demand Webinar Event: Pursuing a Career in TESOL
Considering a career path in the exciting and growing field of TESOL? You're invited to watch facilitator Lesley Clear, Ph.D., ESL/EFL teacher and a UCI Continuing Education distinguished instructor, as she and a panel of experts explore a number of topics including opportunities in the field, the benefits and challenges of this career, advancing your professional and personal goals with a TESOL certificate from UCI Continuing Education, and more.

Course Schedule

EDUC X485.7 TESOL Observation and Practice should be taken after a minimum of five required TESOL courses have been successfully completed.

Required Courses

EDUC X485.1
Theories of TESOL (2.00 Units)
EDUC X485.1
  to be scheduled   Online
EDUC X485.2
Methods of TESOL (2.00 Units)
EDUC X485.2
Online   to be scheduled  
EDUC X485.3
Teaching Listening & Speaking Skills (1.50 Units)
EDUC X485.3
  to be scheduled   Online
EDUC X485.4
Teaching Reading & Vocabulary Skills (1.50 Units)
EDUC X485.4
Online   to be scheduled  
EDUC X485.5
Teaching English Grammar (1.50 Units)
EDUC X485.5
  to be scheduled   Online
EDUC X485.6
Teaching Writing & Vocabulary Skills (1.50 Units)
EDUC X485.6
Online   to be scheduled  
EDUC X485.7
TESOL Observation & Practice (1.00 Unit)
EDUC X485.7
  to be scheduled   Online
EDUC X485.8
Teaching in Adult Education Programs (1.00 Unit)
EDUC X485.8
  to be scheduled    
EDUC X485.8 OR EDUC X485.9

EDUC X485.8 OR EDUC X485.9
EDUC X485.9
Teaching English Internationally (1.00 Unit)
EDUC X485.9
    to be scheduled  

Course schedules are subject to change. Individual courses may be taken without enrolling in the full program.

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Academic Calendar

Event Fall 2023 Winter 2024 Spring 2024 Summer 2024
Registration Begins (after 2pm PT) Jul 13 Oct 19 Jan 18 Apr 18
Courses Begin* (week of) Sep 25 Jan 8 Apr 1 Jun 24
Courses End* (week of) Dec 11 Mar 18 Jun 10 Sep 9
Administrative Holidays Nov 10, Nov 23-24, Dec 25-26, Jan 1-2 Jan 15, Feb 19 Mar 29, May 27 Jun 19, Jul 4, Sep 2

*Actual dates may vary by program.

Learn How To Earn Your Certificate

Earn a Certificate

Apply to become a candidate for the program: A Declaration of Candidacy is required to establish candidacy in this program. Complete the application and pay the application and candidacy fee of $125 (non-refundable). Learn more about the benefits of becoming a candidate. Candidacy is not required to enroll into individual course in a program.

A candidate in the program is awarded a certificate upon the successful completion of eight (8) required courses totaling 12 units, each with a letter grade of “C” or better. All requirements must be completed within five (5) years after the student enrolls in their first course. To receive the Certified Digital Certificate after the completing all the program requirements, students must submit the Request for Certificate to initiate the certificate audit process. Students not pursuing the certificate are welcome to take as many individual courses as they wish.

Advisory Committee

  • Lesley Clear, Ph.D., Lecturer, UCI School of Education
  • Rob Jenkins, Professor ESL / Professional Development Coordinator, Santa Ana College School of Continuing Education
  • Miralynn Malupa, Ed.D., Instructor, TESOL International Organization/Assistant Professor, Westcliff University
  • Neda Sahranavard, Ph.D., Lecturer and Academic Coordinator, UCI School of Humanities, Academic English Program and Associate ESL Faculty, Saddleback College
  • Christopher Stillwell, Ph.D., Professor of ESL, College of the Sequoias
  • Yilin Sun, Ph.D., Director, English Language Centre at University of Macau, Professor of TESOL/Basic and Transitional Studies, Seattle Colleges-South Seattle College, Past (2014-2015) President of TESOL International Association

Career Advancement Network (CAN)

We are proud to provide our certificate students and alumni with newly enhanced career services that include one-on-one coaching, technology tools, webinars and workshops, networking events, mentorship/internship opportunities, and a rich collection of free online career resources. Learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does the program cost?
  • Fees for each course varies from $350 - $450 based on unit value. There is also a one-time candidacy declaration fee of $125, to be paid after your second class. Therefore, the entire program costs $3,325. Note that you pay for each class as you enroll, as opposed to the entire tuition sum at once. Please keep in mind that this cost does not include textbooks, which some of our instructors do require. Textbook information for specific courses can be found on our website on the enrollment page. Students may purchase textbooks from the vendor of their choice. Prices are subject to change without notice.
  • How long will it take me to complete the entire program?
  • That depends on how many classes you can take at once. Given that the program consists of 8 classes, if you take 1 class per quarter you would be done in 2 years. By taking 2-3 classes a quarter, you would complete the program in 9 months to 1 year. Please note since some courses are shorter in length, you can take multiple classes a quarter with little to no overlap. You can take as many simultaneous courses as you wish, but we strongly recommend starting with one or two to ensure you have the necessary time to devote to the course(s).
  • Do I have to apply and be accepted before I start?
  • No. This is an open-enrollment program, and you will not have to provide transcripts or prove prerequisites before you begin. Anyone interested in the program or interested in specific courses may enroll.
  • Where can I find the course schedule? Do I have to take the classes in order?
  • The course schedule can be found here. For students with no prior experience in the field, we recommend that individuals start with EDUC X485.1 – Theories of TESOL. The only course that follows a strict schedule is the TESOL Observation and Practice course. In order to be eligible for that course, students must have already completed the other six required courses (EDUC X485.1 – EDUC X485.6). Please click on the green “Online” buttons for course information and to enroll. The “to be scheduled” indicates when we plan to offer the course in future quarters.
  • Can I complete the entire program online?
  • Yes, this is a fully online program.
  • I’ve never taken an online class. How does it work? Is it self-paced?
  • No, the classes are not self-paced. Our online classes take place in an asynchronous online environment, meaning there will not be a day of the week or time of day that you will need to be online. You can log in when you have time to do so. However, the courses are structured week-to-week, from Monday to Sunday, and you are expected to log in multiple times during the week to keep up with class discussions and assignment deadlines.
  • I am an international student / I am located overseas – am I able to enroll?
  • Yes. As an open-enrollment program, international students are welcome in the program. Please note that if English is not your native language, enrollment in this program assumes that you have a working proficiency in English to allow you to engage in high-level academic discourse without any additional language coaching. Since this program is fully online, you may enroll in courses via the Continuing Education website at your convenience and on a quarter by quarter basis. You are not required to have a student visa while taking online courses from your home county.

    If you wish to apply for an F-1 student visa to study in person at UC Irvine Division of Continuing Education (DCE), you must formally apply to UC Irvine DCE’s International Programs and request an I-20. We cannot issue an I-20 for fully online programs. Please visit our international website for information regarding our Accelerated Certificate Program (ACP) in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). For more information regarding this program, please contact our International Programs at or by phone at (949) 824-5991.
  • Do you offer job placement at the end of the program?
  • No. While UCI DCE does not offer placement services, our certificate certainly puts you in a good position to find employment. Additionally, the networking to be done in the class can also be invaluable. Our advisors, instructors, and a good number of our students, are current professionals in the field, and are an excellent resource for hiring trends and opportunities. Please note most employment opportunities in this field may require a Bachelor's degree in addition to a certificate/certification.
  • Is UC Irvine Division of Continuing Education an accredited institution?
  • Yes. We are affiliated with the University of California system of schools, and are accredited through WASC. DCE programs are all approved by the respective school within UCI (ie – Business Administration classes are approved through UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business). For more information about UCI accreditation, please visit UCI Accreditation.
  • What is the “declaration of candidacy”? When do I have to complete it?
  • The declaration of candidacy can be thought of as declaring your major for the certificate program. This lets our student services know that you intend to complete the entire program, and puts you on track for the certificate when you have completed all requirements. We strongly recommend that you complete the declaration of candidacy and pay the applicable fee before enrolling into your third class.
  • I can’t find the answer to my question.
  • If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Education & Business Programs at

English Proficiency Requirement
All certificate programs at UCI Division of Continuing Education (classroom and online formats) require professional-level English language proficiency in listening and note-taking, reading comprehension and vocabulary, written expression, and oral presentation.

Pursuing a Career in ESL
Recorded 8/9/22
View Webinar

Building Community in the Language Classroom from Day One
Recorded 8/10/21
View Webinar

Integrating Technology into ESOL Classrooms
Recorded 4/23/20
View Webinar