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Course of Study

Course of Study

The online Graduate Certificate in TESOL comprises four introductory graduate-level classes, each worth 3 credits, for a total of 12 credits, plus a non-credit-bearing capstone project, the professional e-portfolio [link underlined text to Capstone Project].

The online TESOL courses contain integrated practical field experiences that will enable you to gain essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions for teaching adult English language-learners in diverse contexts throughout the world.

Specifically, you will:

  • analyze various domains of language (grammar, lexicon, phonetics, pragmatics) in relation to adult learner language development, and apply these understandings to adult English language teaching
  • design, adapt, and evaluate curricula, technology, media, and other resources that meet the specific instructional and language-related needs and abilities of adult English language learners
  • develop an understanding of the multilingual/multicultural contexts within which adult English language learners live and work, and the role of learning and using English on an increasingly global scale
  • demonstrate effective instructional strategies for one-on-one tutoring, classroom teaching, and learner assessment to create a professional TESOL e-portfolio

All four courses are offered in regular rotation throughout the year to provide maximum flexibility in an effort to meet your professional needs. The online graduate certificate can be completed in nine months if you take two courses per semester.

Off-line learning

A unique feature of our online Graduate Certificate courses is that all of them include a required “real world” component. This means that you will need to have access to a population of nonnative speakers of English in your local context. You may find yourself working with students in a formal learning context, such as an ESL class or a community literacy program, or you might seek out a neighbor or family member who is a nonnative speaker of English.

Off-line tasks required in the Certificate program include activities such as tutoring a nonnative English speaking student, observing and/or teaching a class for nonnative English speakers, and interviewing a group of nonnative English speakers.

Required Courses (12 credits)

Title

Abbreviation

Description

Credits

Focus on English: Teaching Form, Meaning, and Use

APLNG 802

Develops an understanding of the various domains of the English language as relevant for adult English language learning and teaching.

3 credits

Focus on Learners: Identity, Community and Language Learning

APLNG 804

Explores how individual identities shaped by cultural differences, social positioning, institutional roles and structures influence adult English language learning and teaching.

3 credits

Focus on Classrooms: Planning and Supporting Language Learning

APLNG 806

Develops a critical awareness of one's teaching practice and highlights instructional planning and classroom interactions with adult English language learners.

3 credits

Focus on Instruction: Teaching and Assessing Language Learning

APLNG 808

Develops an understanding of and ability to use effective teaching and assessment practices that support adult English language learning.

3 credits

(this table is copied from http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/teaching-english-to-speakers-of-other-languages-tesol-certificate/courses )


Rotation of course offerings

Classes in the online Graduate Certificate in TESOL are offered on a regular rotation through our three-semester academic calendar (Fall, Spring, Summer). Each semester-length class is about 15 weeks long (Summer classes last for 12 weeks).

This chart illustrates the rotation schedule, which is expected to remain constant:

SEMESTER

Classes offered

Fall 2014

APLNG802

APLNG808

Spring 2015

APLNG804

APLNG806

Summer 2015

APLNG802

APLNG808

Fall 2015

APLNG804

APLNG806

Spring 2016

APLNG802

APLNG808

Summer 2016

APLNG804

APLNG806

Step-up into an MA TESL

All 12 graduate credits in the online TESOL certificate can be transferred into the MA TESL program at Penn State. If you choose to enter the master's degree program after completing the online Graduate Certificate in TESOL, you will only have 2–3 semesters of on-campus learning.