Certification Requirements

The Department of Linguistics offers two certificates in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Click on the appropriate link below for the requirements for the certificate.

Higher Education Course Requirements

Any student who wishes to earn the certificate at the MA or PhD level must fulfill the following requirements: 

Prerequisite

LING 1000: Introduction to Linguistics - 3 credits
(or taken concurrently with the first certificate course)

Requirements

COURSES DESCRIPTIONS CREDITS
LING 2738 Linguistics Structure of English 3
LING 2142 Theories and Practices of Second Language Teaching   3
LING 2143 Materials Development for Second Language Teaching and Testing 3
LING 2146  Second Language Acquisition  3
I&L 2253  Testing and Assessment 3
LING 2195 Practicum in Second Language Teaching 1

PhD students must take an additional 3-credit course approved by the TESOL Certificate Advisor.

Please note: 
I. LING 2195 involves supervised language teaching concurrent with or following LING 2142. Teaching Assistants who are teaching in the English Language Institute automatically fulfill the practicum requirements, but they must sign up for LING 2195 once during their teaching terms. Other candidates fulfill the requirement by signing up for LING 2195 and teaching during that term in an informal ESL course run by the English Language Institute, OR, with permission of the TESOL Certificate advisor, another ESL teaching context. 

II. The certificate candidate must earn a grade of B or higher in each certificate course. 

III. Those applying for graduate degrees will completed the TESOL Certifcate program application process after gaining acceptance to the degree program.

Degree Prerequisite for Admission

Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree or its foreign equivalent with a minimum grade point average of B (3.0 on a 4-point scale). Preference is given to applicants who have studied abroad, worked with international students, and/or have any EFL/ESL teaching experience (including volunteer).

Foreign Language Learning Prerequisite for Admission

Native speakers of English must have classroom foreign language learning experience equivalent to at least one year of college level study of a language. 

Each applicant who is not a native speaker of English must: (1) achieve a score of 100 or higher on the iBT TOEFL (Skill Requirements: Reading and Listening – High; Speaking and Writing – one skill must be at the level of Good) or 7.5 or higher on the IELTS (Skill Requirements: Speaking and Writing – combined minimum of 13) or their equivalent and (2) have good spoken English skills (a score of at least 4 on the ITA interview test administered by the University of Pittsburgh).

Transcripts and CV

Undergraduate transcripts (and graduate if applicable) and a CV (including a list of references) must be submitted as part of the application. 

Plan of Study 

Students must complete a TESOL certificate plan of study form after consultation with the TESOL Certificate advisor during the first term of study. The student then will work with the academic advisor if earning a graduate degree, or the TESOL Certificate advisor if not in a degree program. 

Completion of Requirements

When nearing completion of all TESOL certificate requirements, students must apply for graduation from the TESOL Certificate program through the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office. This graduation application is separate from any other degree graduation applications.

ESL Program Specialist Course Requirements

Any student who wishes to earn the certificate must fulfill the following requirements:

Prerequisite

LING 1000: Introduction to Linguistics - 3 credits
(or taken concurrently with the first certificate course)

Requirements

COURSES DESCRIPTIONS CREDITS
LING 2738 Linguistics Structure of English 3
LING 2142 Theories and Practices of Second Language Teaching 3
LING 2143  Materials Development for Second Language Teaching and Testing  3
I&L 2257 Teaching English Language Learners 3
I&L 2253 Testing and Assessment 3
LING 2195 Practicum in Second Language Teaching  1

Please note:
I. LING 2195 involves supervised language teaching concurrent with or following LING 2142. Candidates fulfill the requirement by signing up for LING 2195 and teaching during that term in an informal ESL course run by the English Language Institute, OR, with permission of the TESOL Certificate advisor, another ESL teaching context. 

II. The certificate candidate must earn a grade of B or higher in each certificate course.

Degree Prerequisite for Admission

Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree or its foreign equivalent with a minimum grade point average of B (3.0 on a 4-point scale). Preference is given to applicants who have studied abroad, worked with international students, and/or have any EFL/ESL teaching experience (including volunteer).

Instructional I Prerequisite

Applicants must hold a Pennsylvania Instructional I certificate (or equivalent from another state) and be able to provide a copy as part of the application packet. 

Foreign Language Learning Prerequisite for Admission

Native speakers of English should have classroom foreign language learning experience equivalent to at least one year of college level study of a language. 

Each applicant who is not a native speaker of English must: (1) achieve a score of 100 or higher on the iBT TOEFL (Skill Requirements: Reading and Listening – High; Speaking and Writing – one skill must be at the level of Good) or 7.5 or higher on the IELTS (Skill Requirements: Speaking and Writing – combined minimum of 13) or their equivalent and (2) have good spoken English skills (a score of at least 4 on the ITA interview test administered by the University of Pittsburgh).

Transcripts and CV and Teaching Certificate

Undergraduate transcripts (and graduate if applicable) and a CV (including a list of references) must be submitted as part of the application. . In addition, a copy of the applicant’s state teaching certificate must be included in the application materials. 

Plan of Study 

Students must complete a TESOL certificate plan of study form after consultation with the TESOL Certificate advisor during the first term of study. 

Completion of Requirements

When nearing completion of all TESOL certificate requirements, students must apply for graduation from the TESOL Certificate program through the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office. This graduation application is separate from any other degree graduation applications. Additional paperwork must be filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Education with the help of the TESOL Certificate advisor.