Academics | TESOL Certificate Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Certification | Arts and Humanities

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Teachers College, Columbia University
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TESOL Certificate Program

Teachers College, Columbia University

About Us

For more than 15 years, the TESOL Certificate Program at Teachers College, Columbia University has offered a unique balance of theory and practice in teaching English to speakers of other languages. With a close affiliation with the graduate TESOL & Applied Linguistics program, we are able to offer a rigorous curriculum that reflects current research by experts in the field of TESOL.

The program consists of five required courses, practical teaching experience, senior teacher mentoring, and optional workshops. While the TESOL Certificate Program is a non-credit program, it does require graduate-level work and our goal is to give students a solid exposure to the teaching of English within a limited amount of time. We want students to leave the program being able to make informed decisions about pedagogy based on their knowledge of how languages are learned, structured, and used, and with hands-on exposure to activities design and classroom management.

Students in the TESOL Certificate Program are able to put TESOL theories into practice by teaching in our language school, the Community Language Program, which offers ESL classes to non-native speakers of English in the local community. To help bridge the gap between theory and practice, our students will be guided by senior mentor teachers that help with lesson planning, classroom management, task design, and more. 

Overview of the TESOL Certificate Program

The TESOL Certificate Program is offered in both an intensive, full-time format in the summer and in a part-time format stretched out over the fall and spring semesters. Both the full-time summer program and the part-time fall-spring program are taught at the graduate level and presented in a blended-learning format with half the program taking place online and half the program taking place on-site at Teachers College, Columbia University.

The TESOL Certificate Program aligns with, and exceeds, the standards recommended by TESOL International Association for short-term certificate programs. It also meets and exceeds the 120-hour instruction standard often required for teaching abroad. 

  • Please Note: While taught at the graduate level, the TESOL Certificate Program is a non-credit, non-degree program. It does not provide K-12 certification or an ESL endorsement on a public school teaching license. It is primarily for those who wish to teach adults in the U.S. and abroad.


If you are interested in a obtaining a Certificate in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (TCSOL) or are interested in pursuing a dual certificate in TESOL and TCSOL, click here to visit the TCSOL website. 

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