About Us

About Us


For more than 20 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, the Program provides a rigorous curriculum that reflects current research by experts in the field of TESOL.

The 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. In each format, the Program consists of five required courses, practical teaching experience, senior teacher mentoring, and optional professional development workshops. 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.

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.

Learn more about the TESOL Certificate program

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