Courses | TESOL Certificate Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Certification

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TESOL Certificate Program

Teachers College, Columbia University


The courses listed below are required for successful completion of the TESOL Certificate Program and are not offered separately.

Classroom Practices

Classroom Practices introduces students to teaching methods and approaches in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). By examining different contexts, student populations, purposes, and approaches, students will be able to make informed decisions about language teaching methods, techniques, lesson planning, syllabi, materials, and classroom management. In the Practicum part of the course, student will be able to synthesize and apply the concepts and practices from the TESOL Certificate Program courses by designing and implementing lessons, and critically reflecting on their own teaching. Students’ performance will be assessed based on completion of online assignments, participation in onsite class activities, and most importantly, their lesson planning and implementation in the practicum.

Second Language Acquisition

Second Language Acquisition introduces students to theories of second language acquisition and how we can use them to inform our teaching practices. Through cultivating an understanding of cognitive, social, and linguistic influences, students will discover how they can modify instruction to facilitate second language learning. Students will be assessed based on how they integrate what they learn throughout the course with practical applications in the second language classroom.

Pedagogical English Grammar

Pedagogical English Grammar introduces students to the principles of American English grammar and provides a theoretical basis for teaching grammar in ESL/EFL contexts. Students will obtain an understanding of the grammatical structures of American English, the kinds of errors that ESL/EFL learners make, and different approaches and practical techniques for teaching grammar. Students’ performance will be assessed based on their participation in online and in-class discussions, completion of regular grammar knowledge-building exercises and assignments, and completion of a final project that involves developing, in a principled manner, activities for teaching grammar in a particular instructional context.

Second Language Assessment

Second Language Assessment provides an introduction to theory and practice in second language assessment. Students will develop an understanding of the purposes and types of language assessment and will gain insight into the various standardized and alternative assessment instruments available to assess language skills. Students will practice designing assessment tasks and using scoring rubrics to grade papers. Students are assessed at the completion of each module through an examination of their contributions to online forum discussions, graded assignments, and essays. At the completion of the course, students are assessed based on their ability to apply theoretical concepts of assessment to a practical, real-world assessment context, and make inferences and conclusions about instruction and learning based on this application. 

Intercultural Communication

Intercultural Communication introduces students to basic concepts in cultural and linguistic diversity and pragmatics as they relate to language teaching and classroom interaction. The course will require active participation, collaboration, and open dialogue as we examine how culture shapes our language choices, our approaches to teaching, our relations and interactions with our students, and our expectations of them. Students’ performance will be assessed based on completion of online assignments, participation in onsite class activities, and ability to integrate learning to practical applications in the second language classroom.

Final Reflection Paper

The reflection paper is a culminating, final paper students write to showcase the core knowledge and concepts they learned in each of the TESOL Certificate Program courses. In the process of articulating these key takeaways, students are better able to understand their approach to education and their personal teaching philosophy. The paper will be comprised of multiple sections dedicated to the overarching topics from each course, and a final reflection which synthesizes the themes into a coherent discussion of teaching beliefs. This final reflection paper will be assessed by each of the course instructors in relation to their respective courses, and with respect to how these concepts are related to a larger perspective on teaching.