Visit our COVID update page.
English for a global world
A specialized sequence of courses in linguistics and education prepare you to teach English to immigrants and foreign nationals and prepare you to travel abroad to build to teach English. In this program you will learn best practices to teach English to nonnative speakers at all stages of language acquisition, as well as how to communicate effectively with a diverse audience, in terms of culture and nationality. Empower your students—and ultimately yourself.
TESOL curriculum for home and abroad
- Teach English to school-aged and adult learners in the U.S.
- Teach English in your home country.
- Update your current TESOL teaching methods.
- Improve your online strategies for teaching English.
- Launch your English teaching career abroad.
TESOL certificate program objectives
- Identify current language acquisition learning theories
- Compare leading methodologies and techniques for teaching listening, speaking, reading, and writing English-as-second-language skills.
- Evaluate the impact of linguistic principles on learners of English as a second language.
- Formulate effective teaching objectives, lesson plans and assessments for English learners of all levels
- Master key principles of teaching English grammar.
- Integrate current instructional technology for English as a second language acquisition and assessment.
What is the job outlook for TESOL instructors?
- Thirty-two states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico did not meet the projected need for English Learner instructors, according to a June 2021 report by the U.S. Department of Education Office of English Language Acquisition.
- California had the highest percentage of English learners, with over 20% of K–12 students classified as ELs, according to a January 2021 report.
- English language instructors are in increasing demand in the U.S and abroad. The English learner population grew by more than one million students, 28.1 percent, between 2000 and 2017, according to U.S. Department of Education data.
Estimated Cost: Starting at $5,425. (You pay only for courses you enroll in.) | International Tuition Cost
Program Requirements: 9–11 courses (minimum 27 quarter units). Take 7 required courses (23 quarter units) and 2-4 elective courses (minimum 4 quarter units). End with certificate review.
Minimum Hours of Instruction: 270 hours of instruction.
Estimated Duration: A full-time student can complete the certificate in 9–12 months.
1. Required Course(s):
3. Capstone Course:
4. Completion Review:
Meet Our Instructors
Certificate Inquiry Form
Recommended Course Sequence
Flexible course sequence
Courses may be taken in any order provided the prerequisites are met.
To receive your certificate
Transfer Your TESOL Certificate Units to a Master's Program
Notre Dame de Namur University Master's Degree in TESOL
Completion of the UCSC Silicon Valley Extension TESOL program counts towards one year toward the Master of Arts TESOL program at Notre Dame de Namur University. The NDNU TESOL Master's program is fully online. UCSC Extension students with a TESOL certificate would have to take five courses (15 units) to complete the Master of Arts.
University of San Francisco Master's Degree in TESOL
Completion of the UCSC Silicon Valley Extension TESOL program counts towards one year of the Master of Arts TESOL program at University of San Francisco.
Hawai‘i Pacific University Master's Degree in TESOL
Completion of the UCSC Silicon Valley Extension TESOL program counts towards one year (15 semester credits) of the Master of Arts TESOL Program at Hawai‘i Pacific University, subject to approval by HPU TESOL’s faculty. Transfer students from UCSC Silicon Valley Extension TESOL Certificate program will be required to complete the remaining 21 semester credits (7 courses) and capstone components of the HPU TESOL degree.
Please review the course descriptions to ensure that you have taken necessary prerequisites or meet the requirements through job experience or previous education.
Certificate Program Chair
JAMES DINWIDDIE, M.A.Ed., has more than 12 years of ESL classroom teaching experience in the U.S. and abroad. He obtained his TESOL certificate from the UCSC Silicon Valley Extension. Dinwiddie is also an adjunct faculty member at Menlo College and works as a professional tutor and instructor through Language Pacifica. He has served as TESOL program chair since 2021.
Establish candidacy in a certificate or specialization
Once you create your student account, you can establish candidacy in a certificate or specialization program any time during your studies.
The benefits of enrolling early
- Lock in your certificate requirements.This means that even if program requirements change, the requirements to complete your certificate will remain the same for you
- Receive program updates
- Set your intention
- It’s free
To complete a program, you must enroll in the certificate program before enrolling in the Certificate Completion Review.
You have five years to complete all necessary courses in a certificate program or three years to finish up a specialization program.
All the necessary units in a certificate must be completed within this window.* The clock begins on the first day of your first course in the certificate program. For example, if you started a course on Sept. 5, 2017, you would have to complete all of the required units in this certificate by Sept. 4, 2022.
Enrolling in a certificate program does not trigger the beginning of the five-year window. It begins the first day of the first course that applies to a certificate program. The Certificate Completion Review process does not have to occur within the five-year timeframe.
For more information: How do I get my certificate or specialization?
* Students participating in a special program, such as workforce, international, Personal Financial Planning, or curriculum partner programs (such as GreenFig or CLS by Barbri) may have a shorter completion requirement.
Please note that only letter grades of C or higher may be applied to a certificate, and in some programs, students may have more stringent requirements. Students in most employer- and government-sponsored payment programs, such as workforce development, as well as international students on F-1 visas, need to maintain a B average to meet their requirements. Personal Financial Planning students have additional grade requirements for individual courses to attain a certificate.
See Grading and Credits Policy for further information.