ESL/TESOL Certification Requirements Information

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TESOL Certificate Program

What is TESOL Certification?

The TESOL Certificate Program (TCCP) is a 140-hour online training program created to provide students with a foundation in the theory and practice of English as a Second Language teaching. The program is designed to provide individuals who are seeking to enhance their credentials, as ESL teachers with an overview of the basic knowledge of the field. (Source: TESOL)

Students have the option of choosing an adult education or early childhood education track for the program, depending on their career goals. The TCCP can be a great option for professionals or future teachers, who want to fit their education into their busy personal and work schedules because the courses are online and can be completed in just 6-11 months.

To earn the TESOL Basic Certificate, you must successfully complete the following requirements:

  • One 60-hour online foundation course on the fundamentals of TESOL
  • One 60-hour online specialty course
  • One 20-hour teaching practicum


What are the TESOL Certification Requirements?

The TESOL International Association, set up a set of learning standards and best practices initiatives for ESL teachers around the world to help improve effectiveness in the field. For more in-depth information on the standards please visit the TESOL website at

  • PreK-12 English Language Proficiency Standards: These standards serve as a starting point for creating effective and equitable education for ESL students.
  • Technology Standards: These standards focus on how ESL teachers and administrators should use technology in and outside of the classroom.

  • TESOL/CAEP Standards for P-12 Teacher Education Programs: These standards address the need for consistency in how ESL teachers in the U.S. are prepared to practice in K-12 schools.

  • Standards for Adult Education: This includes standards for ESL/EFL Teachers of Adults, Adult ESL Language and Literary Instruction and Standards for Adult Education ESL Programs.

  • TESOL Guidelines for Developing EFL Professional Teaching Standards: These guidelines were created to help anyone responsible for developing English as a foreign language professional teaching standards.

  • Some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access

How long does it take to get TESOL certification?

It typically takes about four to six months to complete the requirements for TESOL certification. This includes the necessary coursework, practical experience, exams, and other requirements the certifying organization sets. Depending on your individual circumstances, such as the type of certification you are pursuing and any prior teaching experience you have, this timeline may be shorter or longer. In some cases, completing the requirements in as little as two months is possible.

Can I teach ESL with a TESOL certificate?

Yes, you can use your TESOL certificate to teach ESL in various settings, including language schools, community colleges, and universities. In addition to teaching positions, TESOL certification can also help you qualify for other jobs in the field of ESL, such as curriculum development or program administration.

tesol certification

What is a TEFL Certification?

TEFL certification is an acronym that stands for “Teaching English as a Foreign Language.” A TEFL certificate is earned after completing a course of study designed to prepare individuals to teach English in non-native-speaking countries. Like TESOL certification, completion of a TEFL course is often required by employers in order to be considered for teaching positions abroad.

Is it better to have a TEFL or TESOL?

TEFL and TESOL are both qualifications that can be used to teach English internationally. While both courses provide training in teaching English, TEFL focuses on teaching English to students whose native language is not English. At the same time, TESOL takes a broader approach, including the study of linguistics, grammar, and culture.

What does the TESOL Advanced Practitioner Certificate consist of?

The TESOL Advanced Practitioner Certificate is a pilot program designed for practicing ESL teachers who want to gain more expertise and knowledge in the field. The program is self-paced and you have one year to complete it once you are accepted. Once you’ve completed the requirements, you’ll receive an Advanced Practitioner TESOL Certificate. (Source: TESOL)

Graduates of the program should:

  • Be able to design and use syllabi and lesson plans
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of their area of expertise
  • Be able to implement effective teaching strategies based on the latest research
  • Contribute to the TESOL body of knowledge by publishing or presenting to others

In order to qualify for the Advanced Practitioner TESOL Certificate program you must first:

  • Have knowledge of TESOL principles demonstrated by a related degree in the field or a certificate in TESOL teaching
  • Complete a university degree program
  • Currently teach ESL or EFL
  • Demonstrate a minimum of two years of experience in the field
  • Complete the application and essay questions
  • Provide two letters of recommendation
  • Complete a phone interview if necessary

If you’re already a practicing ESL or EFL teacher who is looking to gain more-in depth knowledge in your area of expertise, pursing an Advanced Practitioner TESOL Certificate could be a good option for you—and maybe appealing to potential employers.

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