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With interest in learning to read and speak Mandarin Chinese increasing, the demand for qualified Chinese-language teachers—with dedication to pedagogical craft—is growing rapidly. The UC Berkeley Extension Certificate Program in Teaching Chinese as a Heritage/Foreign Language prepares fluent Mandarin Chinese speakers with minimal teaching experience to teach Chinese as a foreign language and gives experienced teachers formalized training in Chinese-language pedagogy. Developed in cooperation with the National Center for K–16 Chinese Language Pedagogy at the Institute of East Asian Studies, UC Berkeley, the certificate meets the highest standards: You learn contemporary language-acquisition theory combined with practical approaches for classroom success, based on standards of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Heightened pedagogical skills and expertise enable you to work in a variety of settings, including charter schools, dedicated language schools, and after-school and weekend language programs. If you wish to work in a K–12 public school, you must acquire a separate California teaching credential.

See Prerequisites for Admission, Curriculum Requirements and How to Register Join our email list to stay informed about this certificate.


Required Courses
Course Number Course Title Units / CEUs Delivery Options Status
EDUC X339.4 Cross-Cultural Communication 2 Classroom Not Available
EDUC X393.3 Linguistics for Chinese-Language Teachers 3 Not Available
EDUC X392.8 Methods and Materials of Teaching Chinese I 3 Not Available
EDUC X396.8 Methods and Materials of Teaching Chinese II 3 Classroom Not Available
EDUC X334 Second-Language Acquisition 3 Classroom Not Available

Course availability is subject to change. Courses offered in both online and classroom environments are interchangeable; if both delivery options are available, you may choose either option.

To enroll, click on a course title above and choose a section. You may enroll in individual courses without registering for a certificate or program.

Prerequisites for Admission

One of the following prerequisites is required for the Certificate Program in Teaching Chinese as a Heritage/Foreign Language:

  • A baccalaureate or higher degree verified by an official transcript;
  • Significant experience in teaching, which can be verified by submission of a résumé, personal statement explaining the depth and breadth of experience, and two letters of recommendation from employers. These materials will be reviewed by the program director to determine if your experience qualifies for admission.

You must meet the following language requirements:

  • Native-level fluency in spoken and written Mandarin Chinese;
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English.

If you did not graduate from a university in which English is the primary medium of instruction, you may demonstrate proficiency in one of the following ways:

  • Submit a statement of purpose and schedule a face-to-face interview with program staff;
  • Successfully complete two required courses—Second-Language Acquisition and Cross-Cultural Communication—before registering for the certificate and completing the remaining course requirements.

Curriculum Requirements

The curriculum comprises 5 required courses for a total of 14 units (210 hours of instruction). Candidates must pay a nonrefundable certificate registration fee.

You must take all courses for a letter grade. To receive the certificate, you must maintain an overall minimum 3.0 grade point average, with a grade of B or better in each course. All coursework must be completed within five years of registering for the certificate.

How to Register

By registering, you declare your intention to complete the curriculum. To register online for the Certificate Program in Teaching Chinese as a Heritage/Foreign Language, complete these three steps:

  1. Submit the online registration, and complete your student account profile if you are a new student.
  2. Pay the nonrefundable registration fee through your shopping cart. You may also send the mail-in registration form with your credit card information or personal check.
  3. Please submit your baccalaureate or higher degree transcript, or evidence of significant previous teaching experience through your résumé and personal statement to the following address:

    UC Berkeley Extension
    Education Department—TCHFL
    1995 University Ave., Suite 110
    Berkeley, CA 94704

    All non-U.S. transcripts must be accompanied by a foreign transcript evaluation. The most basic evaluation is sufficient; there is no need for the class-by-class report.

You should register for the certificate before you complete your second course in the curriculum.

Estimated Cost

Each course is priced individually, and you pay the course fee at the time of enrollment. The certificate has an estimated total cost of $2,535 (not including course materials or one-time certificate registration fee). Course fees are subject to change.

Certificate and Award Request

Once you have completed the certificate coursework, notify UC Berkeley Extension that you have completed the curriculum and request your certificate. Send an email to or call (510) 642-1171. After your records have been reviewed, verified, and approved, your certificate will be sent to you in the mail. The review of your records is usually completed within six to eight weeks after you request the certificate.

Additional Information

* Summer sections for Methods and Materials of Teaching Chinese I X392.8 and Methods and Materials of Teaching Chinese II X396.8 are offered in an intensive format and only for students selected for a scholarship offered through the UC Berkeley STARTALK program. To complete these courses in the summer term, you must be selected for the scholarship and must take both courses in the summer of your scholarship acceptance, per the scholarship requirements.

Learn more about the UC Berkeley STARTALK summer intensive scholarship.

Advisory Board

Martin Backstrom
Professor and Associate Director
Institute of East Asian Studies
UC Berkeley

Chengzhi Chu
Chinese Language Program Coordinator
UC Davis

Doris Chun
Professor, Foreign Language Dept.
City College of San Francisco

Tom Gold
Executive Director
Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies
UC Berkeley

Karen I-Hao Li
Lecturer, Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultures
UC Berkeley

Andrew Jones
Professor and Chair
Center for Chinese Studies

UC Berkeley

Claire Kramsch
Graduate School of Education and Department of German
UC Berkeley

Stella Kwoh
National Center for K–16 Chinese Language Pedagogy
UC Berkeley

Eleanor Levine
Program Director
Center for Chinese Studies
UC Berkeley