"I take what I've learned from my colleagues and instructors into my classroom." —Derek Merrill, Certificate Program in Teaching English as a Second Language student
The increasing use of English throughout the world means career opportunities for teachers of English as a second language (ESL) in education, as well as fields such as business, hospitality, entertainment and more. But teaching ESL well requires more than fluency in English and a lesson plan. UC Berkeley Extension’s Certificate Program in Teaching English as a Second Language provides a foundation in linguistics and second-language acquisition—along with classroom methodologies and curriculum-design skills—so that you can be an effective teacher in a variety of environments. You receive training in language pedagogy, materials development, assessment and evaluation, and cross-cultural communication. The certificate curriculum is overseen by an advisory board of TESL and education leaders and approved by the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Education, ensuring your education is relevant and up-to-date. This certificate does not award a California teaching credential, but all courses in the curriculum apply toward a master's degree at St. Mary's College or the University of San Francisco. Join our email list to stay informed about this certificate.
The table contains the required courses for the Certificate Program in Teaching English as a Second Language, as well as the terms they are typically available for enrollment.
7 Required Courses, 17 Semester Units (255 Hours of Instruction)
|Required Courses||Course Number||Units/ CEU||Classroom|
|Fundamentals of Linguistics for ESL Teachers||X416||3||Fall
|Grammar Fundamentals for ESL Teachers||X338||2||Fall
|Teaching Pronunciation as a Communicative Skill||X339.7||1||Fall
|Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language||X339.1A||3||Fall
|Practicum in Course Design for ESL/EFL Teachers||X327.1||3||Fall
Course availability is subject to change. Students generally find it helpful to take Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language X339.1A closer to Practicum in Course Design for ESL/EFL Teachers X327.1. Please review the course descriptions for prerequisites.
To enroll, click on a course title above and choose a section.
You may enroll in individual courses without registering for the Certificate Program in Teaching English as a Second Language.
The certificate is ideal for those wishing to teach in other countries or in the private sphere in the United States, as well as a starting point for working toward a teaching career in the public adult schools or community colleges in California. If you are a teacher who already holds a valid California teaching credential, you can expand your K-12 career options with the ESL teaching competencies acquired in the program. If you are considering a master's degree in TESL/TESOL, you can apply some or all of the certificate coursework to several Bay Area degree programs.
Enrollment in individual courses is open to anyone who meets the stated prerequisites. Participants in the Certificate Program in Teaching English as a Second Language must have earned at least a baccalaureate degree (B.A.) or the equivalent at an accredited institution. Students who have completed their undergraduate studies outside of the United States must have their transcripts evaluated by an accredited evaluation organization. The most basic evaluation is acceptable; there is no need for a class-by-class report. Fluency in a second language is not required to enter the field of TESL, but it is beneficial, in general, to have experience in learning another language and to have knowledge of another culture.
The curriculum consists of 7 required courses for a total of 17 semester units (255 hours of instruction). All courses emphasize practical applications of theoretical material for classroom use. Candidates must pay a nonrefundable certificate registration fee.
All coursework must be completed within five years of registering for the certificate. However, requirements may be updated based on new developments in the field of study; we recommend completing the curriculum in a timely fashion. Effective with the date of your acceptance to the Certificate Program in Teaching English as a Second Language, subsequent curriculum changes will not affect your course requirements. For more information, please see the completion requirements and the substitutions, waivers and transfer credit policies.
By registering, you declare your intention to complete the curriculum. To register for the Certificate Program in Teaching English as a Second Language, submit the online registration form with your credit card information or complete the mail-in registration form. The registration fee is nonrefundable.
You should register for the certificate before you begin your third course in the curriculum. It is not necessary to send your transcript, application and fee if you are enrolling in an individual TESL course.
Evidence of a bachelor's degree is required of all new applicants. (All non-U.S. transcripts must be accompanied by a foreign transcript evaluation.) Once you register for the certificate, please have official transcripts sent to:
UC Berkeley Extension
Department of Education—TESL
1995 University Ave., Suite 110
Berkeley, CA 94704-7000
Each course is priced individually, and you pay the course fee at the time of enrollment. The certificate has an estimated cost of $4,000 (not including course materials or one-time certificate registration fee). Course fees are subject to change.
To contact the department office, send an email to email@example.com or call (510) 642-1171.
Teaching at a public adult school requires an adult education teaching credential. Teaching at the community college level requires either an M.A. in TESL or an M.A. in a related field and the TESL certificate. All courses in the Certificate Program in Teaching English as a Second Language can be applied toward an M.A. in TESOL at St. Mary's College and the M.A. in TESL at the University of San Francisco.
The TESL certificate is not a teaching credential, nor does it authorize teaching in public schools in the way a credential does. However, you can complete both the Certificate Program in Teaching English as a Second Language and the Designated Subjects Adult Education Teaching Credential in preparation for teaching in public adult schools. Students in the Certificate Program in Teaching English as a Second Language who are interested in applying for a preliminary credential to teach in adult education programs should contact the Education department for more information.
When an application is made for certificate candidacy, nonnative speakers of English will be required to submit an official international or UC Institutional TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) report. Applicants must receive a minimum score of 250 for the computer-based exam (600 for paper) or a minimum score of 25 on each of the four sections of the iBT (reading, listening, writing, and speaking). The TOEFL must be taken within two years of application to this program. Registration forms for the TOEFL may be obtained by contacting:
Test of English as a Foreign Language
Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151
For more information about the TOEFL, visit ETS.
Gail Kirby, M.A. in TESOL, Ph.D. in Learning and Instruction
Director, M.A. in TESOL Program
St. Mary's College
Margaret Kirkpatrick, M.A. in Education
Education Consultant and Previous Director
Berkeley Adult School
Louise Malandra, Ph.D. in Education Administration
U.S. Department of Education
ESL Instructor and TESL Program Mentor
Piedmont Adult School
Sedique Popal, Ph.D. in Education
Department Chair of ESL Programs
College of Alameda
ESL Instructor and TESL Program Mentor
College of Alameda
Daria Suk, Ph.D. in TESOL