Teach English as a Second Language at Home or Abroad

City University of Seattle’s Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is a dynamic, hands-on learning experience designed to bridge theory and practice. Our students gain valuable knowledge in language acquisition theories, course development and materials selection, practical classroom management, and application skills. Courses are available in online, hybrid mode, or in-class format. We offer one of the only online-certified Graduate Certificate in TESOL programs that include 10 hours of observing live English instruction.

City University of Seattle offers a unique, fast-track opportunity for students who would like to earn their graduate Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certificate and transition to teaching abroad. A TESOL certificate is a globally recognized standard that can be the key to unlocking new opportunities abroad. The TESOL program offers the flexibility you need to continue working while taking classes. You choose your own timeline for completion – our five-week, on-campus summer intensive or three quarters online.CityU provides the perfect place for you to see and practice what you’ve learned. Our Intensive English Language Program serves as a live laboratory for teacher candidates. Plus, the program’s internship experiences can be used to fulfill the TESOL 590 requirement in the MEd in Adult Education.At CityU, we have a whole team ready to answer your questions and get you on the road to success. If you are interested in learning more about our Graduate Certificate in TESOL, connect with our advisors to learn more, or visit the Washington Academy of Languages website.

Learning Outcomes

Throughout the TESOL certificate program, you’ll learn:

  • Major theories of first and second language acquisition and how the two processes are related
  • Historical overview of language teaching methodology
  • Form, meaning, and use of English grammar structures
  • Strategies for teaching reading, writing, listening, and speaking to English language learners
  • Needs-based, learner-centered approach to selecting, adapting, supplementing, and developing classroom materials for the adult learner of English

Intern in Mexico Experience

The Intern in Mexico Experience is an option for students who are planning to start an MEd in Adult Education with a TESOL emphasis after completion of their TESOL certificate, or who wish to experience teaching abroad.In this program, students spend one quarter (11 weeks) at one of nine bilingual high schools in the beautiful city of Puebla, Mexico, where they assist English and content instructors in the classroom and act as cultural ambassadors of English.The roles and responsibilities of the intern are determined by the host high school and vary based on each school’s immediate needs. These expectations are clearly outlined before students are placed in a given school. The program is offered in partnership with Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP).

Intern in Seattle Experience

The Intern at City University of Seattle Experience is only an option for students enrolled in the MEd in Adult Education program.Students who choose CityU as their internship site work with an experienced mentor as they assist in facilitating classroom activities.City University of Seattle’s campus is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Seattle and in close proximity to our residence hall.

Domestic Students

An undergraduate degree and proof of English proficiency qualify you to apply for this program. Admission to the graduate-level TESOL program requires students to hold a four-year baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited or otherwise recognized institution.Complete the CityU online application; or complete, sign, and return a paper application form to Admissions at City University of Seattle, 521 Wall St., Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98121.Submit the non-refundable $50 application fee. If mailing a paper application form, please include the fee with your completed application.Request transcripts from all institutions you’ve attended. Have them sent directly to City University of Seattle Registrar’s Office, 521 Wall St., Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98121.

Note: Electronic transcripts are accepted at City University of Seattle if sent from another recognized institution using proper security measures. They may also be emailed to evaluations@cityu.edu. Electronic transcripts sent directly or forwarded from students or other individuals/businesses not in a direct agreement with CityU will be considered unofficial. Submit proof of English proficiency, if applicable.

International Students

We will provide an I-20 to accepted applicants, which will be used to apply for the F-1 visa. Please submit the following items to apply:

  • Application: Email wal@cityu.edu
  • Application fee: $50
  • Copy of your passport ID page
  • Copy of your bank statement that shows the amount you have in the bank, the address of the bank, and a signature from someone at the bank. Bank statement should show at least $7,137.[DC1]
  • Official score reports of an English placement test (iTEP or TOEFL)

If you don’t meet the English Language Proficiency requirements, we have an English program that you may attend before you begin your TESOL studies. You must successfully complete level 8 of our program in order to start the TESOL program. Please email us for more information about this option.[DC2]


Principles of Language Learning and Teaching (3)

TESOL 510 introduces major theories of first and second language acquisition and how the two processes are related. Candidates investigate how psychological, sociocultural, and linguistic factors affect students’ second language learning. Based on these theories, they develop a unit plan by setting functional and situational language objectives that reflects how language is acquired by promoting fluency. Candidates also develop a personal teaching philosophy statement that articulates a theoretical approach to teaching languages and informs future practice. Prerequisite: bachelor’s degree


Methods of Teaching Language (3)

TESOL 525 introduces candidates to a historical overview of language teaching methodology spanning the 19th century to present day. Candidates examine and analyze a variety of teaching methods and approaches that reflect language learning theories and schools of thought. During this course, candidates gain a fuller understanding of the principles underlying the choices teachers make regarding classroom practices. Candidates also complete a minimum of eight classroom observation hours and analyze and reflect on this experience. Prerequisite: TESOL 510


Teaching Grammar (3)

TESOL 530 focuses on the form, meaning, and use of English grammar structures and identifies the most problematic areas for English language learners. The course teaches candidates how to develop a clearer understanding of English grammar and terminology. Candidates also learn about explicit and implicit teaching approaches and deliver grammar lesson presentations using these approaches. Prerequisite: TESOL 510


Strategies for Teaching the Four Language Skills (3)

TESOL 540 examines a variety of strategies for teaching reading, writing, listening, and speaking to English language learners. Candidates review fundamental concepts and popular teaching methodologies and gain practical knowledge for teaching these skills. Candidates learn and demonstrate a variety of techniques for teaching the four language skills and design a variety of lessons incorporating these skills. Prerequisite: TESOL 510


TESOL Materials Development and Selection (3)

TESOL 555 is the last course in the series of the TESOL Certificate Program. It introduces students to a needs-based, learner-centered approach to selecting, adapting, supplementing, and developing classroom materials for the adult learner of English. During the course candidates complete four observation hours in an ESL classroom and analyze and reflect on how materials are created, used, and supplemented. Candidates evaluate various classroom materials and create original materials for each of the four language skill areas in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, in addition to grammar and pronunciation. As a final project, candidates create a lesson plan, using materials generated in this course and they reflect critically on professional practice while sharing their knowledge and experience with peers. Prerequisite: TESOL 510, 525, 530, 540

Whether you’re entering the workforce or changing careers, the graduate certificate in TESOL online or on-site programs will prepare you to face the unique rigors of classroom teaching. You can apply this certificate toward the Master of Education in Adult Education with TESOL Emphasis, or directly enter the classroom working with English language learners.Other options include:

  • Teach English to adult learners overseas.
  • Use your skills in administrative roles with English acquisition organizations in the U.S. or abroad.

Networking Opportunities

At CityU, you’ll have the opportunity to expand your professional network by connecting with faculty working in your field, students from around the globe, and alumni employed at Seattle’s top companies. Plus, you’ll be part of a supportive community that’s dedicated to helping you reach your career goals.

Tuition Cost

Learn more about tuition and fees for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.

Financial Aid Opportunities

At CityU, we’re committed to helping students achieve their academic goals no matter their economic situations. Our financial aid counselors are here to find the resources you need to pay for your education, including grants, loans, work study, and scholarships.

Learn more about financial aid opportunities at CityU, or contact our Financial Aid Team at 800.426.5596, 206.239.4540, or finaid@cityu.edu.

Military Tuition Benefits

As a Yellow Ribbon school, CityU is proud to serve those who have served in the military. We offer military tuition discounts for active-duty servicemembers and their spouses and accept military benefits such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill® and Tuition Assistance.

Learn more about military tuition benefits, VA benefits, and military partnership programs designed to help you reach your military and career goals.