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Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language Certificate


The ALCI TESL/TEFL Certificate Program prepares individuals from a variety of backgrounds to effectively teach English, both at home and abroad. This 120-hour program provides professional development and guidance in finding employment in the field with a strong emphasis on hands-on training and practice with English-language learners in a university setting. Sessions are taught by master teachers with extensive experience in TESL/TEFL, teacher training, and curriculum development. Trainees graduate ready to begin working successfully as teachers of English as a Second/Foreign Language locally and abroad.

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New program begins every spring and summer.TESL/TEFL Application

No teaching experience required

To be eligible for this program, you should have earned or be close to finishing your bachelor's degree and have sufficient competency in English

Be prepared to teach at home or abroad

This 120-hour program will prepare you to effectively teach English in the U.S. and around the world and includes a hands-on practicum teaching English language learners

Learn from experienced trainers

Benefit from hands-on training and practice with English-language learners with classes taught by experienced TESL/TEFL trainers

Guidance for finding employment

This program provides guidance for finding employment in the field, including résumé help, practice interviews and access to our internal career database and industry contacts

Program Details


    TESL/TEFL Application

    Admission Requirements

    • No teaching experience necessary, but applicants should have earned or be close to earning their bachelor's degree
    • Must have sufficient awareness and competency in English, both written and spoken, to follow and complete course assignments


    This program runs every spring and summer and is 120 hours.

    Semester Dates Days Time
    Summer (6 weeks) June 24- August 2, 2024  Monday - Friday  9:00am-1:00pm 
    Spring (15 weeks) January 21-May 8, 2025 Tuesdays and Thursdays 5:00pm-9:00pm


    Description Cost



    Parking Permit

    $125 (estimated)

    Application Fee


    Total Program Tuition and Fees


    One-week notice and a complete refund of deposit will be given if a minimum class size is not met.

    *Tuition and fees subject to change


    Program Overview

    During the ALCI’s 120-hour TESL/TEFL Certificate program, participants develop essential skills for teaching English Language Learners in a domestic or international context. The curriculum, presented by a team of ALCI master instructors, includes a historical overview of the theories and methodologies which have most impacted modern language-acquisition pedagogy, and “how-to” courses (focusing on instructional strategies for basic core skills). Participants receive ample opportunities for developing effective lesson plans and syllabi, practicing classroom management strategies, peer-teaching and classroom facilitation. Participants must also demonstrate an understanding of the concepts covered in class through individual and group projects, as well as written reflections and quizzes. The 6-week summer course runs Monday through Friday on the CSUSM campus for a total of 20 hours per week, and the 15-week spring course is offered Tuesday and Thursday evenings for 8 hours per week. 

    Program Outcomes

    By the end of the 120-hour Certificate program, participants will:

    • Understand the historical progression of theories and methodologies which have impacted currently used approaches for instructing English-language learners;
    • Explore and analyze a wide variety of strategies, materials and best practices used to teach English as a Second or Foreign Language;
    • Develop their skills for creating well-structured and effective lesson plans and syllabi;
    • Develop more confidence when presenting instruction to a classroom audience;
    • Become more familiar with cultural conventions and diversity which can impact international educators in their respective teaching environments; and
    • Reflect on their own English-language skills (so as to provide an optimal model of oral and written English communication to future students).

    Program Video

    Please view our information session webinar, which will answer many of your questions about this program: 


    Still have questions? Individual information sessions are also available by appointment. Please send a message to and a member of our team will be in touch to set up a session


    Course Topics

    • English Teaching Basics
      • Methods
      • Principles of teaching reading, writing, speaking, listening
      • Teacher/student interaction
      • Materials
      • Text
      • Curricula
      • Lesson planning
      • Professional associations
    • Teaching of Reading and Writing
      • Theories
      • Techniques
      • Skimming
      • Scanning
      • Making inferences
      • Critical thinking
      • Journaling
      • Essays
      • Error correction
    • Teaching of Listening and Speaking
      • Theories
      • Techniques
      • Stress
      • Intonation
      • Rhythm
      • Pronunciation
      • Fluency
      • Accuracy
      • Conversation skills
      • Error correction
    • Teaching of Grammar
      • Concepts
      • Phonology/Morphology /Lexicon /Syntax
      • Exercises
      • Materials
      • Including grammar in teaching of other skills
    • Applied Linguistics/Second Language Acquisition
      • Linguistic principles
      • Language production and comprehension
      • Phonetics
      • Theories/Methods of 2nd Language Acquisition
      • Relationship between L1 and L2
      • Affective factors
      • Order of acquisition
      • Interlanguage
      • Comprehension vs. production
    • Culture
      • Integrating culture into curriculum
      • American values
      • Cross-cultural differences

    Opportunities for assessment of your skill progression, observation of experienced teachers, and practice teaching with feedback will be woven throughout the curriculum. 


    Already have a TESL/TEFL Certificate?

    Take your skills to the next level with our online add-on courses!

    These courses are offered in an asynchronous online environment and can be completed at your own pace, taking 12 hours to complete at a rate of $300 per course. (A 15% discount is available for each course for those enrolling in multiple courses.) Along the way, you'll complete assignments that will show your progress in the course. Our faculty will evaluate your assignments and will be on hand throughout the course to answer questions. You'll finish the course with an additional certificate of completion, verifying your more in-depth knowledge in the sector of the course you have completed.

    Teaching English to Young Learners

    Course modules include child development background, culture, special considerations in classroom management and activities for teaching reading/writing, speaking/listening and grammar.

    Teaching English for Test Preparation

    Course modules include background on popular tests; preparing students for test tasks in reading, writing, speaking, and listening; and teaching test-taking strategies.

    Teaching Business English

    Course modules include defining business English, understanding your learners' needs, teaching experienced professionals and inexperienced learners, adapting materials and developing activities, and assessing progress.

    Teaching English to Japanese Students

    Course modules include classroom management, encouraging participation, promoting fluency, language interference, affective factors, and cultural considerations.

    Teaching English Grammar

    Course modules include grammar teaching fundamentals and a detailed analysis of nouns and pronouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs, articles, and clauses so you can feel proficient in these forms and confident about teaching them.

  • FAQ

    Where can I use this certificate?

    The certificate is valid in countries around the world, including the U.S. 

    Can I go abroad and teach without a certificate?

    Most programs demand a bachelor’s degree and certificate from their teachers. Those that do not tend to be low quality, or they will charge you to get their in-house “certificate” that is applicable only to their program. 

    What is unique about the CSUSM certificate?

    • Given by recognized, accredited university 
    • Small class sizes 
    • Face-to-face instruction 
    • Supervised hands-on teaching practice 

    What is "TESL/TEFL"?

    • TESL= teaching English as a second language; English taught in an English-speaking country 
    • TEFL= teaching English as a foreign language; English taught in a non-English-speaking country 

    Do you offer a payment plan?

    Program tuition may be submitted all at once prior to enrolling in the course or in two equal payments. For the split payment option, half of the tuition is due prior to enrollment and the other half can be paid during the course prior to issuance of the certificate. 

    Can I use a professional reference? 

    Yes, the reference given on the program application may be educational or professional. 

    Up to what date can I apply?

    The priority registration deadline for each course is approximately one month prior to the course. If space remains in the course, applications will be accepted after this deadline on a case-by-case basis.

    Are there specific countries where there is more demand?

    The highest demand for highly qualified English-language teachers is seen throughout East Asia. Japan, South Korea and China. However, demand is strong throughout the world and there are many great opportunities outside of East Asia as well! 

    Will I get placed in a job?

    Throughout the course, we assist our trainees with the process of locating a suitable position upon graduation. We create résumés and cover letters, practice interview questions and learn how to evaluate potential employers. Trainees are given access to our internal career database, containing information about dozens of open positions. Some of these are through our personal contacts, who often come in as guest speakers during the course to share opportunities with their organizations. However, it’s important to understand that your employment contract will be with the school or program with which you are hired, not with CSUSM. 

    I am a trainee in a different certificate program and my program requires me to find my own practicum. Can I do my practicum at your school?

    No, we are not able to arrange a practicum for trainees enrolled in outside certificate programs. Our practica are only available for trainees in our TESL/TEFL Certificate Program. 

    How has COVID-19 impacted this field?

    The need for highly qualified English-language instructors is stronger than ever throughout the world, as most native-speaking teachers who were working abroad returned to their home countries during the pandemic. Countries are re-opening their borders and are beginning to issue visas, so delays in departure dates are becoming less frequent. Now that the situation is stabilizing and more countries are able to invite foreign teachers once again, demand is beginning to surge. In addition, there is a plethora of online teaching opportunities currently available, and this is a great way to get some experience under your belt as you prepare for face-to-face employment.


I’m always thinking about the classes at CSUSM because it was such a unique experience and it opened up the globe as far as places I could go and teach English.

Demetrick Allen


Demetrick Allen

This program has validated my professional life since being laid off and has given me a sense of contentment that I was missing. It was the bridge that has enabled this new life I am now going to have.

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– Scott Havenor, Student

– Scott Havenor, Student