Live Chat   | Call Admissions 1.800.514.6848 or E-mail Us

Graduate Certificate in TESOL

Program Highlights

Are you looking to further your career as an English language specialist? Do you enjoy exploring other cultures and the experience that comes from meeting people from all over the world? Are you interested in finding opportunities to become a language specialist at home or abroad?

Virginia International University’s TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) program may be perfect for you!

The Graduate Certificate in TESOL program prepares students for the rigors and practices of the modern language specialist in the field of English language instruction. Graduates of the TESOL program are qualified to work in multiple educational areas including teaching in private or public institutions, for profit and non-profit institutions and other language programs both in the USA and abroad.

The program is built by taking into account considerations from employers in the field and faculty who teach in the program in order to create a well-rounded and practical educational experience. This allows for graduates to be well prepared for the requirements of the modern workforce because the curriculum is designed to provide employers what they are looking for from candidates.

THE VIU difference provides an education that is personalized and allows for well-prepared graduates who will work to pioneer the field of English language instruction. Come experience the VIU difference!

Degree at a Glance

Degree at a Glance
Number of Credits 18
Cost per Credit $409.00
Total Tuition* $7,362.00
*The estimated tuition does not include additional fees, supplies, scholarships, or transfer credits. The estimate reflects tuition for the 2014-2015 academic year. For full and current tuition information, please visit the Tuition and Fees page.

World Class Faculty and Staff

The TESOL Online program boasts a faculty and staff who are committed to student success and the development of lifelong learners.  Faculty have expertise in language acquisition, language structure, teaching with technology and curriculum design.
The Faculty are highly involved in the development of curriculum, student advising, online classroom instruction and student success.  Course facilitation is only one part of the VIU Online experience - experience the difference of an education from VIU’s virtual classroom that is personal, accessible and engaging!

Program Overview

Features of the program include:

  • Eight week terms with flexible schedules
  • Engaging classroom experiences
  • Faculty are fully available outside of the classroom
  • A dedicate online program administrator for every student

Benefits of a Degree in TESOL

  • Faculty with real-world second and foreign language teaching experience
  • A solid curriculum fostered by feedback from field-employers
  • Receive a world class education in a flexible learning environment
  • Improve upon existing abilities and learn new methods


Virginia International University is an accredited institution of higher learning holding accreditation through the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) and is certified to operate by the Virginia State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). Additional information on accreditation can be found in the Accreditation and Certifications section of the Academic Catalog.

NOTE: Please note that this program does not provide the licensure required to teach grades K-12 in American public schools. In order to obtain teacher licensure, please contact the respective state Department of Education to determine eligibility and requirements.

Core Courses

Graduate Certificate in TESOL students must take one in each of the following core areas, for a total of 12 credit hours:

  • Language Structure (either APLX 500 or APLX 615)
  • Language Acquisition (APLX 510)
  • Language Teaching Methodology (APLX 530)
  • Language Teaching Practicum (APLX 665)

The courses listed below can be taken in any order with the exception of APLX 665 TESOL Practicum which must be taken either together with or after APLX 530 Language Teaching Methods.

Code Core Courses Credit Hours
APLX 500

Introduction to Language and Applied Linguistics

This course is designed to provide students with a general introduction to the scientific study of language. The goal is to familiarize students with linguistic terminology, teaching both the methods of linguistic analysis and how to apply them. The course focuses on an introduction to the nature of the language faculty, speech (including physical and mental aspects), the structure of language (including morphology and general syntax), and how language is used. The course also provides an introduction to language acquisition principles, language processing in the brain as well as language change and variation. For students studying a linguistic concentration, it provides the background needed to succeed in other linguistic courses.

APLX 615

Pedagogical Grammar for Communicative Classrooms

This course provides an overview of the structure of language within the theoretical perspective of Generative Grammar. The course provides insight into the nature of the human capacity of language via means of a concentrated focus on the structure of language. Students will explore and analyze the internal structure of words, phrases and sentences as well as gain a foundation in understanding how language is structured but also how it is changeable over time.

APLX 510

Introduction to Language Acquisition

This course is an introduction to the modern theories and current practices of TESOL methodology. Students will learn methodologies of lesson planning/skill integration techniques, course and program development and classroom management. This course provides students with a framework to develop course and programmatic curriculum defined by outcomes centered on an integrated approach to language teaching.

APLX 530

Language Teaching Methods

This course introduces students to the main theories of language acquisition and their relevance to language teaching. Students will become familiar with the key concepts that inform the study of L2 acquisition through the review of relevant literature on second language acquisition. The course will also develop students' ability to relate their understanding of how learners acquire second language to language pedagogy.

APLX 665

TESOL Practicum

This course is designed to provide an experiential exposure to an actual second language classroom setting. It serves as a practical experience to observe and provide personal and professional development for a student’s actual teaching experience applying the skills learned in the program. The course provides opportunity for observation, cooperative planning with a language teaching professional and supervised teaching to an actual class. Additionally, students will fine tune existing skills learned while taking courses in the program through periodic seminars and journal assignments. Throughout the course, students will build a professional teaching portfolio used as the final requirement for graduation from the program.



Elective Courses

In addition to the core courses listed above, students must take two elective courses in the areas of particular interest to them, for a total of 6 credits. Any of the MA in TESOL courses can be taken to satisfy this requirement except for the courses listed with the course code corresponding to the shared business courses (codes including BUSS).

Code Elective Courses (must take all of the following) Credit Hours
APLX 540

Language Curriculum and Materials Design

This course introduces the students to a needs-based, learning-centered approach to designing courses. Through needs assessment, students identify curricular goals and course objectives. From these they determine an appropriate syllabus structure, develop a course unit outline, plan and create materials for lessons, determine training needs for course instructors and devise a system of evaluation.

APLX 550

Language Assessment

This course examines in depth the major categories of language assessment. The main topics include approaches to evaluating language sub-skills (vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation) and communication skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing); models of language assessment; examination of standardized tests and their appropriate application; and research-based framework linking assessment to instruction.

APLX 572

Technologies for Language Learning

This course covers topics of current interest selected by the faculty before each semester.

APLX 620

Teaching Pronunciation

This course introduces students to theoretical principles governing social and linguistic variation, the methodology used to study it, the patterns and systems that underlie language variation in use, and the ways in which alternations between different language varieties index personal style, social power, and national identity.

APLX 623

Teaching Multiliteracy

This course also serves to introduce students to key issues of intercultural communication, core American and foreign cultural concepts, and ways in which culture affects language teaching and learning.

APLX 630

Sociolinguistics in the Classroom

This course is a comprehensive introduction to pronunciation pedagogy. This is a two part course including a theoretical look at the sound system and practical application of phonology/pronunciation in the second language classroom and curriculum. Students will study the anatomy and mechanics of speech as well as principles/practices and realistic resources and technology for application in the classroom.

APLX 635

Intercultural Communication

This course introduces students to the pedagogical approaches to second language reading and writing in the framework of current theoretical perspectives on second language reading and writing processes, practices, and authors. Students gain practical knowledge in the areas of phonemic awareness, vocabulary and text comprehension, tactics for improving reading fluency and teaching writing in contextual exercise.

APLX 655

Special Topics in Applied Linguistics

This course examines the use of technology as a teaching tool for the traditional classroom as well as methods of pedagogy for the virtual classroom. Students explore methods of implementing technology into the classroom/curriculum and how to discern the efficacy of digital/online resources to provide an engaging and authentic learning environment.

EDUC 590

Program Administration

This course provides an in-depth perspective of the administrative requirements of a language program including how to effectively lead and manage a program. Students gain a behind the scenes view of what occurs outside of the classroom environment including the areas of people management, curriculum and programmatic development, customer service and the logistics of managing a program. The course explores the lifecycle of the student from admission to graduation; the lifecycle of faculty members within the program; and the administrative role of managing a curriculum.

EDUC 640

Introduction to Research Methods

This course covers quantitative and qualitative methods of designing and implementing applied linguistic research in a classroom or institutional setting. It prepares students to conduct and prepare independent research from design to publication.