Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)

College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Contact Graduate Studies 218-477-2134
Linda Houts-Smith at

Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)

This certificate is designed to provide training in the knowledge and skills necessary to teach English as a second or foreign language. It is applicable to licensure in teaching ESL in Minnesota for those who have also completed a teacher preparation program, and it will also make an individual without a teaching license eligible for a Tier 2 license in ESL in Minnesota, should the individual meet other requirements for the Tier 2 license, such as support in the application process from a school district. Completion of the certificate requires 20 credits, which includes 2 credits of an internship in TESL. Licensure may require additional credits depending on student background and state in which licensure is sought.

Admission Requirements

Information on admission requirements can be found on the Graduate Studies webpage.

Program Delivery Mode
Land plus: face-to-face where some online courses may be available or required

Core Requirements ( 20 credits )

ED 669 or TESL 669 Internship (2) *was ED 694V
LANG 557 Second Language Acquisition & Language Teaching (3)
TESL 551 English Structures (3)
TESL 625 Social, Cultural, and Political Contexts of Language and Literacy (3)
TESL 654 Pedagogical Grammar (3)
TESL 670 Designing ESL Courses (3)
TESL 675 Assessment in TESL (3)

Licensure Requirements (optional)

  • ED 669 (1-10 ) (internship credits beyond the required two credits may be taken by those who have researched into certain states and know they need more credits of practical experience than the two credit minimum entails.)
  • Six credits of electives are required for licensure in Minnesota.
  • Foreign Language Study (1 year college level study or equivalent required for Minnesota License)

Check with individual state boards for other requirements related to licensure in other states.