Graduate Education Certificate in English as a Second Language (ESL)

Certificate in English as a Second Language

ACE is not currently accepting applications for, or enrolling new students in, this program. Prospective students may still apply for admission to any other certificate program. If you are still interested in an ESL certificate, please see the Certificate in English as a Second Language and Bilingual Education.

Non-native English speaking K-12 students are frequently surrounded by English-speaking adults and peers with a variety of native languages. These students need effective instruction to master a new language and a new culture while meeting their state's academic standards within a relatively short time period.

The Certificate in English as a Second Language helps educators, who often only speak English, teach English language learners both English and other academic content during the same instructional day. Students will learn to:

  • Understand theories of language acquisition

  • Implement strategies that promote cultural understanding

  • Use teaching practices that meet the needs of English language learners

The coursework provides teachers the knowledge and skills to successfully demonstrate the English as a New Language Standards established by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

This coursework has been approved by the Illinois State Board of Education to count toward coursework required for the ESL and bilingual endorsements.

Reach English language learners with this online certificate program. Start your application, or check admission requirements.

Program Summary

The graduate level certificate in English as a Second Language is intended for teachers interested in working with students who are English Language Learners. By applying current research and best practices, educators learn strategies to support students as they learn English and master subject-specific content. All courses in this certificate program can be applied to a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with a Specialization in English as a Second Language at American College of Education.

View our faculty here.

Program Outcomes

  • Apply knowledge of language development and acquisition and cultural and linguistic diversity implement curriculum and instruction for English learners.

  • Utilize academic standards to guide the selection of content and research-based instructional strategies to deliver the content.

  • Develop assessment instruments, select materials, and monitor learning outcomes to enhance the academic development of English learners.

  • Establish a culturally relevant environment by incorporating evidenced-based instructional resources, materials and technology.

  • Engage in ongoing learning and leadership communities to analyze data and instructional practices and conduct research to enhance understanding of new language learners and their academic and social needs.

Course Plan

Each course in this certificate program carries 3 semester credits.

Order of courses taken based on availability

BE5013 Foundations of ESL and Bilingual Education
BE5023 Assessment of ESL and Bilingual Students
BE5033 Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language
BE5043 Cross-Cultural Studies for ELLs
ED5123 Diverse Learners
ES5063 Linguistics for TESOL
Total Credits: 18


Semester Credits Tuition Per Credit Total Tuition
18 $215 $3,870

Applicable fees

  • Application fee: $50
  • Technology and library fee: $10 per credit hour (for a total of $180)
  • Program conferral fee: $100

2015 total program cost: $4,200. For more information, visit the tuition section.

Professional licensure, certification, and salary benefit requirements for educators vary from state to state and district to district. American College of Education cannot guarantee licensure, certification, endorsement, or salary benefits. In some states, students may need to satisfy additional requirements for licensure, certification, or endorsement. It is the students' responsibility to understand and comply with requirements in the jurisdiction where they choose to work as an educator. In all cases, students are solely responsible for determining whether they are eligible for licensure in a state and to confirm the precise requirements that must be satisfied to be licensed in that state before beginning the program.

I started reading more to my students and having them write and explain questions. These two 'additives' helped my students gain higher scores on some common assessments.

I started reading more to my students and having them write and explain questions. These two 'additives' helped my students gain higher scores on some common assessments.

Mary Tune M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction and M.Ed. Educational Leadership 2011