Huntington University is a Christian liberal arts college in Indiana

faqs about TESOL

What is TESOL / EL? How about all those other terms, like: ESL, EFL, etc.?

TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (it can also stand for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages), and is the widespread term used to refer to this field, both in the U.S. and internationally. EL stands for English Learner, and is the nomenclature used within public education in the state of Indiana (other states, but not all, use this term, too). EFL stands for English as a Foreign Language, and is a term used to describe students learning English from their countries of origin. In other words, just like many U.S. students take Spanish as their foreign language, there are millions of students outside the U.S. who take English as their foreign language. ESL stands for English as a Second Language, a term that is no longer widely used because English may be a learner’s third or fourth language.

What can I do with a TESOL / EL Certificate?

For students who are earning or have earned a bachelor’s degree, the TESOL Certificate qualifies candidates for a variety of English teaching jobs all over the world, including with community and government organization within the U.S. For candidates holding a state teaching license, the EL certification enables them to teach English Learners (ELs) in the public school setting. If a candidate does not have a bachelor’s degree in education, he/she is unlikely to qualify as a public school teacher, even with ELs.

For students who hold a master’s degree in education (or a related field) and a TESOL / EL Certificate, teacher-training positions in TESOL are available. This makes a candidate qualified to teach at the university level in many overseas positions, as well as within a number of colleges and universities within the U.S.

Do I have to know another language in order to teach English to speakers of other languages?

No. Many native-English speakers are not fluent in another language, yet with strategies and skills they learn in our TESOL / EL Certificate program, they can meet the language learning needs of ELs. It should be noted that even if a teacher is bilingual, the EL population in his/her class may come from a wide variety of first-language backgrounds. In this case, the teacher typically uses English as the only language for instruction.

However, in certain contexts bilingual education is an excellent model for English language acquisition. In these cases, a bilingual English instructor is needed.

How long will it take me to get my TESOL / EL Certificate?

The short answer to this question is: anywhere from 2 to 4 semesters for traditional undergraduate students. For adults learners in the EXCEL program, it will take approximately 6 months attending class one night a week. There are four classes and one practicum required for the TESOL / EL Certificate. TE 233 Foundations of TESOL / ENL (3 credits); TE 234 Instructional Methods for TESOL / EL: Listening & Speaking (3 credits); TE 235 Instructional Methods for TESOL / EL: Reading & Writing (3 credits); CO 322 Intercultural Communication (3 credits); TE 395/396 TESOL / EL Practicum (3 credits, offered continually).