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

TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, the widespread term used to refer to this field, both in the U.S. and internationally.

EL stands for English Learner (or English Language), the nomenclature used within public education in the state of Indiana. Many other states use this term, too.

EFL stands for English as a Foreign Language, a term used to describe students learning English in non-English-speaking countries. 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 and refers to learning English in a country where English is the primary language like the U.S., the U.K., or Canada, just to name a few. Since many students learn English as a second, third, fourth, etc., language, other terms like ENL (English as a New Language) are also synonymous with ESL.

What can I do with a TESOL / EL Certificate?

For students who are currently earning, or have earned in the past, a bachelor’s degree, the TESOL Certificate qualifies the candidate for a variety of English teaching jobs all over the world, including educational, community, and government organizations within the U.S. For candidates holding a state teaching license, the EL certification enables them to add EL to a state teaching license and teach English Learners (ELs) in the public school setting. For students who hold a master’s degree and a TESOL/EL Certificate, teacher-training positions in TESOL and university teaching jobs are available.

Even though the need for English teachers is growing, the qualifications for paying jobs are also growing, and the job market is increasingly competitive. A bachelor’s degree and TESOL Certificate are typically the absolute minimum requirements for a paying job in the field.

Is my TESOL/EL Certificate the same as a teaching license?

No. If you already hold a state teaching license, Huntington University’s TESOL/EL Certificate coursework will allow you to take the state licensure test in order to add EL to your existing license. However, EL is not a standalone license in the state of Indiana, so if you do not already have a state teaching license, you cannot become licensed through this program.

Can I do the Master of Education in TESOL program without an education background?

Yes. You don’t need a background in education in order to participate in the Master of Education in TESOL. Likewise, you don’t need a background in ministry to participate in the Master of Arts in Ministry/TESOL. However, there may be some prerequisites that you are required to take before you complete the MA in Ministry/TESOL program.

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, however, 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, language teachers should always be language learners, so while a certain level of proficiency is not required in any one language for this program, you should always be learning new languages alongside your students.

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

The short answer to this question: anywhere from 2 to 4 semesters for traditional undergraduate students. For adult learners in the online Professional Programs or Graduate programs format, it will take approximately 9 months (August through May). There are four classes and one practicum required for the TESOL/EL Certificate.

How heavy is the class load? Can I work while taking classes?

Most of our adult participants work full time while taking classes. Our online classes are seven weeks long and scheduled to be taken one at a time so you can focus on one class at a time. There will be reading and online tasks each week as well as several class projects and assignments that you are responsible for completing. However, we recognize that our participants are working adults with busy lives and we take that into account when planning the workload for each course. The tasks and assignments are intentionally meaningful and not just busywork. The work required for each class is rigorous but possible to complete while working and living a full life.

What does a typical online class look like? How demanding is the workload?

The online coursework is very flexible and very reasonable for full-time working adults. Each week of the seven-week course, you'll have a few chapters or articles to read, 3–4 online discussion questions/tasks to participate in on the course Moodle page, and a 20–25 minute optional real-time class session that you can participate in live or watch the recording of later.

In addition to weekly reading and tasks, there are two main assignments (one due halfway through the course and one due at the end) for each course. These assignments could include papers or projects related to the course content. Some examples of these assignments are creating a teaching unit, compiling classroom tasks into a teaching resource, or presenting a research project.

We'd love to speak with you!

Are you interested in enrolling in our TESOL program? Do you have questions? Send an email to its@huntington.edu, drop us a line at (260) 359-4296, or click the button below to use our convenient contact form!

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