Courses & Requirements for the TESL/TEFL Basic Certificate

The Basic Certificate requires 15 units--five 3-unit courses--plus a minimum of 15 hours of tutoring.

Introductory linguistics: Ling. 420 or Ling. 501.

Ling 420 (Linguistics and English): Introduction to sound and grammatical structure of language, with special attention to English. Language acquisition and variation. Of special interest to prospective teachers. Not open to students with credit in Linguistics 501.

Ling 501 (Fundamentals of Linguistics): Principles of modern linguistics, with attention to English grammar (syntax, morphology, phonology). Language change, dialects, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, language acquisition.

Note: With two exceptions, Ling 420 or Ling 501 is the prerequisite to all the courses required for the Basic Certificate listed below*. Normally graduate students should choose Ling 501, since it carries graduate credit. Either choice is suitable for undergraduates.

Language acquisition and processing:
Ling. 452, Ling. 454 or Ling. 552

Ling 452 (Language Acquisition): Principles of child language development. Sounds and grammar in speech of young children. Acquisition of reading and vocabulary. Development of language in bilinguals and second language acquisition.

Ling 454 (Intro to Second Language Acquisition): Prerequisite: Linguistics 101 or 420. Introduction to basic theory and research in second language acquisition. The nature of inter-language in second language learning. The influence of native language transfer, interaction, sociocultural factors on second language acquisition. Applications of second language research to teaching.

Ling 552 (Psycholinguistics): Prerequisite: Linguistics 420 or 501.  Psychological and mental processes related to acquisition, comprehension, and production of language in adults and children.

ESL teaching:
Ling. 550

Ling 550 (Theory and Practice of Teaching ESL): Prerequisite: Linguistics 420 or 501. The nature of language learning; evaluation of techniques and materials for the teaching of English as a second language.

Practical Issues/Computer Assisted Language Learning:
Ling.555 or Ling. 556

Ling 555 (Practical issues in ESL teaching): Pre- or co-requisite: Linguistics 550. Practical approaches to applications of ESL theory and methodology for speaking, reading, listening, writing; techniques for facilitating growth of communicative competence.

Ling 556 (Computer assisted language learning and teaching): Prerequisite: Credit or concurrent registration in Linguistics 550.  Theory and practice of computer assisted language learning and language teaching.  Hands-on experience with pedagogical aspects of using technology in the language classroom.

Ling. 430 or Ling. 530 or Ling. 551

Ling 430 (English grammar for prospective teachers): Prerequisites: Linguistics 101 and upper division standing.  Core grammatical facts of English grammar. Parts of speech; grammatical relations; word, sentence, discourse structure.  Focus on standard written English. Of special interest to prospective secondary school teachers.

Ling 530 (English grammar): Prerequisite: Six upper division units in linguistics. English morphology, syntax, and discourse structure, including simple and complex sentence structure; lexical categories and subcategories; discourse functions of selected constructions. Problems and solutions in teaching English grammar.

Ling 551 (Sociolinguistics): Prerequisite: A course in introductory linguistics. Investigation of the correlation of social structure and linguistic behavior.

(Choose your elective based on your assessment of your interests, strengths, or weaknesses.)

Course Availability

Linguistics 420 and 452 are offered with multiple sections in the spring and fall semesters. These courses are typically offered during the summer sessions as well. Linguistics 501 and 550 are normally offered in both the spring and fall. The remaining courses are offered at least once a year.

Transfer credit

Transfer credit is sometimes possible for one equivalent course (or, rarely, two equivalent courses) taken elsewhere. All applications for transfer credit are evaluated individually by the Certificate Program. No academic credit for course work is granted for work experience. However, ESL teaching experience may apply to the 15 hour tutoring requirement: See below.

Tutoring requirement

The certificate requires that each student complete 15 hours of tutoring related to the certificate. Additional information about tutoring can be obtained from the certificate advisor and will also be provided when students are taking Linguistics 550. Ideally, students should have completed some of their coursework for the certificate prior to completing the tutoring requirement.