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Foellinger Auditorium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignEnglish is a global language, a symbol of Western culture, ideals, creativity, and prosperity. It is a commodity in such high demand worldwide that nearly any speaker of English can sell this commodity with the right credential, the most common of which is the Certificate in TESL.

The University of Illinois Department of Linguistics offers Graduate Level Certificates in Teaching English as a Second Language both on campus or fully online.  The details of both Certificates and how to apply may be found via the links below.  We welcome your application to this program!

Note: The content, length, and instructors for a certificate are not regulated in the field of Teaching English as a second or foreign language. For this reason, certificates are distinguished by the institution awarding them and by the number of contact hours involved in earning the certificate. The Certificate in TESL from the Department of Linguistics at UIUC is a 300 contact-hour credential. See FAQs for more detail. Those wishing to teach ESL in a U.S. public school setting should see ESL Endorsement.

The following information describes the Certificate in TESL offered by the oldest TESL MA program in the United States and presented by TESL specialists of international stature. This fully-online Certificate in TESL for graduate students provides a solid foundation for teaching English as a second or foreign language in the U.S. or abroad.

If your questions are not adequately addressed here, the following Frequently Asked Questions may help. If questions still remain, please contact Randall Sadler, Program Director, at