General Information

Online courses are offered through the Department of Linguistics under two rubrics:

  • LING (Linguistics): 100-400 -level courses in general linguistics intended to help students satisfy requirements in a variety of programs, including the BA degree in Linguistics and the BS degree in Computer Science + Linguistics. 
  • EIL (English as an International Language): 400-level courses intended to help students satisfy requirements in a variety of programs, including the MATESL degree.

LING Courses Online

The Department of Linguistics regularly offers a variety of LING courses online, primarily to help undergraduate students graduate in a more timely fashion and/or to provide greater scheduling flexibility during the Fall and Spring Semesters. LING courses online are open to all enrolled students who meet the prerequisites for the individual courses (see course catalog for details). LING courses online are generally offered during Summer Session 2. These courses are intended primarily for students who wish to satisfy requirements for majors and minors in Linguistics, CS+Linguistics, or elective requirements for other majors. In some cases (notably LING 100 - Intro to Linguistic Science), LING courses online may satisfy General Education requirements with no prerequisites.

Courses and Schedule

The following courses have been offered in the past and, subject to enrollment limitations, may be offered again. Please contact Academic Advisor Zach Reed at for more information regarding these courses and when they might be offered in the near future.

LING Courses Online Projected Availability
LING 100 - Intro to Linguistic Science Summer Session 2
LING 301 - Elements of Syntax Summer Session 2
LING 302 - Elements of Phonology Summer Session 2
LING 400 - Intro to Linguistic Structure Summer Session 2
LING 401- Intro to General Phonetics Summer Session 2
LING 489 - Theoretical Foundations of Second Language Acquisition Summer Session 2

EIL Courses Online

The TESL program in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has been offering on-campus instruction for ESL/EFL teachers for more than 40 years through our EIL (English as an International Language) courses. We now bring those same courses to you online. If you have questions that are not answered in this information, please contact Professor Randall Sadler at

Courses and schedule

EIL 411 - Introduction to TESL Methodology Summer Session 2
EIL 422 - Engl Grammar for ESL Teachers Available Fall
EIL 460 - Principles of Language Testing Odd (2017, 2019, etc.) Summer Session 2s
EIL 486 - Linguistics for Language Teachers, or
LING 400: Intro to Linguistic Structure
EIL 486: Summer Session 2 (depending on enrollment)
Ling 400: Fall, Spring, Summer
EIL 487 - Technology for Language Teaching Even (2018, 2020, etc.) Summer Session 2s
EIL 488 - English Phon & Morph for TESL Available Fall and Spring
LING 489 - Theoretical Foundations of Second Language Acquisition Summer Session 2 (online); Fall and Spring (face-to-face)

For more information about courses and instructors, please see the Course Descriptions below.

Programs to which these online courses apply

Online EIL courses may be used to fulfill course requirements in a range of programs. To learn more about these programs, follow the links provided.

  1. Online Certificate in TESL: A 300 contact-hour credential for teaching ESL/EFL in non-public school settings. The certificate is available as a stand-alone credential to graduate students who are not currently in a degree program at UIUC. If accepted into the UIUC MATESL degree program, candidates may transfer into their degree program 12 hours of certificate courses completed with a grade of B or higher. Details are discussed in Online Certificate in TESL.
  2. Online ESL Endorsement: The State of Illinois, like many other states, is experiencing a shortage of qualified teachers who can teach public school children whose native languages are not English. Teachers with a valid teaching certificate (Type 03, 04, 09, 10) can earn an ESL Endorsement that will qualify them to teach ESL in public schools. The requirements for an ESL Endorsement in the State of Illinois include coursework and clinical experience. Our online offerings will meet the coursework requirements. They and the necessary clinical experience are discussed in Online Courses for ESL and ENL Endorsements.
    Since many other states have the same or similar requirements for an ESL Endorsement, these online courses can serve other in-service teachers as well.
  3. Online ENL Endorsement: The No-Child-Left-Behind (NCLB) legislation requires that in order to carry full responsibility for a public school ESL class, a teacher must be recognized as ‘Highly Qualified’. An ESL Endorsement does not take a public school teacher to this level; an ENL Endorsement (for secondary Type 09 certificates) does. It requires seven TESL courses (two more than the ESL Endorsement), the same on-site practical experience in an ESL or bilingual classroom, and satisfactory completion of a State-administered TESL proficiency exam. Our online courses meet the coursework requirements of the ENL Endorsement and prepare endorsement candidates to handle the TESL proficiency exam with ease. The requirements are stated in Minor in TESL.
  4. Masters in TESL (MATESL): We encourage on-campus MATESL candidates to take on-campus courses for their degree. However, students who have been accepted for admission to the UIUC MATESL degree program but have not yet started their program on campus may take online courses to shorten the length of their on-campus stay.
    Two courses are curriculum prerequisites for the MATESL degree. It is expected that MATESL candidates will have one of these courses--an introduction to linguistics--in their background. If they have not already completed this course, candidates for the MATESL degree are encouraged to do so by taking EIL 486 - Linguistics for Language Teachers online during Summer 2. 
    Some domestic and international MATESL candidates, who have been accepted for admission, delay a year before coming to UIUC for financial or other reasons. However, they need not delay the start of their program if they take MATESL courses online. Since they will not yet have started the MATESL program, they will take online courses as non-degree students and transfer the credit (up to 12 hours) to their degree program once on campus. For information about course requirements for the MATESL degree, see MA in MATESL.
  5. Cooperative MATESL Degree
    The Department of Linguistics enters into cooperative agreements with institutions abroad to offer courses for the fist year of a MATESL degree awarded by the other institution. Students come to campus for a year, joining UIUC MATESL candidates, to improve their English and pedagogical skills. They leave UIUC a year closer to their goal of a MATESL degree, having earned a Certificate in TESL. If they choose to be on campus for only one semester, they can complete their UIUC coursework toward a Certificate in TESL online.

Others who may be interested in online TESL courses

If you have not committed to one of the programs above but wish to explore the field of TESL or fill a gap in your professional preparation, our online courses offer you a ready way to meet your needs.

  • You may have already begun a certificate, endorsement, or degree program elsewhere and may wish to take advantage of the online option to fulfill one or more of your program requirements. We encourage you to consider using our courses to meet your goals.

  • You may be pursuing a public school teaching certificate at a college or university where there is no ESL Endorsement program. You are welcome to use our online courses to meet State course requirements.
  • You may be looking at TESL with interest but are uncertain whether this is the right field for you. We invite you to enroll in an online course to gain some first-hand experience that will help you answer the questions you have.

For guidance on the appropriateness of these courses for your interests, needs, and goals, contact Professor Randall Sadler at to discuss your particular situation.

Registration information

The degree and certificate programs noted above require a graduate application for admission. Click on the links above for details. Undergraduate UIUC students, MATESL candidates who have already begun on-campus courses, and candidates who have applied and have been accepted into the Certificate in TESL program register through the Enterprise Applications system according to guidelines sent to you by the University. The ESL and ENL Endorsement program do not require an application for admission. Prospective MATESL candidates, those taking ESL and ENL Endorsement courses, and others register through Online & Continuing Education (OCE): Find the course you wish to register for, scroll to the bottom of that page, and click on ‘OCE’s Online Registration System’.

Courses available for a particular semester are published by OCE about two months before courses are scheduled to start. To see which courses are currently available, go to Just look for the English as an International Language (EIL) rubric.

Tuition information

UIUC campus degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students, who register through the Enterprise Applications system, will pay tuition and fees based on their program of study at the university. For those tuition and fee rates, please refer to Tuition and Fee Rates.

Non-Degree Online Certificate in TESL students are considered UIUC students. They also register through the Enterprise Applications system and pay tuition at the Graduate Base Rate for registration in designated non-degree online course sections. See How to Enroll in an Online Course. 

Online students who are not enrolled UIUC students and register for online classes through the Office of Continuing Education (OCE), pay tuition according to information given at How to Enroll in an Online Course. 


Course descriptions

Online courses beyond the following will be added in coming semesters.

EIL 411 - Introduction to TESL Methodology

Introduction to TESL/TEFL, including the concept of "communicative competence" and its components; teaching contexts; current research on teaching second language skills; syllabus, lesson, and materials design; and classroom techniques.

3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

List of terms course is offered.

EIL 422 - English Grammar for ESL Teachers

Adaptation of modern English grammar to meet the needs of the ESL/EFL teacher, with special emphasis on the development of knowledge and skills that can be used in the analysis of the syntax, lexis and pragmatics of English. Same as ENGL 404.

3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

List of terms course is offered.

EIL 445 - Second Language Reading & Writing

Introduces students to second language reading and writing, including theory, research, and practical application.

3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be taken concurrently with EIL 489 with consent of instructor.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

List of terms offered.

EIL 460 - Principles of Language Testing

Studies theoretical and practical aspects of language testing. Examines purposes and types of language tests in relation to theories of language use and language teaching goals; discusses testing practices and procedures related to language teaching and language research; and includes the planning, writing, and administration of tests, basic descriptive statistics, and test analysis. A project is required. Same as EPSY 487, FR 460, GER 460, ITAL 460, PORT 460, SLS 460, and SPAN 460.

3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

Prerequisite: EIL 489 or consent of instructor.

List of terms course is offered.

EIL 486 - Linguistics for Language Teachers

Introduction to linguistics for language teachers. Examines history and scope of linguistics, and introduces key elements of linguistic analysis with accompanying theoretical analyses of syntax, morphology, phonology, the lexicon, and pragmatics. Also covers the role of non-linguistic factors in communication and prioritizes the application of linguistics to instructed language learning settings.

3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

List of terms course is offered.

EIL 487 - Technology for Language Teaching

Topics on practical applications of second language studies for classroom practice.

2 or 4 undergraduate hours. 2 or 4 graduate hours. May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours if topics vary.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

List of terms course is offered.

EIL 488 - English Phonology & Morphology for TESL

Applications of linguistics to language learning with special emphasis on learning the sound system of English. The course involves face-to-face and online instruction.

3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. A linguistics introductory course.

List of terms course is offered.

LING 489 - Theoretical Foundations of SLA

General introduction to second language acquisition (SLA) theory. Examines nativist, interactionist and cognitive approaches to SLA and explores the role of learner characteristics. Same as FR 481, GER 489, ITAL 489, PORT 489, and SPAN 489.

3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

Prerequisite: An introductory course in linguistics or consent of instructor.

List of terms course is offered.