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TESOL Certificate Program

Graduate students at Bowling Green State University have the opportunity to earn a certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Students wishing to earn the certificate must take a total of four courses (12 hours) in the English department. We currently offer these classes two at a time so that students can complete the certificate in a single year if they like or spread the courses out over two years. If students choose the two-year cycle, we recommend the order given below:

  • ENG 6150: Modern English Linguistics; offered online summer and fall semester
    This is a starting point of the certificate cycle: An introduction to the study of languages and linguistics with an emphasis on the structure of the languages of the world. Topics include: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, language death, language acquisition, psycholinguistics, gender and language and first language acquisition.

  • ENG 5170: Applied Syntax; Offered Spring Semester
    An in-depth study of English syntax with a focus on areas that are difficult for second language learners. Emphasis is placed on how English differs from other widely-spoken languages, recognizing and diagnosing learners' errors and clearly and accurately answering students' questions about grammar and usage.

  • ENG 5180: Applied Phonology; offered fall semester
    An in-depth study of the sound structure of English and other languages. The consonants, vowels, syllable structure and intonation of English are studied both to discover how best to teach clear pronunciation and to predict what areas will pose difficulties for students. Emphasis is placed on developing exceptional phonetic transcription skills and developing strategies for teaching clear pronunciation.

  • ENG 5100: Theories and Methods in TESOL; Offered Spring Semester
    This class is, in many ways, the capstone of the certificate cycle: An up-to-date study of the theories and best practices of teaching a second language both in the classroom and in tutoring situations. Students in this class have access to the ESOL department's exceptional staff of ESOL instructors during this semester and will observe these courses. They will study the history of pedagogical thought on language acquisition and engage with important classroom issues.

As the demand for fluent speakers of English grows in national and international educational settings, the need for trained English teachers grows also. Although we do not currently offer an Ohio K-12 endorsement in TESOL, BGSU's certificate is designed to offer teachers and future teachers the technical information about linguistics, language pedagogy and the structure of English they need to work effectively in second language settings. This set of courses serves as excellent preparation for those who wish to teach English overseas or for those wishing to pursue further studies in linguistics.

The program is designed either as a stand-alone certification or as a complement to graduate degrees in English, Education, Spanish, German, French, MACIE, business, social work and related fields.

Students considering the certificate might also want to investigate:

  • BGSU's modern Language Learning Center: a fully-equipped language learning laboratory
  • The Cross Cultural Conversation Connection program: an ESOL program outreach which pairs American and international students for cultural exchange and language practice.
  • The ESOL program: speaking, listening, reading and writing courses for those whose first language is not English. Although entering students must have a good command of English to begin TESOL classes, the availability of these courses means that non - native speakers of English can receive some language support themselves while studying for the TESOL certificate.
  • Family English class: another outreach of BGSU's ESOL program: a non-academic English class for families of BGSU students and employees.

Application Process and Requirements

The following are part of the application process. There are no tests scores (TOEFL or GRE) required for admission.

  • Submit the online application at /content/bgsu/en/admissions/apply-now.htmlonline/?graduate
    Once there, click “Apply Now” and complete the online application for admission.
    NOTE: (When you reach 'enrollment options', there is a link which says: 'select my area of study'. Clicking that brings up the list of possible degrees and certificates. The TESOL certificate is near the bottom of that list.
  • Submit two copies of transcripts (to the graduate college).
  • $45 application fee (also to the graduate college)
  • a statement of purpose (submitted to the English Department)
  • three (3) letters of recommendation (also submitted to the English department).
  • demonstrate sufficient command of spoken and written English to complete the coursework by interview with the program director or ESOL director or assistant director as applicable

Please feel free to contact Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen (program coordinator) with any questions you may have.

Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen

Office: 423 East Hall
419-372-8935
swellsj@bgsu.edu