Undergraduate ESL Certificate

A student teacher working with children

IUP's undergraduate ESL certificate will prepare you to work with multilingual speakers in schools or workplaces. Perfect for those interested in teaching ESL in the US K-12 system or who have plans to teach/work abroad.

All undergraduate majors can add the 12-credit certificate. All courses included in the 12 credits are online.

All majors: Why add an ESL certificate from IUP?

  • Faculty Mentors. Our professors have a broad range of research interests and experiences with language teaching.
  • Graduate Work. The course content and research interests of our professors prepares you for graduate-level TESOL and applied linguistics work.
  • Teaching Abroad. ESL certification gives you foundational concepts and experiences that will enable you to work with language learners around the world.
  • International and Multicultural Workplaces. Course content emphasizes the skills and knowledge to work in an intercultural environment.

Only current teacher candidates in education programs can add the 15-credit certificate to earn ESL certification from the state of Pennsylvania.

Teacher candidates in education majors only: Why add an ESL certificate from IUP and the state of Pennsylvania?

  • English as a second language is listed as a nationwide teacher shortage area by the US Department of Education.
  • The ESL certification program at IUP will give you a competitive edge while enhancing your ability to teach students from diverse contexts.
  • Internship (for education majors). Work in an ESL classroom under a master teacher, learning how to plan lessons and assess student learning.

To apply for the ESL undergraduate certificate, fill out our online form.

Program Description

Prepares students to teach English as a second or other language through a focus on structures and uses of English, the role of sociocultural contexts in language learning, second language acquisition theory, and practices and materials for use in the ESL classroom. Completing the 12-credit program will enable students from multiple majors to pursue teaching English in a variety of domestic and international contexts. Teacher candidates seeking ESL state certification take an additional three credit field experience course during which they are placed in a P-12 ESL classroom.

Required Courses for all Majors:

Fall online courses

  • ENGL 415 English Language Studies for Teachers, 3cr
  • ENGL 426 ESL Methods and Materials, 3cr

Spring online courses

  • ENGL 424 Second Language Acquisition, 3cr
  • ENGL 442 Cross-Cultural Communication, 3cr

12 credits total

Additional required course for teacher candidates:

If students are majoring in an education program that leads to certification, they must add ENGL 493 in order to apply for ESL certification from the state of Pennsylvania. ENGL 493 is only offered as a face-to-face course and is offered in the fall.

ENGL 493 Internship, 3cr

The field experience, ENGL 493, requires 60 hours of direct work with English Language Learners (ELLs), a minimum of 30 hours of which must be in an approved public school classroom setting. Students sign up for ENGL 493 in the fall. A minimum of 30 hours in the classroom must be completed in the fall. The remaining 30 hours (if the full 60 are not completed in the classroom in fall) may be continued into spring. The remaining 30 hours could be completed in a variety of approved settings, including after-school clubs that provide ESL tutoring and other community locations that offer services to ELLs.

For additional questions, please contact Emily Wender at ewender@iup.edu and Gloria Park at gloria.park@iup.edu.