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TESL Certificate

Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language

Graduate students, please see our SLAT Certificate Page


Linguistics administers an 18 credit hour undergraduate certificate in TESL. The certificate is open to undergraduate students in any undergraduate program at UF. The TESL Certificate is suitable for those who wish to teach in a variety of settings, either overseas or in the US. This program should not be confused with the State Department of Education’s endorsement in Bilingual/ESOL for teaching in Florida public schools. For this, please contact UF’s College of Education.

You should have a desire to interact with students from different cultures and possibly travel abroad, learn about the English language, learn about curriculum development and teaching issues, and, ultimately, teach English.

Registering in the TESL Certificate Program

In order to register for the TESL Certificate Program, students must print out the TESL Certificate Registration application, complete it, and submit it in person to the Undergraduate Coordinator.(See the Linguistics Undergraduate Studies page for current office hours.) After meeting with the Undergraduate Coordinator, you must also apply online at admissions webpage.

You MUST submit this application as a hard copy before the deadline dates as follows in order to be registered in the program for that semester:

  • Fall Semester: September 15th
  • Spring Semester: February 1st

Students are strongly encouraged to register for the program at least two semesters before they plan to graduate. Seating in TSL 4940 (see below) is very limited and seats cannot be guaranteed for students who register with the program late (within two semesters of their planned graduation). Also please note that TSL 3378 is currently only offered during Fall semesters, and so students will need to plan their schedules accordingly. Please contact the Linguistics Undergraduate Coordinator, if you are interested in the program. Students who are in their final two semesters before graduating are generally not eligible.

Course Requirements

To be granted a TESL certificate, a student must complete, with grades of C or better 18 credits (6 courses) distributed as follows.  You must also have maintained a 3.0 GPA in these courses.  All course work must be completed at UF.

Required Courses (6 courses of 3 credits each)

  • LIN 3010 Introduction to Linguistics**
  • LIN 4721 Second Language Acquisition**
  • TSL 3360 Introduction to TESL
  • TSL 3378 Pronunciation for TESL (prereq: LIN3010)
    • This course is ONLY offered in the Fall Semester, with priority seating for students officially registered in the program or minor
  • LIN 3680 Modern English Structure (prereq: LIN3010)
    • Priority seating given to students officially registered in the program or minor
  • TSL 4940 Internship for TSL
    • This is the capstone course of the certificate.  You must have completed at least 4 of the required courses in order to do the internship.  During the internship, you will observe experienced teachers, develop a course with a cohort of other novice teachers, and teach that course with your teaching cohort in a specific teaching context. 
    • Students do not register directly for this course, but are registered by the department after approval from the TESL Program Director and Undergraduate Coordinator.

**If you are a Linguistics major: Only LIN 3010 and LIN 4721 are allowed to overlap with your major. In order to graduate with the TESL certificate, you must have taken four other courses that count for the Linguistics major in place of the TESL courses above. Please note that at this time your degree audit may not reflect this requirement. Please contact the Linguistics Undergraduate Coordinator, if you have any questions about graduating with both a Linguistics major and TESL certificate.

 Receiving the Certificate after Completing the Program Requirements

In the semester that you complete the requirements for the TESL Certificate, print out a copy of the TESL Application for Completion.  You may also get a copy of the form in the Linguistics’ office.  Fill out the application and submit it to the Linguistics Undergraduate Coordinator.  The Coordinator will verify that you have met the requirements and request the printing of your Certificate, the signature by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Chair of the Program in Linguistics.  The Office Manager will then make sure that you receive your certificate by mail, approximately four weeks after the end of the term. If there is a delay, contact the Coordinator.

When you apply for online graduation in your final semester at UF, you will need to also apply to graduate with the certificate.

Contact For More Information

For more information about the TESL certificate, please contact the TESL Coordinator, Dr. Paula Golombek, or the Undergraduate Coordinator, Dr. Paula Golombek.