What is TESL, ESL, TEFL, etc.?

The One Practice, Many Names: The profession originally known as ESL (English as a Second Language) has gone through many changes in name. TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) refers to teaching English in an English-speaking country; TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) refers to teaching English in a non-English-speaking country. Then came TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Though the names differ from one certification program to the next, the teaching techniques are well established. Get a certificate in one, and you can apply it to any program be it TEFL, TESL, TESOL, ESL, EFL, ELL or ESOL.

Is this program accredited?

Credits for the Graduate Certificate in TESOL are awarded by City University of Seattle which is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, a regional accrediting body approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Regional accreditation serves as the most important means of assuring the quality of higher education through rigorous peer-review and evaluation. CityU has maintained continuous accreditation with the Commission since 1978, earning reaffirmation of accreditation in its last review in 2018.

How long will it take me to finish the TESOL certification?

The time required to complete the TESOL Graduate Certificate will vary depending on how quickly you take the courses and which mode you choose. In general, the online and mixed mode program can be completed in two and a half quarters (7.5 months) and the TESOL summer intensive is completed in 5 weeks.

What is the difference between the certificate and the emphasis in the MEd?

There are different courses required for the programs. The emphasis requires more courses and you may be interested in this option if you have financial aid. Please talk to an advisor at 206.239.4790 or wal@cityu.edu  for more information.

What kind of undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degree is required as a prerequisite for the program?

A potential student in the TESOL program may have an undergraduate degree in any field.  We have had students who have been awarded an undergraduate degree in everything from Law to Anthropology.

What is the total cost of the program?

Please click here to see our Tuition page.

Is on-campus housing available during the summer intensive program?

Yes, students have the option to stay in our residence hall, located just a few blocks from campus. Space is limited, so you will need to apply. Please see here for more information.

What are your policies on attendance and grading?

WAL follows all City University of Seattle grading policies. Please click here (pdf) for the CityU course catalog.

 After I graduate from the program, will you help me with job placement?

We are, primarily, a teaching institution and not a placement agency. However, we will forward any teaching opportunities that we receive to students enrolled in the program. We frequently have schools in other countries reaching out to us to connect them with recent graduates. We also have connections in Mexico, China, and Vietnam and are happy to facilitate introductions. Instructors can write letters of recommendation and our Career Center can provide general advice regarding where to look and what issues are important when securing a job. With the graduate level certification in-hand, students should not have any difficulty finding employment abroad. Students will receive a university transcript and the certificate.

Can I take all my courses online?

Yes, domestic students may take all courses online.

Do you provide financial aid/scholarships?

We are unable to offer scholarships at this time. If you are in the MEd in Adult Education program with the TESOL emphasis, then you are eligible to apply for financial aid. The TESOL certificate is not eligible for financial aid. Additionally, we accept Americorps, VISTA, vocational rehabilitation, and Boeing vouchers. Alternative loans are also available through many lenders for tuition. For more information, please contact the City University of Seattle Office of Financial Aid.