Ed Bengtson
Department Head, Curriculum and Instruction
216 Peabody Hall
479-575-5111
Email: egbengts@uark.edu

Janet Penner-Williams
Program Director
216 Peabody Hall
479-575-2897
Email: jpenner@uark.edu

Program Description: A graduate certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages is recognized worldwide as the entry-level qualification to the English language teaching profession. It is less of a commitment than a full TESL master's degree, but is comprised of accredited coursework that is transferrable later to a graduate degree, if needed. The program is ideal for domestic or international educators who seek knowledge of focused language instruction. No prior training in language teaching or linguistics is required. The program is also perfect for recent graduates in disciplines such as English, linguistics, literature, education, or world languages who wish to have recognition for preparation in the field of teaching English to speakers of other languages as a complement their main degree. The certificate could also serve retirees and those seeking career opportunities to explore teaching careers in the U.S. or abroad.

Admission Requirements to the Graduate Certificate Programs: In addition to meeting university requirements for admission to the Graduate School as a non-degree seeking, but certificate-seeking student as well as application requirements of the Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (TESL) graduate program, which includes:

  • A completed bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution.

  • An earned 3.00 GPA on the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework.

  • An earned 3.00 or above on all TESL coursework completed prior to admission to the graduate certificate.

Graduate Certificate in TESL: The graduate certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages recognizes students who take a concentrated core of courses, 15 hours, focused on second language acquisition, second language methods, second language assessment, teaching people of other cultures, professionalism, English learner parent family engagement, and program design for PK-12 English Learners. Students who earn this certificate have a working knowledge of appropriate programming and are able to apply appropriate teaching and assessment methodology for English learners in PK-16.

A Graduate Certificate in TESL is recognized worldwide as the entry-level qualification to the English language teaching profession. It is less of a commitment than a full TESL Master's degree, but is comprised of accredited coursework that is transferrable later to a graduate degree, if needed. The program is ideal for domestic or international educators who seek knowledge of focused language instruction. No prior training in language teaching or linguistics is required. The program is also perfect for recent graduates in disciplines such as English, Linguistics, Literature, Education, or Foreign Languages who wish to have recognition for preparation in the field of TESL to complement their main degree. The certificate could also serve retirees and those seeking career opportunities to explore teaching careers in the U.S. or abroad.

TESL Certificate requirements:

CIED 5923Second Language Acquisition3
CIED 5933Second Language Methodologies3
CIED 5943Teaching People of Other Cultures3
CIED 5953Second Language Assessment3
CIED 5913Parent/Family Engagement for Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Students3
or CIED 6193 Teaching English Language Learners in the Content Areas
Total Hours15

Dismissal Based on Unethical or Unprofessional Behaviors from the TESOL program

The University of Arkansas’ TESOL program adheres to the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession as established by the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Code of Ethics, as well as discipline specific codes of ethics and standards found in program handbooks. Violation of these principles may result in probation, suspension, or dismissal of the internship as described:

  1. Any incident of ethical misconduct or concern will be documented by the faculty member(s), discussed directly with the student, and referred to the program’s coordinator.  It may also be reported to the Professional Review Committee housed within the Office of Teacher Education.
  2. The Professional Review Committee evaluates the concerns and recommends a course of action, which may range from a zero score on the academic and/or internship work, a failing grade for the course, probation, up to dismissal from the TESOL program. 
  3. The TESOL Program Coordinator, in consultation with the Professional Review Committee and the Graduate School, has the authority and responsibility to dismiss a student from the TESOL program for unethical or unprofessional behavior and/or not recommend the student for licensure.

“Students who have been dismissed by the program on the basis of unethical or unprofessional conduct may appeal the decision following the procedures outlined under the Unethical and Unprofessional Conduct policy contained in the Graduate Catalog of Studies.”