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Linguistics Program


TESOL Certificate

Providing a firm grounding in both linguistics and pedagogical theory paired with practical teaching experience, the TESOL Certificate Program prepares future teachers of English as a second or foreign language to apply their skills in settings around the world. 

A TESOL certificate can launch students into ESL teaching opportunities, or provide the basis for further education. The TESOL Certificate Program is a one-year course of study, primarily designed to supplement other degree programs in Linguistics, Foreign Language and Literature, English, or Education. The TESOL certificate by itself can sometimes lead to employment as an ESL teacher but is more often combined with another degree.

Because the TESOL Certificate is a six-course program and because up to three graduate courses from this certificate may apply towards an M.A., a student can usually earn a TESOL Certificate in conjunction with an M.A. in Linguistics with just one additional semester's coursework. The Program offers two tracks: EFL (English as a Foreign Language), primarily for post-secondary and/or overseas settings, and K-12 ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages). Visit the graduate bulletin for more information on these two tracks.

The Certificate Program has close relationships with the English Programs for Internationals (EPI) at the University of South Carolina, which is among the top-ranked adult ESL programs in the nation.

EPI faculty members typically are responsible for the instruction in pedagogically-oriented ESL theory courses, as well as for the practical training component of the Certificate Program. 

Timetable to Completion

The ESOL Certificate requires 18 credit hours of coursework, which takes one academic year to complete. The maximum time permitted to complete the ESOL Certificate is 4 years. No courses may be transferred from another university, although up to 9 semester hours of overlapping course work from another program at the University of South Carolina may count toward completion of the certificate.


Career Placements

Alumni of the Linguistics Program who obtained the TESOL Certificate have stepped up to careers in teaching English as a second/foreign language both at home, in the K-12 system of South Carolina, and overseas, in Korea, China, and Saudi Arabia.