The Certificate in English as a Second Language (ESL) Studies is open to all undergraduate, graduate, and non-degree students at FAU. The ESL Studies Certificate aims to prepare those who wish to teach ESL in a variety of settings, either overseas or in the US. The ESL Studies Certificate confirms that you have done substantial coursework in ESL and related fields, which gives you the theoretical knowledge needed to teach ESL classes. The ESL Studies Certificate consists of 15 credits/5 courses (2 required, 3 electives).


ESL Studies Certificate Courses:

 Undergraduate students:

 Graduate students:

1. LIN 3010 Introduction to Linguistics

  • Summer 23: online
  • Fall 23: WF, 9:30-10:50

2. TSL 4251 Applied Linguistics and TESOL

  • Fall 23: online

1. LIN 6135 Principles of Linguistic Analysis

  • Fall 23: M, 11-1:50

2. TSL 6253 Applied Linguistics and TESOL

Plus any three of the following:

- LIN 4930 Introduction to SLA

- LIN 4600 Sociolinguistics

- LIN 4620 Bilingualism

- LIN 4680 Structure of Modern English

  • Fall 23: WF, 11-12:20

- TSL 4080 Intro to TESOL

  • Fall 23: online & TR, 11-12:20

All undergraduate courses must be completed with a grade of C or better and with an overall average of B.

Plus any three of the following:

- FLE 6892 Research in Foreign Language Learning Theories (LLCL GTAs only)

  • Fall 23: M, 2-4:50

- LIN 6601 Sociolinguistics

- LIN 6622 Bilingualism

- LIN 6720 Second Language Acquisition

  • Fall 23: T, 4-6:50

- LIN 6676 Structure of Modern English

  • Summer 23: online

- SPC 6715 Intercultural Communication

All graduate courses must be completed with a grade of B or better.

Frequently Asked Questions (incl. enrolment, course format, costs, & graduation):

I am a non-native speaker and would like to take classes to improve my English. Is this the right program for me?
No. The ESL Studies Certificate program is for those who wish to teach English, not learn it. For English classes for non-native speakers (including evening and weekend classes, business English, accent reduction, TOEFL preparation, etc.), please visit the 'Community ESL' section of the FAU's Intensive English Institute website .

I am a K-12 teacher and need the ESOL Endorsement from the Florida Department of Education. Is this the right program for me?
No. Doing ESL-related coursework is not enough to teach ESL at a public school (K-12) in the State of Florida. Public school teachers need to be state-certified and require an Educator Certification with ESOL K-12 Endorsement. Please contact the Florida Department of Education or your local school board for more information on the certification process.

I am interested in teaching English abroad or at a private school/language center. Is this the right program for me?
Yes. In the course of this certificate program, you will learn about the English language, ESL curriculum development, and teaching issues related to teaching English as a Second Language. Depending on the electives you choose, you can also learn about the second language acquisition process, bilingualism, issues related to language and society (sociolinguistics), and intercultural communication.

Can I take the certificate courses online?
Course offerings and course modality differ each semester. To find out which courses are offered online or in-person, please consult Course Schedules.

Are certificate courses offered every semester? Can I take courses during the summer?
Course offerings vary from semester to semester. To find out when specific courses are offered, please consult Course Schedules.

Do certificate courses also count toward fulfilling degree requirements?
Yes. Certificate courses can also count toward fulfilling other degree requirements at FAU, such as the required or elective courses for the undergraduate major and minor in linguistics or the graduate degree in linguistics. 

I am a student at FAU. How do I enroll in the ESL Studies Certificate?
There is no application or enrollment procedure. You simply need to take the five ESL Studies Certificate courses. Please work together with an FAU advisor to ensure that the Certificate courses are part of your Plan of Study. For undergraduate advising, we recommend that you contact Anna Anoufrieva (Arts & Letters Academic Advising) at aanoufri@fau.edu. For graduate advising, please contact Dr. Frederic Conrod (LLCL Graduate Director) at fconrod@fau.edu.

I would like to complete the ESL Studies Certificate as a non-degree student. How do I enroll? 
To find out what steps to take to become a non-degree student at FAU, please visit the Registrar's website

If I complete the Certificate courses as a non-degree student, can I later use these courses toward a degree at FAU? 
Yes, but there is a limit of 6 non-degree credits (2 courses) that can be credited toward a degree if you decide to become a degree-seeking student at FAU while or after completing the ESL Studies Certificate.

How much does it cost to get the ESL Studies Certificate?
Certificate students pay the same tuition as degree-seeking students. Tuition fees depend on the level of studies (undergraduate vs. graduate) and residency (in-state vs. out-of-state/international). For up-to-date information on tuition costs at FAU, please visit the university's Cost of Attendance webpage. (The certificate is 15 credits total).

How do I receive the certificate when I am done?
After you complete the required courses, you will need to add the Certificate on your application for degree and certificates (choose 'ESLU' for the undergraduate level or 'ESLG' for the graduate level). You can submit the application in your final semester at FAU together with your application for graduation or in the semester when you are taking the final 5th course toward the Certificate. Complete all parts of the application, click 'Print PDF' at the bottom of the form, sign your name in the 'Student Signature' field, and submit the print-out to your advisor (if you are an undergraduate student) or directly to the LLCL Department in CU-97, Suite 232 (if you are a graduate or a non-degree student). Please keep in mind the deadline for submitting graduation paperwork. Once approved, completion of the ESL Studies Certificate will be marked on your final FAU transcript. A paper copy of the certificate can be picked up in person or mailed to you. You will be notified via email when the Certificate is ready for pick up/mailing.

I have more questions. Who do I contact?

For additional information, please contact the current ESL Studies Certificate Director:

Dr. Michael Hamilton, Program Head for Linguistics
Department of Languages, Linguistics, and Comparative Literature (LLCL)
777 Glades Road, Culture & Society Bldg. (CU-97), Ste 232
Boca Raton, FL 33431