Teaching English Learners (TEL)

Career Certificate

Teach English to multilingual learners

Become certified to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) in just 18 credit hours. Here’s the major benefit to you: The coursework for this certificate satisfies the requirements of the Illinois State Board of Education English as a Second Language endorsement, including the 100 hours of clinical experience! Just complete an application to the State to have this endorsement added to your existing teaching certificate(s).

Once you receive this certificate, you also become certified to teach ESL in the classroom. Help English Language Learners (ELLs) succeed with your understanding of relevant theoretical foundations of teaching. Teach anywhere you want—in the U.S. or in a non-English speaking country.

What can you do with a Certificate in Teaching English Learners?

Future-proof your career by becoming better equipped to work with multilingual learners and their families with this one-of-a-kind certificate. Most students work in a pre-K-12 program in a mainstream or dual-language classroom. Some work in community programs or as an online or face-to-face tutor.

Start right away with your certificate in roles such as:

  • ESL tutor or online tutor
  • teacher assistant
  • classroom aide

With additional education, you can help people as a:

  • ESL classroom or resource teacher
  • dual-language teacher
  • ESL instructor in the U.S. or overseas


  • Financial Aid/Scholarships Available

    Based on need and/or achievement. Explore ways to pay for college.
  • Career Certificate

    Earn a career certificate in 1 year or less to refine your skills into an in-demand career.
  • Program Length: 1.5 Years

    Full-time students can complete in 1.5 years.

Career Outlook

Need help?

Your College & Career Navigator (CCN) is your "go-to person" ready to help you get started at CLC.

Your CCN guides you through the admission process, helps you choose your academic program, enroll in classes and connect you with resources.

Talk to a CCN

Recommended Pathway

This pathway serves as a guide for students to complete the degree or certificate assuming full-time enrollment (registered in 12 or more credit hours per semester) with Semester 1 typically representing a Fall term. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their College and Career Navigator (CCN) to identify coursework that will meet degree requirements based on individual academic goals. For a more inclusive list of course options, see the college catalog.

*Cost is estimated based on recommended pathway credit hours. This includes in-district tuition and other fees, such as books and materials before financial aid is applied, as well as grants, loans or scholarships. There are many opportunities for financial assistance at CLC. Learn more about Cost of Attendance.

Female student taking notes in class


Get the bigger picture

A certificate is just one possible way to study Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Get the bigger picture—degrees, credentials and extra options.

View the TESOL Program Overview

Frequently asked questions

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