What is Tesol

TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. People who pursue a TESOL Certificate do so to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to work effectively with non-native English speakers, either overseas or within the United States. Previous TESOL students have found work as an ESL teacher within the United States, as well as in Peru, Guatemala, Japan, South Korea, China, and Cyprus, as well as in other countries.

The TESOL Certificate and ESL Endorsement

Mississippi has one of the fastest-growing rates of English learners in the United States. These learners are tasked with learning grade-level content and English at the same time, and English skills are critical for learners’ success in American classrooms.

The Mississippi State University TESOL Certificate Program is designed to prepare in-service teachers to work effectively with English learners across grade levels and content areas.

This program will provide you with grounding in theoretical and empirical research in second language learning and teaching, as well as provide you with the skills you need to work effectively with English learners. It also meets the ESL licensure requirements for the Mississippi State Department of Education.

 

Benefits of a TESOL Certificate for Working Overseas

In addition to options for working with English learners within the United States, holders of a TESOL certificate and a Bachelor’s degree are strategically placed for a career teaching English as a foreign language in various countries outside of the United States. Many of these positions are with private businesses, private schools, or public school districts.

Holders of a TESOL certificate and a Master’s degree are in a competitive position to teach English at the university level in numerous countries outside of the United States. Mississippi State University graduates with TESOL Certificates have become:

  • Graduate students in TESOL, Foreign Language, Applied Linguistics, and other programs;
  • English as a Foreign Language teachers in China, Cyprus, Guatemala, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and other countries;
  • Instructors in university English Language Institutes

Graduate Students

The Online TESOL Certificate is open to graduate students in good standing and to non-degree seeking graduate students. Please contact Dr. Megan Smith at megan.smith@msstate.edu for more information.

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students may enroll in TESOL Certificate courses with the permission of the TESOL Program Director. Please contact Dr. Megan Smith at megan.smith@msstate.edu for more information.

Program Structure

The TESOL Certificate requires the completion of five courses with a grade of C or above in each course for undergraduate students and with a grade of B or above in each course for graduate students. The course options are listed below. Courses that are cross-listed in more than one department may be taken under any cross-listing.

Two Courses in Theoretical Background

  • EN 4403/6403 Introduction to Linguistics (to be taken in your first semester in the certificate program) (offered fall and spring)
  • EN 4463/6463 Studies in Second Language Acquisition (fall)

Two of the following courses in Language Teaching Methodology

  • EN 4433/6433 Approaches to TESOL (spring)
  • EN 4453/6453 Methods in TESOL (fall)
  • EN 4493/6493 TESOL Practicum

One course on the grammatical structure of English

  • EN 4443/6443 English Syntax (spring)

 

Note: On its own, the TESOL Certificate does not lead to K-12 ESOL certification, which is required to teach in the public school system in the U.S. However, the certificate can be added to a current or in-progress Mississippi educator’s license to obtain an ESL supplemental endorsement.

The TESOL Certificate Program is open to undergraduate and graduate students in good standing and non-degree seeking graduate students. Recent alumni, employees of MSU, and teachers in the state of Mississippi are also eligible for the graduate TESOL Certificate Program. Please contact Dr. Megan Smith at megan.smith@msstate.edu for details on how to register.

Admissions Process

The graduate-level certificate program is open to graduate students in good standing who are currently enrolled at the university in any major. It is also open to non-degree-seeking students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in any major. The program requires a minimum of 15 hours with a grade of B or better in each course. Degree-seeking students will be awarded their certificates at the time that they complete their degrees. Please contact Dr. Megan Smith at megan.smith@msstate.edu for directions to apply as a non-degree-seeking student.

Certificate Requirements

Undergraduate students must earn a grade of ”C” or higher in each of the five courses, and graduate students must earn a grade of “B” or higher in each of the five courses.

Transfer Credit

Up to two equivalent courses may be considered for transfer credit into the TESOL certificate program. Please email course descriptions to megan.smith@msstate.edu to have your previous course work reviewed for transfer purposes.

Courses

EN 4403/6403 Intro to Linguistics
Three hours lecture. The descriptive and historical study of language; linguistic analysis and comparisons; language classification; language in its social and cultural setting. (Same as AN 4403/6403)


EN 4463/6463 Studies in Second Language Acquisition
(Prerequisite: EN 4403/6403 or consent of instructor) Three hours lecture. A survey of the major theories of language acquisition, concentrating on accounts of second language acquisition.


EN 4443/6433 English Syntax
(Prerequisites: Either EN 4403/6403, AN 4403/6403, or Instructor Consent) Three hours lecture. Grammatical analysis of English with emphasis on pedagogical applications to teaching English as a foreign/second language.


EN 4453/6453 Methods in TESOL
Three hours lecture. This course covers the various practical pedagogical approaches common in TESOL including methods for teaching reading, listening, speaking, and writing as well as communicative approaches.


EN 4433/6433 Approaches to TESOL
Three hours lecture. This course covers various approaches to language teaching, including course design, classroom management, and sociocultural and sociopolitical issues surrounding being a language teacher.

Academic Advising

Headshot portrait of Megan Smith

Dr. Megan Smith

Department of English

  • Assistant Professor

Career Opportunities

Holders of a TESOL certificate and a Bachelor’s degree are strategically placed for a career teaching English as a foreign language in various countries outside of the United States. Many of these positions are with private businesses, private schools, or public school districts. Additional opportunities teaching English as second language exist in the United States as well.

Holders of a TESOL certificate and a Master’s degree are in a competitive position to teach English at the university level in numerous countries outside of the United States. Opportunities within the United States are also available.

Mississippi State University graduates with TESOL Certificates have become:

  • Graduate students in TESOL, Foreign Language, Applied Linguistics, and other programs
  • Public school teachers in Mississippi, New Mexico, Virginia, Washington, and other states
  • English as a Foreign Language teachers in China, Cyprus, Guatemala, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and other countries
  • Instructors in university English Language Institutes

Faculty and Staff

Photo of Joy Bailey

Joy Bailey

Distance Education

  • Coordinator
Headshot portrait of Dr. Megan Smith

Dr. Megan Smith

Department of English

  • Assistant Professor