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Certificate of Graduate Studies in Teaching English as a Second Language

Holders of an early childhood, elementary, secondary certificate, or K-12 teaching certificate may obtain a Second Certificate to teach English as a Second Language at the appropriate grade level by meeting the following requirements:​​

Program Coordinator: Dr. Sarah Hesson, Director
(401) ​456-8789
For program inquiries, please email

Certification Tests Effective September 1, 2013

Visit RIDE's Office of Educator Quality and Certification for more information and click the "Certification Regulations and Information" tab to learn more about the licenses for ESL and Bilingual / Dual Language Educators.

Admission Requirements

Admission to graduate study at Rhode Island College's Feinstein School of Education and Human Development is dependent on several factors. Primary consideration is given to a candidate's academic record, a current resume, a statement of professional goals as included in an application essay and a performance-based evaluation. A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university is required for admission to all graduate programs. Final acceptance is based on the combined decision of the appropriate academic department and the associate dean for graduate progra​ms and assessment. The C.G.S. in TESL accepts applications for March 1st for fall admission and November 1st for spring admission, but students are allowed to take up to three courses prior to matriculating into a program.

  1. Application and $50.00 nonrefundable fee.
  2. One copy of all official transcripts of each undergraduate and graduate record.
  3. A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of B (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) in all undergraduate course work. Applicants with undergraduate GPAs less than 3.00 may be admitted to degree candidacy upon submission of other evidence of academic potential.
  4. Teaching certificate.(See note: adult educators need not provide this)
  5. Three candidate reference forms WITH 3 accompanying letters of recommendation.​
  6. Professional goals essay.
  7. Performance-based evaluation.
  8. A current resume

Note: If you plan to teach ESL to adults or you plan to teach internationally, a teaching certificate is not required for entry into this program. However, a suitable undergraduate minor (e.g. languages and linguistics; English; international studies) is required to take graduate courses in this program.

International Applicants must also submit:

  1. Official translated copies of all academic credentials.
  2. Score of Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or certification of English proficiency.
  3. Statement of financial ability (i.e. how the tuition will be paid).
  4. A copy, if applicable, of current visa.

With the assistance of the graduate TESL advisor, prior to beginning graduate coursework the student develops a proposed program of study outlined on the Plan of Study Form. The student's advisor, the chair of the Department, and the graduate Dean for the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, must approve this form. Any time a student's program changes, the student must submit an approved Change in Plan of Study Form.

RIDE Requirements

Rhode Island College Courses

Socio-Cultural Foundations of ESL Education TESL 549: Sociocultural Foundations of Language Minority Education (Fall/Spring/Summer)
Theories of First and Second Language Acquisition TESL 539: Language Acquisition and Learning (Fall/Spring/Summer)
Introduction to English linguistics TESL 541: Applied Linguistics in ESL (Prerequisite: TESL 539/TESL 549) (Fall/Summer)
Methods for ESL Programs **TESL 546: Teaching English as a Second Language (Prerequisite: TESL 539/TESL 549) (Fall)
Curriculum for ESL Programs and Second Language Assessment and Evaluation TESL 551: Assessment of English Language Learners (Prerequisites: TESL 539; TESL 549; TESL 546/8; & TESL 541) (Fall/Spring)
Second Language Literacy for LEP Learners TESL 507: Teaching Reading and Writing to English as a Second Language Students (Prerequisites: TESL 539; TESL 549; TESL 546/8; TESL 541; & TESL 551) (Fall/Spring)
Completion of a 45 clock hour practicum in an ESL program TESL 553: Internship in English as a Second Language (Prerequisite: TESL 551) (Fall/Spring)

(Students must apply for the internship the semester prior to commencing the internship)
Content Assessment English to Speakers of Other Languages (5362)
(see the RIDE website for more information)

**Secondary Teachers should take TESL 548: Curriculum and Methods for Content ESL Instruction instead of TESL 546 (Prerequisites: TESL 539/TESL 549) (Spring)

Note: All of the above courses count towards the M.Ed. in TESL. However, you must apply for the M.Ed. in TESL before you have completed three of the TESL courses in order to transfer the courses into the graduate program.

Further information concerning the ESL Second Certificate may be obtained by calling Dr. Sarah Hesson at 456-8789 in the Department of Educational Studies at Rhode Island College or by emailing​.


Check bulletin, but typically offered

FNED 561: Latinos in the United States (3 Credits)
INST 516: Integrating Technology into Instruction (3 Credits)
BLBC 515: Bilingual Education Issues (3 credits)
INST 516: Integrating Technology into Instruction (3 Credits)
ELED 510: Research Methods, Analysis, and Applications (3 Credits)
FNED 547: Introduction to Classroom Research (3 Credits)
ELED 510: Research Methods, Analysis, and Applications (3 Credits)
FNED 502: Social Issues in Education (3 Credits)
CURR 501: Media Literacy, Popular Culture, and Ed (4​ Credits)​​​​​​​​​

Page last updated: August 27, 2018