Teach English as a Second Language/Teach English as a Foreign Language

This 130-hour certificate program prepares novice instructors to successfully live and teach English overseas. Over 100 TESL/TEFL Certificate graduates have been employed in over 40 countries with the help of ALI's job placement assistance program. This program combines a solid teaching foundation with hands-on practical classroom experience. Specialized sessions – language acquisition theory, teaching specific language skills, effective second language teaching methods, understanding the English language learner, classroom atmosphere and management, lesson preparation, and materials development - provide participants the tools that they need to successfully apply for, and perform teaching assignments abroad.

Estimated Cost
Textbooks not included
Completion Time
Day Sessions: 4 Weeks
Night Sessions: 11 Weeks
Course Format
In Person

SDSU's American Language Institute has been training teachers of ESL/EFL since 1981. The ALI teaching staff has a broad base of experience in teacher training, ranging from Fulbright assignments in Costa Rica, Romania, and Japan to presenting a Brazil, Korea, Japan, Mexico, and Jordan.

Register Below

Day Courses Registration

Program Highlights and Goals

  • Worldwide Job Placement Assistance
    Job placement assistance is provided to graduates.
  • Lesson Strategies and Plans
    Students learn how to teach reading, listening, speaking, pronunciation, grammar, and writing.
  • Teaching Strategies
    Students learn standardized test preparation (e.g., TOEFL), business English, and how to work with younger learners.
  • Teacher-Mentor
    An experienced mentor teacher is assigned to each participant.
  • Teacher Assistant
    Participants rotate though actual ESL classes with international students as a teaching assistant.
  • Language Acquisition
    A working knowledge of the theoretical aspects of language acquisition and communicative language teaching are taught.
  • EFL Teaching Methodologies
    Students learn the most effective methods to teach and present English grammar and explain structural patterns in ways that help improve international students’ communicative abilities.
  • Résumé Assistance
    Support is provided with the creation of international teaching curriculum vitae.
  • Student-centered Techniques
    Students learn how to manage a communicative classroom using small groups.
  • Reflective Teaching
    Students learn through peer teaching and actual classroom teaching with feedback from experienced teachers.
  • Technology
    Participants learn about new technologies and practice using technology in the classroom.

For more information on this program, please contact studentworld@sdsu.edu.


TESL/TEFL Certificate

Day Courses Register - TEFL 0001, Teacher Training
Night Courses TBD

Number of weeks

4 (daytime program) 11 (nighttime program).

Hours of participation

130 (including homework)
Daytime classes meet 9 am-4:30 pm Monday through Friday.
Nighttime classes are 6-9 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays (32 hours of observation and student teaching are required between the hours of 9 am-3 pm, Monday-Thursday).


Bachelor's degree required for job placement assistance, all are eligible to apply, TOEFL 551/79 or oral interview if non-native English speaker.

Also Included

Students have access to résumé/CV writing assistance, job placement assistance, and mentorship program.

Dates and Costs

See Calendar & Fees

Course Fees

One week notice and a full refund of deposit will be given if a minimum class size is not met.


Labor Analysis
ESL/Foreign Language Teacher — Nationwide

Job Postings
Last 12 months

Projected Growth
Over 10 years

Salary Range



  • Core Training
    Language acquisition; communicative language pedagogy; speaking, listening, reading, writing, grammar, and pronunciation integration; English grammar; understanding the EFL learner; classroom management; lesson planning; the TEFL profession; and communicative language teaching.
  • Specialized Modules
    English as an international language; working abroad; teaching standardized exam preparation; teaching business English; and teaching younger learners.
  • Teaching
    Students facilitate in a variety of ESL classes and have the opportunity to teach in their mentor's class

For additional information on the TESL/TEFL Certificate program contact studentworld@sdsu.edu.