English as a Second Language Certificate

  • Credits: 12
  • Degree:
    Graduate Certificate

Program Description

This certificate provides an opportunity to explore the field of teaching English as a second language.  Participants learn ESL concepts, principles, theories and classroom practices that are effective in helping immigrants of all ages to learn English and succeed in a new culture.

Learning Outcomes

The certificate, or individual courses, will provide licensed K-!2 teachers, key information and strategies (Sheltered English Instruction/SEI) that can be used in teaching content areas to English language learners.  With approval from a school or district, the courses may be included in the professional development documentation that supports a teacher's application for 5-year re-licensure.


For more information, please contact Admissions at 1-800-829-4723.


ESL Courses
Equitable Assessment for ESL Learners
ESL 630 3 credit(s)
This course helps participants understand and explore a variety of issues related to assessment of English language learners at grade levels preK-12. They will learn how to use assessment as a tool to place ESL learners appropriately, and they will learn to interpret assessment results to plan instruction that helps students achieve high standards at all levels of English proficiency. They will understand how language proficiency and culture can affect learning and assessment. Strategies will be included in class activities that give participants experience with various means to assess the academic progress of English language learners. Participants will become familiar with state and federal assessment requirements, the usefulness and limitations to standardized tests, and appropriate accommodations for ELLs. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Second Language Acquisition and Culture
ESL 631 3 credit(s)
This course provides an overview of the study of language as it applies to second language acquisition and second language learning. It enables participants to understand the principles of language acquisition and language learning to facilitate the learning of English for students with various language skills and cultural backgrounds in content classrooms. The course will focus on different analytical levels of language and their impact on cognitive academic language proficiency from preK through grade 12. This course will explore educational theory of language development and address how to best work with students from various language skills. Participants will discuss how culture influences our attitudes and approaches to education. Issues of language and culture will be covered as they relate to the academic development of second language learners in a sheltered instruction classroom. Participants will also have an opportunity to put into practice their personal awareness of social, political, and cultural constraints on teaching ELLS. Culturally relevant pedagogy for the academic development of English language learners will be strongly emphasized. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Sheltered Instruction and Assessment
ESL 635 3 credit(s)
This course is designed for teachers and administrators experiencing the challenge of meeting the academic needs of multilevel, diverse classrooms PreK-12 that require sheltered instruction techniques and state mandated assessment instruments for English language learners (ELLs). This course will provide participants with multiple opportunities to learn and apply sheltering content instruction strategies to enable ELLs to meet grade level academic standards by utilizing the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) as demonstrated in national research on best practices for effective instruction. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Teaching Reading and Writing to ESL Students
ESL 620 3 credit(s)
This course will provide a comprehensive analysis of reading and writing theory with practical classroom applications for ESL learners preK-12. This will enable students to provide a balanced, comprehensive program of instruction with explicit and meaningfully applied instruction in reading, writing, and related language skills and strategies for ESL learners. A balanced approach to reading and writing includes explicit instruction in basic reading skills and comprehension strategies. The course will explore theory and practice through discussion, demonstration, and other strategies. In addition, participants will better understand how cultural and linguistic differences affect literacy development and how to implement literacy instruction that motivates students. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.

Program Chair

Core Faculty

Senior Instructor



  • Admission Test:

    Passing grade on TOEFL (English language proficiency test) is required for international students.

  • Admissions Office:
  • Application:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)

General Requirements

Official Transcript
Two Completed Recommendation Forms
Current Résumé

Personal Statement

Learn more about General Requirements 

State Requirements

College students are required to comply with state laws regarding individual health insurance and immunization. Compliance requirements currently exist for students in Massachusetts, Virginia and Tennessee. Learn more

International Students – Additional Requirements

International Students will need to complete supplemental documentation when applying. International transcripts must also be translated prior to submission in order to be evaluated for applicability. Learn more about international student requirements.

Transfer Credit Request Form

Only needed if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer credit. Learn more about transferring credits.



  • Credits:
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)
  • Graduation Fee:
    $110 (charged in last term)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $1,497 - Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.

Note: Rates are as of September 2013, and are subject to change without notice. Rates apply to all students, unless otherwise noted.

Financial Aid

Cambridge College offers financial aid to students in our degree programs who are enrolled at least half time. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits each term. Graduate and doctoral students must be enrolled in at least 4 credits each term. Learn more

Grants, Scholarships and Loans

Cambridge College welcomes the opportunity to support your efforts to pay for college.  Federal, state and local resources in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study, including Cambridge College Scholarships, are available to help defray the cost of tuition. Learn more

Getting Your Company to Help

Many companies have tuition assistance programs, designed to help their employees with their professional development. Learn more