TEFL Certificate

Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language

What is a certificate in TEFL?

The certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) provides students with appropriate skills and a credential that will enable them to teach EFL abroad. The TEFL certificate is awarded to students who successfully complete a series of five undergraduate courses offered by the Department of Applied Linguistics & ESL. The TEFL certificate is an entry-level credential for those who plan short-term stays overseas. Students who are interested in a career in teaching EFL/ESL will need to have more extensive education and certification at the master’s degree level.

Who is the certificate in TEFL for?

Students who are likely to be interested in the certificate program include those in disciplines where an extended stay abroad would enhance their skills, employment or graduate school admission possibilities upon their return. Some individuals are simply interested in the adventure of living in another culture and of gaining knowledge of the world. Other individuals who would take the certificate courses are post-baccalaureate students who are interested in working abroad but do not want to make the long term professional commitment entailed in a graduate degree in the field. (Note that GSU now also offers a graduate certificate, however, which is also only five courses and is a better choice if there is a chance that you might be interested in continuing on to earn an MA; see http://alsl.gsu.edu/graduate-tesol-certificate/ for further information.) Finally, majors in Language Studies interested in further graduate study in applied linguistics would be able to earn the certificate as part of their undergraduate degree requirements, thus enhancing their graduate school potential.

The TEFL certificate is intended for GSU-admitted students who take the required courses as part of their undergraduate coursework, or as post-baccalaureate students. It is not available as a continuing education program.

Courses required for the TEFL certificate

The TEFL certificate requirements consist of the following five courses:

AL 3021 Introduction to Linguistics (3 hrs.–prerequisite for the others; also has a prerequisite; see below for more information)

AL 3041 Second Language Acquisition (3 hrs.)

AL 3051 Methods of Teaching EFL (3 hrs.)

AL 3101 English Grammar in Use (3 hrs.)

AL 4161 EFL Practicum (3 hrs.–to be taken in final semester–after AL 3051)

Notes about courses: AL 2021 Intro to English Linguistics is a prerequisite to the first course in this series, AL 3021, but post-baccalaureate students and students who pass a free departmental exam may be exempted from this requirement (contact alugdirector@gsu.edu for exam information). AL 3021 is the first course in the series, but may be taken in conjunction with AL 3051 and possibly with AL 3101 (it is a strict prerequisite for AL 3041, however). AL 4161 should be the last course taken, and AL 3051 is a prerequisite to this practicum course. Students must fill out an application for the TEFL certificate program before registering for AL 4161, the final course in the series.

How long does it take to earn a TEFL certificate?

Students can usually earn the TEFL certificate in a year or less. It is not possible to take all five courses in a single semester, because some courses build on others. AL 3021 is a prerequisite to all the other courses, and should be taken first. In the case of post-baccalaureate students or undergraduates beginning the coursework late in their programs of study, we can make exceptions to this prerequisite rule, allowing students to take AL 3021 simultaneously with AL 3051 and/or AL 3101. Taking AL 3021 and AL 3051 simultaneously should allow these students to finish the certificate within two semesters (dependent upon course offerings).

Program Costs

Regular undergraduate tuition and fees

Georgia State University

Georgia State University is a leading research university located in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The university has a total enrollment of approximately 51,000 students from all 50 states and 170 countries and is a national leader in graduating students from diverse backgrounds. The university offers 250+ degree programs in 100 fields of study at the Atlanta campus. There are eleven college-level units of the university: Arts and Sciences, Arts, Biomedical Sciences, Business, Education & Human Development, Nursing and Health Professions, Honors, Law, Policy Studies, Public Health, and Perimeter College.

Additional Information


TEFL Application

Hae Sung Yang

Department of Applied Linguistics & ESL
25 Park Place, 15th floor*
E-mail: hyang20@gsu.edu
Phone: 404-413-5200*
*email is the quickest and most reliable mode of communication