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Opening Doors

Online Certificate Program Offered for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Certified teachers with master's degrees can take the TESOL advanced certificate course completely online. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 4, 2017) — The School of Education has just made it easier to fulfill the New York State certification requirements to address the needs of English Language Learner (ELL) students.

A new 15-credit Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) advanced graduate certificate program is offered completely online, so that state-certified teachers with master’s degrees can earn the credential at their convenience.

Courses for the program cover topics such as English grammar and linguistics as they relate to teaching and learning, teaching methods to support ELLs, and technology use for language and literacy development.

“Our goal is to produce excellent teachers who can demonstrate the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to teach ELL students,” said Lauren Park, assistant professor of TESOL and second language acquisition. “Our online TESOL certificate program will help students to gain sound theoretical foundations for second/foreign language learning as well as practical techniques for language teaching.”

The ELL population in New York State has grown over 20 percent in the past year and ELLs make up over 8 percent of the state’s student population. According to a recent study by NYKids, principles of success for schools that have ELL students include:

  • All school boards and district/school leaders are responsible for ensuring that the academic, linguistic, social, and emotional needs of ELLs are addressed.
  • Districts and schools recognize that bilingualism and biliteracy are assets.
  • District and school communities leverage the expertise of English as a New Language (ENL)/ bilingual teachers and support personnel while increasing their professional capacities.
  • District and school communities leverage ELLs’ home languages, cultural assets, and prior knowledge.
  • Districts and schools use diagnostic tools and formative assessment practices in order to measure ELLs’ content knowledge as well as new and home language development to inform instruction.

The online TESOL advanced graduate certificate program addresses these needs and more.

“Ensuring academic success for ELL students is a priority for all educators,” School of Education Dean Robert Bangert-Drowns said. “Our online availability gives flexible access for NYS teachers to a program designed to meet this essential need in all our communities.”

This new advanced certificate program adds to the long list of online degrees the School offers including online master’s degrees in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology, Childhood Education, Early Childhood Education, and Reading as well as a certificate program that prepares educators to teach online. Online certificate programs were also recently launched in Computing Education — the first in New York State — and in Adolescent Special Education. These programs serve initially and professionally certified teachers seeking to deepen and broaden their professional expertise, and offer preparation in education-related careers outside of classrooms.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.