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College of Arts & Sciences

Online Certificate in Teaching English as Foreign Language (TEFL)

TEFL artwork: Teach English Anywhere (with hot air balloon graphic)

Online TEFL Certificate

  • Take online courses at your own pace.
  • Complete the certificate in one summer, 14 weeks online.
  • Earn credits toward M.A. in Applied Linguistics.

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Program Code: CTTEFL

Program Director: Michelle O’Malley, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Assistant Professor of Linguistics

Program Overview

Online Program for English as a Foreign Language Instructors

Online: This certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is offered entirely online in an asynchronous manner, allowing non-degree-seeking students to work at their own pace.

The non-degree, asynchronous, online format makes it possible for individuals with full-time life commitments to gain invaluable professional training for teaching English abroad. The program also serves students who already have an undergraduate degree and who are seeking specific training to improve their employment prospects where language, culture, history and communication are concerned.

TEFL coursework can complement a wide range of related disciplines, including foreign languages, international studies, political science, communications, history, sociology, anthropology, education, library science, artificial intelligence, psychology, and cognitive science.

The certificate coursework provides theoretical as well as practical instruction to students seeking training in TEFL. Completion of the coursework listed below leads to a TEFL Certificate from the Linguistics Department.

Course content provides graduate-level instruction in the areas of: language foundations, organization and analysis; learning theories; lesson and materials development; and classroom methodologies in TEFL.

On Campus: Matriculated graduate students may earn this certificate by taking the required courses online or on campus.

Courses Apply toward the M.A. in Linguistics: The Linguistics Department allows 12 credits (of the 14 earned) to transfer to the MA in Applied Linguistics. Additionally, the certificate coursework allows prospective master’s students to develop a sense of the department’s strengths as they will have worked with at least three different faculty members from the department while completing the TEFL Certificate. 

Career Opportunities

Completing all four of the required courses results in receiving a TEFL certificate, designed to be used internationally to secure teaching positions, teacher-training positions, and curriculum development positions.

Holders of this certificate currently work for the U.S. State Department, for international universities, and for private language schools all over the world. In addition, TEFL and TEFL-related training complements academic degrees from departments as wide-ranging as: anthropology, sociology, education, language teaching, library science, artificial intelligence, psychology, and cognitive science.

Certificate Requirements

Certificate Hours Requirement

14 credits

Required Courses

  • LING 5500 – Introduction to Linguistics: This course is the technical introduction to linguistic principles, language components and descriptive analysis in areas of phonetics, phonology, morphology and syntax. Additionally, students are introduced to basic concepts within the areas of: anatomy/physiology in support of speech and language, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics and historical linguistics.
  • LING 5750 – Theories of Language Learning: This course introduces students to theories of learning, in general, and to the learning of language, in particular. Theories address learning of both first and second languages as well as their implications for language pedagogy.
  • LING 5800 – Lesson and Materials Development in TEFL: This course emphasizes both language teaching theory/methodology and creation of instructional, analytical, and evaluative materials. 
  • LING 5920 – Methods in TEFL/Practicum: This course expands on the development of theory-based lessons and evaluations and discusses application of these materials to classroom settings. Students receive guidance in and practice with teaching English as a foreign language.

Course Offerings & Schedule

Note: All four certificate courses are offered online in the summer. 

Summer 2019—Offered Online

  • LING 5500 – Introduction to Linguistics (4 credits)
  • LING 5750 – Theories of Language Learning (4 credits)
  • LING 5800 – Lesson and Materials Development in TEFL (4 credits)
  • LING 5920 – Methods in TEFL/Practicum (2 credits)


Application Deadline

The deadline for submitting applications for Summer 2019 is April 30. The application deadline for Fall 2019 is July 15.

Admission Requirements for Non-Degree Seeking Students

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • GPA (or equivalent) of 2.5 or better in most recent degree program.
  • Transcripts
  • Resume, which must include a list of every school attended, as well as the GPA obtained at each institution.
  • English Proficiency. International students whose native language is not English also must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS academic). To be considered official, test scores must be reported directly from the testing agency to Ohio University. A TOEFL-iBT of 90 or IELTS composite of 6.5 across all bands is required. More information on English Proficiency.

See more information about Ohio University’s graduate admission requirements.

How to Apply

Apply Now

  • Select this status from the collected options in green: “Non–Degree, Transient, International Exchange”
  • Create an account and then, on Page 2 of the application, find the TEFL program:
  1. Click on the “Show All Program Names” tab at the top of the page and choose Linguistics – TEFL (Non-Degree) CTTEFL
  2. OR scroll down through the list of departments to the Department of Linguistics and then choose TEFL (Non-Degree) CTTEFL

Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fees are assessed based on the number of credit hours of enrollment, Ohio residency and program. See "Graduate Programs with Differential Tuition" on the Tuition and Fee Rates webpage. The current Ohio resident cost (tuition and fees) is $508 per credit hour; the non-Ohio resident cost per credit hour is $527.

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