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Applied Linguistics (TEFL-TESOL) Certificate

College of Liberal Arts
Undergraduate certificate

About the program

Got the travel bug and dream of teaching English to clients overseas? Or are you a homebody, eager to make use of rapidly changing apps and technologies to tutor English in real time from your home office?

Or maybe you’re a fan of language, its mechanics, and its intersections with cutting-edge new artificial intelligence applications and software. You’re interested in laying the groundwork for later graduate work in linguistics.

These are all reasons why you might be interested in earning the Applied Linguistics (TEFL-TESOL) Certificate. Our certificate prepares students to meet professional standards for teaching English to language learners residing abroad. The program of study includes linguistics courses about the nature of language and cultural aspects of linguistic systems, as well as courses in English syntax, phonology, morphology, and pragmatics. A unique feature of Metropolitan State University’s certification process is the four-part internship sequence designed to help students meet the two-year teaching/tutoring experience requirements preferred by hiring agencies.

Please note: an Applied Linguistics (TEFL-TESOL) Certificate does not provide licensure or qualify its holders to teach in Minnesota public schools. To learn more about earning English-teaching licensure, check information on the English for Teaching BS degree.

The Applied Linguistics (TEFL-TESOL) Certificate is a direct requirement or preferred qualification for the following jobs:

  • Teaching English by travelling to institutions abroad
  • Securing private clients abroad
  • Teaching English from home to foreign clients via Skype, ZOOM, and other internet applications
  • Consulting, instructing, and coaching speakers of other languages as they prep for the TOEFL to gain admissions to an English-speaking university
  • Tutoring English language learners in Minnesota, outside of public school contexts

The Applied Linguistics certificate can complement students’ study in a wide variety of fields. For example, individuals are sometimes presented with the following opportunities as a result of studying and/or teaching English linguistics at home or abroad:

  • Cross-language liaison for business, nonprofit, or advocacy work in the U.S.;
  • Cultural consultant for businesses abroad;
  • Natural language computer/AI applications development; or
  • Application for more advanced or senior positions within an organization.

Students can also use their certificate in Applied Linguistics as a foundation for future graduate work in linguistics, which, in conjunction with study in other fields (e.g., foreign language, computer science), leads to careers such as:

  • Cryptologic Linguist
  • Special Agent: Linguist
  • Computational Linguist
  • Speech System Diagnostics
  • Semantic Ontologist
  • Translators
  • Dialect Analytic Linguist
  • Analytical Linguist

Student outcomes

  • Foundational Concepts – The student’s work demonstrates proficiency in articulating foundational linguistics principles and high mastery of Standard Written English (SWE).
  • Cultural Analysis – The student provides analyses of complex cultural and linguistic contexts arising from legacies of colonialism, genocide, and linguistic suppression associated with the teaching of English in historic and present-day contexts.
  • Data Analysis – Students collect, organize, and analyze linguistic data.
  • Problem Solving – Students solve linguistic problems by applying appropriate qualitative and quantitative methodologies to analyze linguistic structure and pattern.
  • Application – The student gains sustained experience tutoring clients in English at our partner institutions and engaging in in reflective evaluation of tutoring efficacy.
  • Comparative – The student uses theories of primary and second language acquisition to gain insights into language variation, cross-linguistic differences, and language learners’ development.
  • Professionalism – Students demonstrate a high level of professionalism, gain significant experience as volunteer interns at community locations, and join a professional organization.

Related Majors

  • English BA
  • English for Teaching BS
  • Any major at all! The Applied Linguistics (TEFL-TESOL) Certificate is a twenty-credit program, the size of a minor, that can add value to the student’s degree.

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Application instructions

To get started earning your Applied Linguistics (TEFL-TESOL) Certificate, enroll in LING 316 The Nature of Language and LING 401 Tutorial 1. Reach out to English@metrostate.edu with any questions and for support as you earn your certificate.

Apply to Metropolitan State now

Start the journey toward your Applied Linguistics (TEFL-TESOL) Certificate now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your Applied Linguistics (TEFL-TESOL) Certificate

Course requirements

Course Requirements (20 credits)

LING 316 The Nature of Language

4 credits

This course introduces students to the study of how language is acquired and learned, concepts and methods of analyzing language, and how the linguistics field relates to regional, social and gender differences in language. It also explores the origin and development of languages through time, writing systems, and the complexities of written and spoken language.

Full course description for The Nature of Language

LING 326 Language and Culture

4 credits

In this course students undertake language analysis (e.g., phonology, morphology, syntax) in a cultural context, including the relationship between language, culture and thought. It presents an anthropological perspective on various linguistic and cultural systems, with special emphasis on those of Chicano/Latino, African-American, American Indian and Anglo-American peoples. Students are introduced to the implications of linguistic and cultural differences in work and classroom situations. Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism throughout the course.

Full course description for Language and Culture

LING 360 Morphology and Syntax

4 credits

This linguistics course covers the general theories, assumptions, and techniques involved in the analysis of syntactic and morphological structures within a language and across language typologies. Morphology studies the internal structure of words and their meaningful parts. Syntax studies how words, phrases, and clauses are structured to form complex sentences. The course considers linguistic theories such as productive syntax, morphological processing and storage, syntactic rule manipulation, Chomskyan Framework, synchronic and diachronic morphological perspectives, and ¿language-to-brain¿ corollary. The course emphasizes features associated with second language acquisition.

Full course description for Morphology and Syntax

LING 401 Tutorial I

1 credits

This internship provides students with the opportunity to learn skills and gain experience as an English tutor. Under the direction of a site supervisor at one of our community partner locations, students complete 40 hours of tutoring within the semester. In addition, a faculty director assigns and evaluates short assignments designed to assess the intern's learning. The Level 1 Tutorial focuses on identifying, evaluating, selecting, and adapting age-appropriate and linguistically accessible tutoring materials helping clients develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Due to accreditation requirements, tutoring must occur in real time, whether in-person or online. The forty hours may not be fulfilled by peer interactions, role playing, or other simulations.

Full course description for Tutorial I

LING 402 Tutorial 2

1 credits

This internship provides students with the opportunity to learn skills and gain experience as an English tutor. Under the direction of a site supervisor at one of our community partner locations, students complete 40 hours of tutoring within the semester. In addition, a faculty director assigns and evaluates short assignments designed to assess the intern's learning. The Level 2 Internship focuses on analyzing assessment instruments (e.g., portfolios, observation checklists, reading logs, video conversations, in-house rubrics at the internship site, etc.) for performace-based measurement of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Due to accreditation requirements, tutoring must occur in real time, whether in-person or online. The forty hours may not be fulfilled by peer interactions, role playing, or other simulations.

Full course description for Tutorial 2

LING 403 Tutorial 3

1 credits

This internship provides students with the opportunity to learn skills and gain experience as an English tutor. Under the direction of a site supervisor at one of our community partner locations, students complete 40 hours of tutoring within the semester. In addition, a faculty director assigns and evaluates short assignments designed to assess the intern's learning. The Level 3 Internship focuses on issues of international assessment (such as students preparing for the TOEFL in order to gain admittance to English-speaking universities or on-site rubrics in host countries). Due to accreditation requirements, tutoring must occur in real time, whether in-person or online. The forty hours may not be fulfilled by peer interactions, role playing, or other simulations.

Full course description for Tutorial 3

LING 404 Tutorial 4

1 credits

This internship provides students with the opportunity to learn skills and gain experience as an English tutor. Under the direction of a site supervisor at one of our community partner locations, students complete 40 hours of tutoring within the semester. In addition, a faculty director assigns and evaluates short assignments designed to assess the intern's learning. The Level 4 internship focuses on professionalism, national organizations, and membership in the TESOL International Association (fees may apply). Due to accreditation requirements, tutoring must occur in real time, whether in-person or online. The forty hours may not be fulfilled by peer interactions, role playing, or other simulations.

Full course description for Tutorial 4

LING 475 Semantics and Pragmatics

4 credits

This course studies formal linguistic meaning. Students learn the theories and technical tools for analyzing compositional and interactive structures of meaning, how meaning is related to other linguistic analysis (such as morphology and syntax), and how to apply such data to an understanding of first and second language learning and acquisition.

Full course description for Semantics and Pragmatics