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The Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as an Additional Language (TEAL) will prepare you for effectively teaching English to adults in diverse settings locally and abroad. Such teaching contexts include language institutes, cultural associations, community centers, faith-based entities, and workplace classes. By pursuing this certificate, you will develop theory and pedagogy for meeting the linguistic and sociocultural needs of adults who wish to improve their English for personal reasons, work needs, and/or academic purposes. Pursuing this TEAL certificate can also support your professional development for career enhancement and leadership advancement.

Admissions Requirements

Admission eligibility is based on having an undergraduate degree in any major from a regionally accredited institution with an overall GPA of 2.5 (or be approaching completion of a degree). Please note that most applicants do NOT have a degree in education. Register for a Zoom information session by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. After attending this session, submit a certificate-seeking admission application. If you are currently pursuing a degree at UAB, select “Add Certificate Program.”

Coursework and Certificate Requirements

TEAL has online courses to serve you and others throughout Alabama, in other states, and around the world. This TEAL certificate consists of five courses (EESL 625, EESL 627, EESL 637, EESL 677, EESL 687) for a total of 15 credit hours. Also required is EESL 007 (zero credit hours), which are weekly teaching experiences that culminate in a practicum during the final semester. This certificate can be pursued while working full-time or while enrolled in a degree program.

The TEAL certificate is designed to deepen and broaden knowledge and skills for teaching English to adults. This expertise is needed in multiple settings where increasing numbers of adults seek to improve their English in order to qualify for new employment opportunities and, in turn, raise their quality of life. To help adults reach these goals, consider pursuing the TEAL. Here, you will

  • learn theories about how adults learn new languages and then apply these theories in the teaching of English to adult learners.
  • plan, use, and evaluate diverse instructional methods, strategies, and techniques for diverse types of adult learners such as long-term English users, migrant workers, and internationally contracted workforce groups, as well as immigrants, refugees, and asylees.
  • diagnose learners’ English proficiency and design and deliver instruction to improve communication skills focused on speaking English at a highly comprehensible level.
  • develop and implement an individualized curriculum based on adult ESL standards that focus on a specific purpose or context (e.g., workplace setting).
  • expand and finetune instructional techniques by teaching English classes weekly for three (or more) semesters and receiving regular, sequenced feedback from SOE mentors, initially in the UAB Community English Program and later in workplace settings.

Please note that all students enrolled in the certificate program must apply to receive their certificates and be registered for courses when they submit the completed UAB Application for Graduate Degree or Certificate Form to the Graduate School. The Graduate School does not award certificates or degrees retroactively.

Using the TEAL Graduate Certificate toward a Master's Degree

You can use all five TEAL courses toward a master’s degree. If you wish to earn an ESL master’s, submit a degree-seeking application to the MAEd/ESL program’s TESOL track and then take six additional ESL courses. If you wish to earn an interdisciplinary master’s, submit a degree-seeking application to UAB’s Graduate School and stack your TEAL certificate with another UAB certificate (e.g., special education, higher education administration, health coaching, public management).

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