Westcliff University TESOL Certification Program Description*


The Westcliff University College of Education has developed an internationally recognized program in English instruction pedagogy. It is recognized for its innovative methodology in English pedagogy with proven success at English language schools around the world.

The College of Education programs provide instruction to speakers of foreign languages to learn English teaching fundamentals, and through its programs, teachers become more versatile and competent language instructors who are able to apply the most effective teaching methods to maximize student learning.

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*These descriptions are taken from the TESOL Certificate descriptions on Westcliff University’s website http://www.westcliff.edu/program/college-of-education/tesol-certificate/


Foundations of TESOL – This unit is an introduction to the history of TESOL, teaching strategies and practices, intended to effectively deliver content and material in an engaging, understandable, and memorable manner. The characteristics of effective teachers and learners are introduced as well as strategies for meeting the needs of diverse learners in the English Language Learner (ELL) classroom. Also included in this unit is an overview of effective lesson planning.

Second Language Acquisition – This segment provides an overview of second language acquisition. The course will cover the mechanisms of how language is acquired, including research on the critical period hypothesis of second language acquisition.

Teaching Speaking and Pronunciation – This section is an overview of the study of speech sounds as well as how they form patterns. A brief introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet (I.P.A.) will also be covered in the course. In addition, this unit examines the application of phonetics and phonology to the teaching of pronunciation to ELLs.

Teaching Vocabulary– This week provides an overview of the study of word structures and rules. It focuses on content words and function words, morphemes, and rules of word formation. Additionally, this unit covers the teaching of vocabulary to ELLs.

Teaching Grammar – This module introduces the grammar of contemporary English and examines the pedagogical methods needed to teach grammar effectively. Emphasis is placed on sentence structure and identification of the various parts of speech.

Teaching Reading – This portion of the course examines the methods of teaching reading to ELLs. The course will cover reading strategies that are sensitive and responsive to students.

Teaching Listening – This portion of the course examines core concepts and best practices in teaching listening to ELLs. It provides listening strategies and concepts that can be applied to the classroom in many different situations. 

Teaching Writing – This section explores approaches to teaching writing to ELLs which include: controlled and guided writing practice, types of writing, the mechanics of writing and the integration of the four skills. A variety of techniques for responding to student writing will also be covered.