ESL Teacher Certification

The ESL Teacher Certification Program is a competency-based program through which educators engage in practical, job-embedded learning experiences over the course of 12 months.

The English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Certification

Applications for the 2020-2021 cohort are now closed.


Tuition, inclusive of all costs except books: $4,500 for 2020-2021.

Providence Public School teachers with questions regarding certification, please contact: 

Program Description

The program engages teachers over twelve months from July to June.

Two teachers talk about their teaching strategies.Teachers engage in readings, lectures, learning activities, workshops, analyses of videos of their own teaching practice, and a range of meetings.  All content in the program is aligned with the National Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) standards and assignments are designed to be practical, job-embedded, and highly associated with classroom learning. 

Each teacher is paired with an instructional coach called a “Learning Guide” (LG).  LGs provide feedback and support to tailor the learner experiences to meet the needs of their individual ESL teacher candidates.

Upon demonstrating evidence of meeting the TESOL competencies and completing all program requirements, teachers are eligible to apply for ESL Teacher Certification through the Rhode Island Department of Education.

2020-2021 Cohort  - Summer 2020 Dates:

Pre-Summer Intensive
  • Format: online, self-paced coursework
  • Opens: June 19, 2020
  • Closes: July 10, 2020
Summer Intensive:
  • Format: face-to-face classes (in Providence) and practicum
  • Time and Duration: 9am – 4pm; 10 days
  • Dates:
    • Friday July 10, 2020
    • Monday July 13, 2020 through Thursday July 16, 2020
    • Monday July 20, 2020 through Friday July 24, 2020

Program Objectives

Are you ready to become the best teacher you can be for your English language learners (ELLs)?

Two teachers talk about their teaching strategy.Our program provides teachers with a range of online and face-to-face experiences that include, but are not limited to: readings, lectures, learning activities, workshops, practicum experiences, analyses of videos of your own teaching practice, and a range of meetings.  These experiences are aligned to the TESOL standards and allow you to develop and demonstrate competencies necessary to earn the ESL Teacher Certification.

You’ll discover ways to integrate theory into practice from the start.  Anchored in the TESOL standards, you will engage in learning experiences related to:

  • Language Acquisition and Development
  • Language as a System and Linguistics
  • Cultural as it Affects Student Learning,
  • ESL Research and History
  • Professionalism, Partnerships, and Advocacy.
  • Planning, Implementing and Managing Standards-Based ESL and Content Instruction 
  • Using Resources and Technology Effectively in ESL and Content Instruction
  • Issues of Assessment for ELLs
  • Language Proficiency Assessment
  • Classroom-Based Assessment for ELLs

You will be assigned your own “Learning Guide” (instructional coach) who will guide you in developing your own professional learning plan. Your Learning Guide will support you by facilitating regular Community of Reflective Practice (CORP) meetings where you will learn and collaborate with other program candidates.

Supporting Educators on the path to ESL Teacher Certification

There’s no waiting period, teachers begin to acquire theoretical knowledge and become versed in the laws, regulations, theories of language acquisition and linguistics, and ESL teaching methodologies immediately.  

Practical job-embedded experience allows you to apply these skills as you learn them, receive frequent feedback on your instruction, and develop at a personalized pace that fits your needs and your students’ needs.


This is what our current cohort has to say about the experience

“The RWU ESL Teacher Certification Program has allowed me to grow in my teaching practice through a continuous cycle of learning, collaborating, applying strategies and reflecting on my practice.  All activities are rigorous but meaningful and applicable to my practice as an ESL teacher.” - Caroline A.

“It is so refreshing to be a part of a program that genuinely connects theory to practice... I have never once felt like I am stuck in a stuffy classroom discussing disconnected topics.  By learning, discussing, implementing, and reflecting constantly, I can feel my practice truly grow.  My notebook is not filled with mindless doodles, but rather fresh new ideas to bring into my classroom.” - Gwendolyn R. 

“The RWU Cohort has provided an exceptional opportunity to combine learning with practice.  The ability to collaborate and learn from each other in a positive, professional, and challenging environment has been invaluable.  The knowledge, resources, and practice we acquired are tools we can use in our classrooms immediately.” - Kerilynn V. 

For more information, check out our program documents below:

District Administrators and School Leaders: Interested in Partnering with the RWU ESL Teacher Certification Program - please reach out to Kristina Soprano at to learn more!