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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

SU unveils professional graduate certificate in language teaching

State-accredited program focuses on TESOL, TLOTE training

May 17, 2011, by Rob Enslin

In response to the shrinking global economy and the growing influx of immigrants to the United States, Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences is offering the Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Language Teaching. The certificate is a 12-credit professional graduate program that trains students to teach English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), or to teach languages other than English (TLOTE).

The program is administered by The College’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics (LLL), and is embedded within the Interdisciplinary Linguistic Studies Program (LSP). For more information, contact Program Director Amanda Brown at 315-443-2244 or  

In addition to its dual focus on TESOL and TLOTE, the CAS in Language Teaching program offered at SU is notable in several respects. “Whereas many language-teaching certificate programs, particularly in TESOL, are not accredited, the CAS in Language Teaching—like all credit-bearing programs at SU—is fully accredited by New York state. It comes with our assurance of a sound, high-quality, cutting-edge education,” says Brown, assistant professor of linguistics.

Brown anticipates that the CAS in Language Teaching will attract a wide swath of graduate and mid-career students, including those wanting to teach in the United States or abroad; work in educational, business, or community-based contexts; or pursue an interest in languages and linguistics.

Consisting of three required courses and one elective, the CAS can be completed in three semesters (i.e., fall-spring-fall) or in six months (i.e., July-December). Brown says that either way, the program provides grounding in the mechanics of language, a foundation in language teaching methodology, and a supervised teaching practicum. Electives foster specialization in an area of professional interest.

“The CAS in Language Teaching prepares individuals to teach English and other languages in a variety of contexts, qualifies them for entry- and higher-level language teaching positions, and assists them in later pursuing a master’s degree in linguistics, with a concentration in language teaching, which may open further doors to teacher-training and managerial positions,” Brown says, adding that the program does not provide New York state certification for public K-12 education. “On a scholastic level, we train future teachers to analyze the structure of languages for the purpose of teaching languages. We also teach them to prepare and deliver coherent and cohesive lessons, with a strong theoretical underpinning, and to make programmatic decisions that are informed by current theories in the field.”

The demand for qualified TESOL and TLOTE practitioners in both the United States and abroad is high, she adds.

The CAS in Language Teaching is taught by Brown and seven other affiliated faculty members from the LSP, in LLL, and the School of Education, and complements the three master’s programs in LLL.

Other professional programs in The College are forensic science and applied statistics, with others currently in the planning stage.