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School of Education and Human Development University of Colorado Denver

School of Education and Human Development

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certificate

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certificate

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certificate

This internationally marketable certificate consists of five courses. During fall and spring semesters, courses are typically offered one evening each week on CU Denver’s main campus. During summers, many courses are taught intensively via the Rocky Mountain TESOL Institute (RMTI). RMTI is offered through a unique partnership between the School of Education & Human Development and the Spring International Language Center. RMTI courses feature a lab component that offers highly interactive collaborative and practical experiences in second- language teaching and learning.

Certificate Structure

You may begin the program in fall, spring, or summer semester. Highly recommended for TESOL Certificate seekers are the summer courses offered through the RMTI. RMTI courses are geared toward the teaching of adults and offer integrated experiences teaching international students. During fall and spring, you are asked to identify your own opportunities for at least part-time teaching experience in the community.

The certificate may be completed in one year. Students may take up to two courses in a given semester, and most of the courses may be taken in any order. CLDE 5826 should be taken after CLDE 5030, CLDE 5070, and CLDE 5820.

Certificate Format


Application Information

Please note the TESOL certificate admission guidelines. For additional information, please contact Student Services at (303) 315-6300 or


All courses are three graduate credit hours, totaling 15 credit hours for the certificate. Tuition for each RMTI course is $352.50/credit ($1057.50/course) + applicable fees. Main campus courses have additional fees.

Related Degree Programs

MA Curriculum and Instruction 

All credits may be applied toward with an emphasis in LDE. Courses may also be applied toward the Colorado Linguistically Diverse Education Endorsement. Additional coursework and applications are required for both the master’s and endorsement programs.

Courses Frequency of Offering
CLDE 5030: Language and Literacy Acquisition I 
This course is designed to help teachers understand the relationship between language and literacy acquisition. The focus is on both first and second language acquisition and the interaction of two languages and its impact on the acquisition of literacy in young children. The course lays the foundation for an understanding of the nature of the relationship between cognition and language; language acquisition from the perspective of the individuals within their respective linguistic communities and how literacy is acquired within increasingly broader sociolinguistic contexts. Students explore areas of literacy (reading and writing) and responsive teaching, particularly in diverse school settings with the understanding that diversity of culture, language, gender orientation, abilities and economics is the growing norm in our schools. Topics of interest to the lab are literacy development, language acquisition, assessment, culturally responsive teaching practices, professional development and school reform.
Spring (main campus)
CLDE 5050: Linguistic and Cultural Issues in Linking Assessment and Instruction
This course provides general orientation to the assessment of linguistically and culturally diverse students. Focus is on using assessment to guide instruction and includes examination of assessment of oral and written language, attitude and classroom arrangements. Includes analysis of assessment tools used to assess gifted and talented students and those used with students during the special education testing procedure.
Spring (main campus) & Summer (RMTI- 6/24-7/16)
CLDE 5070: Linguistic Analysis of English
A descriptive linguistic approach to English grammar with a functionalist view of language and discourse processing. The course examines the historical evolution of English from its origins and the impact this has had on its grammar and syntax. A sociolinguistic perspective is included focusing on language variation and status. Provides a framework for understanding, identifying and describing the major features of English (in particular) and language (in general). Students gain a working knowledge of English grammar, including grammatical terms, categories, patterns and rules - especially those forms and functions that are important and/or problematic for second language learners of English.
Fall, Spring  & Summer (all main campus)
CLDE 5820: Techniques in Teaching ESL
Develops skills in using a variety of classroom techniques to teach English as a second language. The course is a practical presentation of ESL methods and techniques. Examples of classroom practices are taken from the full educational spectrum, from public schools to pre-university intensive courses on adult education. Cross-listed with LALC 4825
Fall, Spring (main campus) & Summer (RMTI- 6/3-6/21)
CLDE 5826: Language Teaching Lab
Provides participants with a classroom-based examination of language teaching based on theoretical tenets of language acquisition and language teaching methods. Students develop lessons around particular language points and work with the professor and peers to implement insights in their classrooms or the classrooms of collaborating language teachers. Language focus varies from phonology, morphology, syntax and discourse features.
Summer (RMTI- 6/24-7/16)

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Human Development

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