Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certificate
Teach English overseas, live abroad, and experience another culture while working. We’ve been preparing people to become effective teachers of English to speakers of foreign languages for more than twenty-five years. Whether you have little to no teaching experience or have already spent your career in a classroom, this program provides you with what you need to join our graduates who have taught in more than 40 countries worldwide!
Why study at Hamline?
- Learn the teaching techniques you need to function effectively in an English as a foreign language classroom from internationally-recognized faculty
- Gain hands-on experience through 40 hours of teaching and observation in a classroom with English learners—real-world training is not often found in most other programs
- Earn an internationally-recognized certificate that follows rigorous international standards that reputable employers expect and respect
- Experience the Hamline difference: Our program is one of only two university-based, accredited programs in the Midwest, with global recognition of our program and preference for our graduates, whom employers know receive the best training available
Teaching English as a Foreign Language program overview
|Are my courses online or on-campus?||On campus, with evening and daytime options available for graduate and undergraduate students|
|When can I start this certificate?||Evening/weekend option: Offered fall and spring terms. Complete certificate in one term
Extended daytime option: Offered fall term; complete certificate course with a fall term course and a spring term course
|What is the typical time to complete this certificate?||One term (4 months) or two terms (8 months)|
|How many credits do I have to take?||Eight credits|
|How many courses is the certificate?||One course or two courses|
You can apply your certificate toward a master’s degree
Enrolling in a certificate program is a great way to experience what the master's programs at Hamline are like and take care of your electives. With the Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certificate, you'll earn credits that you can apply toward a Hamline master's degree in education, or master’s in teaching (initial licensure), or a master’s in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).
Shortly after completing Hamline's TEFL course, I began my career as a teacher at a university in South Korea. After three years, I concluded it was the best decision I ever made. Teaching is a wonderful and rewarding occupation and the fact that I'm now qualified to teach all over the world is simply amazing. My next destination will be Japan or Mexico."
Frequently asked questions about the TEFL Certificate
The certificate program covers two fundamental areas for the TEFL practitioner, as follows:
The context of language learning
- Factors that affect second language acquisition
- Understanding cultural traits and norms—your own and others'
- Learning theories
Language teaching practices
- Analyzing students’ needs
- Teaching listening, speaking, reading, and writing
- Teaching grammar in context
- Teaching pronunciation
- Teaching vocabulary
- Teaching English for special purposes
- Lesson planning
- Using classroom aids
- Error awareness and correction
- Classroom management
- Assessing teaching effectiveness
Certificate completers have taught in more than 40 countries around the world. Here are some of the countries where our graduates have secured teaching positions:
- Czech Republic
- Costa Rica
The majority of jobs with a TEFL Certificate are in private language institutes, working with adult learners. There are many private schools around that world that serve young learners as well, but completers report that most of their work is with adults.
There are also positions through some exchange programs working in K-12 schools. Completers have been accepted by JET (Japanese Teaching Program), the French government teaching assistant program, the Central European Teaching Program, and the Fulbright Teaching Assistant Program. Some of these allow you to teach in the European Union, where it can otherwise be difficult to get a work permit.
Finally, many completers have found positions in universities in China and Korea.
Evening/weekend program—designed for working adults
Spring 2023 (one term, 8 credits)
- Tuesdays and Thursdays, January 26 to May 4, 2023, 6 to 9 p.m.
- Six Saturdays: February 4 and 18, March 4 and 18, April 15 and 22, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Extended daytime option
Fall 2022 to Spring 2023 (two terms, 4 credits per term)
- Fall term: Mondays, August 29 to December 5, 2022
- Spring term: Mondays, January 23 to May 1, 2023, 12:40 to 3:40 p.m., plus three additional hours per week during spring term at times to be arranged
We are dedicated to supporting you in your job search, both during the course and following completion. When you enroll in the program, you have access to the following services:
- A career opportunities workshop, where you practice interview skills, and learn about writing your resume and cover letter
- Our job placement files, including listings of schools, job openings from the internet, and postings from our completers
- A panel discussion with completers who have returned from teaching abroad
- On-going job counseling including feedback on resumes, cover letters, and more
- Job referrals and recommendations are available for successful completers
Once you've been accepted to Hamline's TEFL certificate program, you get to work with one professor in a group of six to 10 student teachers during your practicum. All of our faculty have years of international experience and hold master's degrees in ESL or PhDs in education.
When you complete TEFL at Hamline, you receive 8 semester credits. This is one of the few programs in the U.S. to do so, and if you take the program as a graduate student, all of the credits can apply to many of Hamline’s master’s degrees in education. Many certificate completers have used their credits towards other schools' masters programs, but that is always determined by the receiving institution. Former students have also been able to use the credits towards re-licensing in a variety of fields.
All individuals completing the TEFL Certificate course earn 8 semester credits. Those holding a bachelor's degree will receive graduate credit. Others will receive undergraduate credit.
Many of our completers teach here, either in private language schools or in community-based adult education programs. Some use the certificate along with a teaching license to teach in the Adult Basic Education system. In Minnesota, those with a master's degree in another field, along with 18 semester credits in ESL, are eligible to teach in the community college system. TEFL and Advanced TEFL can fulfill that requirement.
The standard for reputable TEFL Certificate programs around the world is that a course meets 100-120 hours and includes a substantial student-teaching component.
Depending on the format, we meet 110 to 120 hours, and 40 of those are spent in an ESL classroom with your colleagues and instructors. The practicum is fully integrated into the program. Remember, you are also working towards valuable credits that can become a part of an advanced degree. Most people don’t come into TEFL at Hamline thinking they want a master's degree, but nearly 20% of our students go on to complete the Advanced TEFL Certificate or the MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at Hamline.
Federal student loans are only available for the evening and weekend extensive courses, depending on eligibility. Students in evening and weekend extensive courses also have the option of setting up a payment plan with the student accounts office. A minimal fee is charged for the payment plan.
Get an Advanced TEFL Certificate
Once you complete the TEFL Certificate, you can apply your credits to earn an Advanced TEFL Certificate where you will learn more about language theory and linguistics. While the initial TEFL certificate is offered on-campus, the courses for the advanced certificate are offered online.
Graduate Admission651-523-3058 (fax)
School of Education and Leadership651-523-2489 (fax)