ESL Teaching Certificate


Wake Tech has long been one of the largest providers of adult ESL instruction in the state of North Carolina. Today we are also an industry leader in ESL teacher education having served NC Community College ESL instructors statewide as well as sending graduates abroad.  Whether you are looking for a career change, a ticket to see the world, or a profitable part-time income, we can help you reach your goals.  You will learn from professionals who are working in the field and have proven track records with adult English language learners. Eight required courses cover the basics, including principles of adult ESL instruction, second language acquisition theory, intercultural competency, and others. 

  • Taught in a relaxed atmosphere, using an interactive and hands-on approach. 
  • A 42-hour teaching practicum allows students to work alongside a veteran instructor in one of Wake Tech’s adult ESL classrooms. 
  • Rigorous standards ensure that graduates are ready to go to work.

*Please note that this is not a K - 12 credential.

Register for ESL Teaching Certificate Courses


Enrollment in the program is open to anyone with a bachelor’s degree or higher.  The program is also open to rising juniors and seniors currently enrolled in four-year post-secondary institutions (a minimum GPA of 2.5 and a letter of recommendation is required).  It is not necessary to have experience in teaching to enroll in the program. Non-native English speakers must submit a qualifying TOEFL score.*

  • *TOEFL test date must be within the last 24 months.  Computer based TOEFL scores must be 213 or higher with a score of at least 17 on three sections and no section score below 13.  The paper-based test requires a score of 550 or higher with scores of 50 on at least two of the three sections and no section score below 45. Internet-based TOEFL scores must be 20 points each on Reading, Writing, and Listening, and 26 points on Speaking.


The ESL Teaching Certificate is an approved NCWorks job training program.  Grant funding is provided to qualified recipients through the Workforce Innovations and Opportunities Act.  For more information, please contact the NC Works Career Center at 919-715-0111.


Attendance at an orientation session is strongly suggested prior to enrolling in the program.  

FACE-TO-FACE ORIENTATIONS - 7:00 P.M. - 8:30 P.M. at the Beltline Education Center

(Can't make a face-to-face session? Contact us to receive program materials by email.)

  • Wednesday, July 11, 2018
  • Tuesday, July 31, 2018
  • Tuesday, August 21, 2018
  • Tuesday, September 18, 2018
  • Tuesday, October 16, 2018
  • Wednesday, November 14, 2018
  • Wednesday, December 12, 2018


Susan Ballard ESL Teaching Certificate, Program Specialist

Industry-recognized credential: ESL Teaching Certificate

Complete in: 18 month or less

For non-credit student support services or to see if you qualify for financial assistance, contact the Career Pathways Program & Student Resources. 

Get Support


The courses below can be taken individually, for your own personal enrichment, or as a part of the class series required for the ESL Teaching Certificate Program. 
Search by course name, course number, class section number, or keyword

Can't find what you are looking for? Contact us | View Full Catalog | View Available Classes

Language Acquisition and Adult LearnersEDU-3002C21 available classes
An important part of ESL instruction is understanding how languages are learned. This course presents adult learning theory and theories of first and second language acquisition, comparing and contrasting them. It also examines how personal characteristics and social and sit...
Methods and Materials for Teaching English As A Second LanguageEDU-3002F31 available classes
This course presents various approaches, methods, and techniques for teaching English as a Second Language. It provides students with the theoretical underpinning to determine how these approaches can be used in an adult ESL classroom. The course includes lectures and teachi...
Nuts and Bolts of Teaching Grammar to English Language LearnersEDU-3002F21 available classes
English grammar can be a challenge – for both students seeking mastery and for instructors trying to explain rules and their exceptions. Whether you are tutoring, teaching overseas, or working in a community college, this course will give you the tools to become a successful...
Teaching Pronunciation to English Language LearnersSEF-3001HO21 available classes
One of the biggest challengers for an ESL instructor is helping students master pronunciation. Learn basic phonology, the articulatory system and techniques for teaching English segmentals and suprasegmentals. Write lesson plans. Practice with both peers and ESL students.
The Role of Culture in Teaching ESLSEF-3001HP21 available classes
Culture has been described as the "fifth skill" in language acquisition, equal in importance to reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Helping learners make sense of the culture that is intertwined with language is a difficult role for the ESL instructor. Learn practical...
Designing Effective Language Practice ActivitiesSEF-3001ET2
Experienced instructors know that the best lessons still need a little something extra! This course will give you tools for creating quick warm-ups, vocabulary reviews, and transitional activities. You’ll learn how to create a communicative language practice activity (from s...
ESL Teaching Certificate Student Learning ExperienceSEF-3001HC2
Learn how to teach adult ESL with the guidance of a mentor! Find out how to select topics that are level appropriate and adult-education focused, create lesson plans, organize practice activities, create needs/goals analyses, and conduct assessments. You’ll be placed in an E...
Teaching Beginning-Level English Language LearnersEDU-3002D2
This course presents techniques and strategies for teaching English to beginners – from those who have never seen the Roman alphabet to advanced beginners discovering literacy.
Teaching Reading and Writing to English Language LearnersEDU-3002E2
Reading and writing are some of the most empowering skills that English language learners can develop, in any context. Learn techniques and strategies that you can apply to a wide variety of reading tasks to help your students with comprehension, reading speed, and vocabular...
Teaching the Beginning-Level English Language LearnerEDU-3002G2
Teaching adults new to the English language requires specialized techniques and materials designed especially for them. Learn how to create lesson plans for different types of beginner-level students including those with zero ability and those whose first language has a non-...
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