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. Six 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


  • A postsecondary degree is not required to enroll in this program. However, please be advised that the ESL Teaching Certificate Program is taught at a college level and students should expect rigorous, graded course work. 
  • TOEFL scores for non-native speakers of English can be waived for the teaching practicum by successfully completing the seated course work and receiving confirmation from program instructors. Without confirmation, non-native speakers of English must provide qualifying TOEFL scores. 
  • Internet-based TOEFL scores must be 20 points each on Reading, Writing, and Listening, and 28 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


Attendance at an orientation session is strongly recommended 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.)

  • Monday, June 24, 2019
  • Thursday, July 11, 2019
  • Thursday, August 8, 2019
  • Tuesday, August 27, 2019
  • Tuesday, September 24, 2019
  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019
  • Tuesday, November 12, 2019


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. 
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...
Language Acquisition and Adult LearnersEDU-3002C2
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-3002F3
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-3002F2
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 ESL Reading and WritingEDU-3002H2
One of the most rewarding tasks in teaching is helping a student acquire the skills they need to read and write effectively. This course is designed to equip participants with a practical understanding of the principles and techniques of teaching reading and writing in an E...
Teaching Pronunciation to English Language LearnersEDU-3002E3
Embrace the challenges of teaching pronunciation in an adult ESL classroom. Learn why it’s important, and how to incorporate phonetic practice into other activities. Find out how to identify students' needs and learn practice activities. You will plan and present a pronuncia...
The Role of Culture in Teaching ESLSEF-3001HP2
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...
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