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.)

  • October 24, 2017
  • November 14, 2017
  • December 5, 2017
  • January 9, 2018
  • January 30, 2018
  • February 20, 2017
  • March 27, 2017
  • April 24, 2017


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. 
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...
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...
Lesson Planning for the ESL ClassroomEDU-3002Z31 available classes
This course shows students how to create lesson plans for a language acquisition classroom, including writing measurable objectives and organizing practice activities. It covers instruction for multi-level classrooms specifically and includes practice in creating lesson plan...
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 GrammarEDU-3002M31 available classes
This course will help you learn how to explain complex English grammar rules in simple terms. You’ll develop a pedagogical approach and techniques for grammar instruction. The focus is on presenting grammar in contextualized lesson plans and integrating it with reading, writ...
PronunciationEDU-3002E31 available classes
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...
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.
The Role of Culture in Teaching English to Speakers of Other LanguagesSEF-3001EQ21 available classes
This interactive and engaging course explores the role of culture in teaching and learning languages. Learn theories about culture and their applications in ESL/EFL classroom instruction.
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