SDSU’s American Language Institute has been training teachers of ESL/EFL since 1981. Teacher training programs include the TESL/TEFL Certificate and the TEFL Certificate for International Teachers of English. The ALI teaching staff has a broad base of experience in teacher training, ranging from Fulbright assignments in Costa Rica, Romania, and Japan to presenting teacher training courses in United States and abroad including Brazil, Korea, Japan, Mexico, and Jordan.

Teach English as a Second Language/Teach English as a Foreign Language

This 130-hour certificate program prepares novice instructors to successfully live and teach English overseas. Over 100 TESL/TEFL Certificate graduates have been employed in over 40 countries with the help of ALI's job placement assistance program. This program combines a solid teaching foundation with hands-on practical classroom experience. Specialized sessions – language acquisition theory, teaching specific language skills, effective second language teaching methods, understanding the English language learner, classroom atmosphere and management, lesson preparation, and materials development - provide participants the tools that they need to successfully apply for, and perform teaching assignments abroad.

Program Highlights and Goals

  • Worldwide Job Placement Assistance
    Job placement assistance is provided to graduates.
  • Lesson Strategies and Plans
    Students learn how to teach reading, listening, speaking, pronunciation, grammar, and writing.
  • Teaching Strategies
    Students learn standardized test preparation (e.g., TOEFL), business English, and how to work with younger learners.
  • Teacher-Mentor
    An experienced mentor teacher is assigned to each participant.
  • Teacher Assistant
    Participants rotate though actual ESL classes with international students as a teaching assistant.
  • Language Acquisition
    A working knowledge of the theoretical aspects of language acquisition and communicative language teaching are taught.
  • EFL Teaching Methodologies
    Students learn the most effective methods to teach and present English grammar and explain structural patterns in ways that help improve international students’ communicative abilities.
  • Résumé Assistance
    Support is provided with the creation of international teaching curriculum vitae.
  • Student-centered Techniques
    Students learn how to manage a communicative classroom using small groups.
  • Reflective Teaching
    Students learn through peer teaching and actual classroom teaching with feedback from experienced teachers.
  • Technology
    Participants learn about new technologies and practice using technology in the classroom.

For more information or programming questions, please contact Jason Greeno, Program Director, at [email protected].


TESL/TEFL Certificate
Number of weeks 4 (daytime program) 11 (nighttime program).
Hours of participation 130 (including homework)
Daytime classes meet 9 am-4:30 pm Monday through Friday.
Nighttime classes are 6-9 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays (32 hours of observation and student teaching are required between the hours of 9 am-3 pm, Monday-Thursday).
Requirements Bachelor's degree required for job placement assistance, all are eligible to apply, TOEFL 551/79 or oral interview if non-native English speaker.
Also Included Students have access to résumé/CV writing assistance, job placement assistance, and mentorship program.
Dates See Calendar & Fees
Course Fees $2,775
One week notice and a full refund of deposit will be given if a minimum class size is not met.



  • Core Training
    Language acquisition; communicative language pedagogy; speaking, listening, reading, writing, grammar, and pronunciation integration; English grammar; understanding the EFL learner; classroom management; lesson planning; the TEFL profession; and communicative language teaching.
  • Specialized Modules
    English as an international language; working abroad; teaching standardized exam preparation; teaching business English; and teaching younger learners.
  • Teaching
    Students facilitate in a variety of ESL classes and have the opportunity to teach in their mentor's class

For additional information on the TESL/TEFL Certificate program contact Jason Greeno, Teacher Training program director.

Course Location(s)
Course Type(s)
  • On-site TEFL Courses
  • Just Text What's Up
Course Length(s)
  • Standard (120-140 hours)
Certificate Type(s)
Additional Feature(s)
  • Part Time Option