English as a Second Language Certificate

  • Credits: 12
  • Degree:
    Graduate Certificate

Program Description

This certificate provides an opportunity to explore the field of teaching English as a second language.  Participants learn ESL concepts, principles, theories and classroom practices that are effective in helping immigrants of all ages to learn English and succeed in a new culture.

Learning Outcomes

The certificate, or individual courses, will provide licensed K-!2 teachers, key information and strategies (Sheltered English Instruction/SEI) that can be used in teaching content areas to English language learners.  With approval from a school or district, the courses may be included in the professional development documentation that supports a teacher's application for 5-year re-licensure.


For more information, please contact Admissions at 1-800-829-4723.


ESL Courses
Equitable Assessment for ESL Learners
ESL 630 3 credit(s)
Assessment of English Language Learners (ELLs) is affected by federal/state regulations, including state-wide adoption of the WIDA ACCESS Test for ELLs. Course participants will understand laws and issues pertinent to the education of ELLs, and user of tests, performance tasks and self-assessments for identification, placement, and reclassification of ELLs. They will learn to interpret ACCESS results, consider the effects of socio-cultural, psychological, political, and individual learning variables, and apply these to design differentiated assessment measures that enable ELLs to use academic language in demonstrating content knowledge and English proficiency. Participants will have the opportunity to observe and interact with ESL students in field-based classroom situations.
Second Language Acquisition and Culture
ESL 631 3 credit(s)
This course provides an overview of the study of language as it applies to second language acquisition and second language learning. It enables participants to understand the principles of language acquisition and language learning to facilitate the learning of English for students with various language skills and cultural backgrounds in content classrooms. The course will focus on different analytical levels of language and their impact on cognitive academic language proficiency from preK through grade 12. This course will explore educational theory of language development and address how to best work with students from various language skills. Participants will discuss how culture influences our attitudes and approaches to education. Issues of language and culture will be covered as they relate to the academic development of second language learners in a sheltered instruction classroom. Participants will also have an opportunity to put into practice their personal awareness of social, political, and cultural constraints on teaching ELLS. Culturally relevant pedagogy for the academic development of English language learners will be strongly emphasized. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Sheltered Instruction and Assessment
ESL 635 3 credit(s)
This course is designed for teachers and administrators experiencing the challenge of meeting the academic needs of multilevel, diverse classrooms PreK-12 that require sheltered instruction techniques and state mandated assessment instruments for English language learners (ELLs). This course will provide participants with multiple opportunities to learn and apply sheltering content instruction strategies to enable ELLs to meet grade level academic standards by utilizing the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) as demonstrated in national research on best practices for effective instruction. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Teaching Reading and Writing to ESL Students
ESL 620 3 credit(s)
This course will provide a comprehensive analysis of reading and writing theory with practical classroom applications for ESL learners preK-12. This will enable students to provide a balanced, comprehensive program of instruction with explicit and meaningfully applied instruction in reading, writing, and related language skills and strategies for ESL learners. A balanced approach to reading and writing includes explicit instruction in basic reading skills and comprehension strategies. The course will explore theory and practice through discussion, demonstration, and other strategies. In addition, participants will better understand how cultural and linguistic differences affect literacy development and how to implement literacy instruction that motivates students. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.


  • Admission Test:

    No standardized graduate school tests required for admission into non-licensure programs.

  • Admissions Office:
  • Application Form:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)

School Requirements

See Admissions Requirements for School of Education


State Health Requirements

The Massachusetts Health Department and Cambridge College require the following of students in Massachusetts:

Immunizations – All students in Massachusetts are required to get certain immunizations before you can register for your first term. See form 

Health Insurance – In Massachusetts, undergraduate students taking nine or more credits/term and graduate students taking six or more credits/term must enroll in the College’s health insurance plan. Students who have insurance with comparable coverage may request a waiver. See information and enroll or waive.

International Students 

International students are accepted at Massachusetts location only, and need to provide supplemental documentation:

  • Official demonstration of English language proficiency
  • Supplemental documentation for issuance of I-20
  • International transcripts, evaluated by an accepted evaluation service

Transfer Credit

Graduate program applicants, please complete the transfer credit request form if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer. Learn more.

Undergraduate program applicants, once you are accepted, your official transcripts are evaluated for transfer credit.



  • Credits:
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $2,938 - Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.

Note: Rates are as of September 2017, and are subject to change without notice. Rates apply to all students, unless otherwise noted.

Financial Aid

Cambridge College offers financial aid to students in our degree programs who are enrolled at least half time. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits each term. Graduate and doctoral students must be enrolled in at least 4 credits each term. Learn more

Grants, Scholarships and Loans

Cambridge College welcomes the opportunity to support your efforts to pay for college.  Federal, state and local resources in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study, including Cambridge College Scholarships, are available to help defray the cost of tuition. Learn more

Getting Your Company to Help

Many companies have tuition assistance programs, designed to help their employees with their professional development. Learn more