Online certificate program launches in spring

California Baptist University’s Online and Professional Studies division is set to offer a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages certificate program in an effort to aid students seeking to work internationally or with immigrants domestically.

“English is quickly becoming an international language with countries around the world incorporating it into its children’s classroom curriculum,” said Carla Lui, director of the Intensive English Program.

“With this growing need, the demand for qualified English language teachers is growing both in the United States and particularly abroad,” Lui said.

The program launches in the spring 2013 and features five eight week courses. It is being marketed to be a quicker alternative for those seeking to broaden their teaching capabilities.

“With the financial challenges of a struggling economy and loans to pay, many graduating students are looking for something short term that will give them the foundation they need to teach abroad,” Lui said.

Incoming students of the TESOL program are expected to have completed bachelor’s degrees in subjects such as education, English, intercultural studies or liberal studies.

While aiding graduates hoping to teach domestically, the program will also push CBU into a trend among institutions of higher education.

“With the growing numbers of immigrants in the United States, many teachers are looking to enhance their professional skills with TESOL to be better prepared for an intercultural classroom,” Lui said. “Because many universities already offer such programs, it is time for CBU to find its niche within this market and offer a quality program that is affordable for these diverse needs.”

However, students can also expect the TESOL certificate to help them gain job opportunities abroad.

“Many students who have had little to no experience in teaching English as a second language, or English as a foreign language, and have taken positions abroad send me emails asking for help,” Lui said. “They, unfortunately, realize after arriving at their destination that they are unprepared to take on an English class for a year or more.”

After accepting the TESOL proposal in May, CBU opted to offer the program through the OPS division in hopes of broadening its scope of prospective applicants by offering interactive online and hybrid courses.

The TESOL certificate program is designed to morph into a full master’s program at a future date.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, three recommendations, between a 2.75-3.0 GPA and complete a personal statement essay.

International student applicants must certify English language proficiency on the Test of English as a Foreign Language or the International English Language Testing System.

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