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What Is TESOL?

TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. A TESOL advanced certificate equips graduates to teach children whose first language is not English in elementary, middle, and high school. 

While similar to English as a second language (ESL), TESOL encompasses a larger group of teachers including those who work both in portions of the world where English is spoken as the primary language and portions where it is not. 

As an initial certificate, the TESOL program requires students to have teaching experience with English Language Learners (ELL). Because many K-12 schools in the United States and beyond are composed of students speaking a multitude of languages, the need for TESOL teachers is greater than ever. 

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, C.A.S.

Degree Information

Housed within the Exceptional Education Department, Buffalo State’s Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in TESOL prepares students with a New York teaching certificate and a proficiency in languages to address the needs of non-native speakers of English in American and foreign classrooms. 

Practicing teachers, broaden your understanding of:

  • language acquisition processes
  • pedagogical concerns
  • English language content

After successfully completing the program and completing all other state-mandated requirements, candidates will receive a college recommendation for initial certification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) that will prepare them to teach in K-12 classrooms, college, and adult education programs. 

Students in this advanced certificate program develop teaching strategies for use with English language learners:

  • understand the structure of the English language, language variation, and cross-linguistic differences
  • be skilled in a wide range of instructional materials, approaches, and methods for learners at different stages of development and from differing cultural and linguistic backgrounds
  • able to use a wide range of assessment tools, including informal/formal, individual/group, and formative/summative instruments

The skills obtained through this program are applicable to many current schools and classrooms composed of students from multiple backgrounds, many of whom are English language learners. However, the skills and knowledge learned in the program can be applied to all students, whether they are English language learners or not.

Currently because of the shortage of TESOL teachers and the increase of TESOL students, graduates are obtaining jobs in the education field very quickly. In fact, most of our graduates are hired almost immediately. The current job outlook for TESOL/ESL teachers is good, with a variety of opportunities available for those who are willing to travel.

It is estimated that positions for ESL and TESOL teachers will grow between 11 and 14 percent through the year 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If you discover that the classroom is not right for you, there are other rewarding careers you can pursue with a TESOL advanced certificate: 

  • ESL or TESOL Program Director
  • Interpreter 
  • TESOL Textbook Editor 
  • Tutor

Field Experience

Each course has a 10-hour field experience to allow students to work with English language learners and practice the skills being taught in the course. Students also have a 20-day student-teaching experience (10 days in an elementary ESL classroom, 10 days in a secondary ESL classroom).

Great Location

Buffalo State is the second largest city in the state, and the Western New York region includes multiple school districts.

Faculty Expertise

All courses are taught by individuals currently teaching ESL in K-12 classrooms.  

“The TESOL certification was easy to achieve alongside getting my master’s degree. The professors are extremely knowledgeable, engaging, and supportive. Completing the TESOL certificate makes you highly marketable and will make you stand out among other teacher candidates.”

- Hannah Kinz, '20

“The TESOL program provides culturally and linguistically responsive practices that help teachers to support English language learners in their various levels of personal, language, and content needs in the classroom and community. Each course is designed to ensure that students not only understand theory but use best approaches that immediately begin helping ELL populations” 

- John Iorio, TESOL lecturer