Teaching English as a Second Language to Adults (TESLA) Certificate
With the support of the Office of the Mayor, the New York City Council, and the Department of Youth and Community Development, the Literacy Assistance Center offered the TESLA Certificate Program at no cost to all participants who were selected for 2021-22.
The 2021 application deadline has passed. The information below is for your reference. Click here to be informed about future TESLA courses.
The TESLA certificate program provides in-depth training in teaching English to adult speakers of other languages. The course serves as a rigorous foundation for anyone:
Objectives & Outcomes
In this program, participants gain a solid foundation in the theories of teaching ESOL to adults as well as hands-on application. 45 hours of synchronous remote instruction provide opportunities to put theories into practice and receive support and guidance from the instructor and peers. 120 hours of asynchronous online learning enable participants to reflect on assigned readings and material presented in class. Both components prepare participants for the culminating experience: a 42-hour internship in an actual adult ESOL class. By the end of the course, participants will be able to create and deliver evidence-based English language instruction for adult speakers of other languages.
Topics covered include:
Class sessions and Practicum dates
All sessions in 2021 will be held remotely via Zoom. Depending on the status of the Covid-19 pandemic, sessions in 2022 may be held in person at a Downtown Manhattan location.
Class dates and times
Saturday, October 2, 9, and 23 10:30 - 1:30
Saturday, November 6 and 20 10:30 - 1:30
Saturday, December 4 and 18 10:00 - 1:00 and 2:00 - 5:00
Friday, January 7 9:30 - 3:00
Saturday, January 8 10:30 - 1:30
Saturday, January 22 10:30 - 1:30
Saturday, February 5 and 12 10:30 - 1:30
Saturday, March 12 3:00 - 5:00
An additional class date for Best Plus training will also be offered.
All practica will take place between February 14 and May 21, 2022.
The practicum will consist of two parts:
Part one will consist of participating in the class of a mentor-teacher for 18 classroom hours (plus pre- and post- class discussion each day with the instructor).
Part two of the practicum will consist of a team of two TESLA participants leading 24 hours of ESOL instruction and reflecting on their experience in an online forum.
It is anticipated that the practicum will take place in person; however, this may change due to the unpredictable nature of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Note: selected applicants who are currently teaching ESOL may be able to fulfill part of their practicum requirement with their current class with the permission of the instructor and their agency supervisor.
Participant Expectations and Eligibility
All prospective applicants must:
• Submit a completed application
• Complete an in-person interview
• Submit a professional reference
Potential applicants are also strongly encouraged to attend an information session.
TESLA participants must attend all in-person sessions, participate in online forums, complete all required activities and assignments, and complete a teaching practicum as described above.
What recent graduates are saying about TESLA:
"The TESLA program was excellent, particularly in that it provided so much modeling of activities that we could bring to our own classrooms. The program offers not only a theoretical framework, but concrete strategies to create dynamic and engaging lessons for our students ."
--Elizabeth Kane, teaching at Queens Community House
" Participating in the TESLA program has been incredibly beneficial to myself as an educator, my organization, and most importantly to my students. The skills, techniques, and theory I learned from the program have enabled me to create more effective and fun lessons. The programming offered by the Literacy Assistance Center is an invaluable NYC resource, and I strongly encourage all those with an interest in adult education to take advantage of the offerings, especially the TESLA program."
--Paul Tynan McKenney, teaching at Arab-American Family Support Center
Judy Trupin, Senior ESOL Fellow, was previously the director of ESOL certificate programs at the Literacy Assistance Center. She continues to work with the LAC, sharing her expertise on curriculum development and research-based strategies for teaching ESOL. Judy has been an ESOL adult educator for nearly 30 years, and has worked as a teacher, curriculum developer, trainer, and administrator. She has taught all levels of ESOL from basic literacy through advanced. Judy is a nationally certified trainer for the BEST Plus assessment, holds New York State K-12 ESOL certification and an M.S. in Teaching ESOL, and is a certified yoga instructor.
William Linn is the ESOL Specialist and Coordinator of ESOL Certificate Programs at the Literacy Assistance Center. In addition to leading ESOL professional development and curriculum design projects, he is one of the two facilitators of the LAC’s Teaching English as a Second Language to Adults (TESLA) course, the Foundations of Adult Education course, and the Teaching English to Adults with Limited Literacy (TEALL) course. William has also taught English Applied Linguistics at the SIT Graduate Institute where he received his MA in TESOL in 2011. Will holds a certificate in Compassionate Communication for Language Teachers from the Institute for Collaborative Learning in Costa Rica. He started teaching ESOL at community organizations in 2008 and became a licensed ESOL teacher educator in 2015.
Attend an Info Session
No info sessions are currently scheduled. Click the interest button below to be informed of info sessions in 2022.
Info about TESLA 2022
Please click the button below to be informed about next year's TESLA program (Fall 2022).
The TESLA course involves significant online coursework. If you would like to assess your digital skills, please click the link below to access a free diagnostic tool. It’s an easy way to identify areas for improvement so that you can enhance your skills in preparation for the online component of this course.