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With only a handful of master’s programs in TESOL or Applied Linguistics, Georgia does not offer a wide range of options for graduate students who want to specialize in ESL or EFL. While some Georgia-based universities have distance-learning coursework in applied linguistics or TESOL, only one Georgia institution offers a master’s degree you can earn fully online. However, certified teachers can earn their ESOL endorsement online at several Georgia universities and colleges.
ESL Teacher Certification
GaPSC’s guide to Certification Classification indicates that there are two categories of licenses, Renewable and Non-Renewable. Within these two categories are several license titles, the most typical for classroom teachers being Clear, Professional, and Performance-Based, further sorted according to “T”, for teacher. Teachers holding valid Georgia teaching licenses, speech and language pathologists with valid licenses, and people with Georgia school counseling credentials can apply for the add-on certification in ESOL, which applies to grades preschool through 12.
GaPSC’s Alternative Routes webpage summarizes nontraditional options for qualified candidates holding a bachelor’s degree. Candidates must already have a job offer to qualify for the non-renewable, non-professional license. Then they must:
- meet a GACE Basic Skills Assessment exemption OR
- pass the Georgia required Basic Skills Assessment (GACE Basic Skills) and the Georgia required Subject Content Assessment (GACE)
Master’s in TESOL Programs
Georgia State University takes advantage of its Atlanta location by placing its students in Atlanta schools or urban programs for immigrant learners as part of their fieldwork, and offers an MA in Applied Linguistics (TESOL). Kennesaw State University‘s Master of Education in Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages program initially awards practicing teachers an ESOL endorsement and ultimately awards a master’s in TESOL. University of Georgia’s College of Education, lauded by the National Council on Teacher Quality and U.S. News & World Report, offers multiple options for TESOL educators: the M.Ed. in TESOL and World Language Education with specialization option in TESOL; the M.Ed. in TESOL & World Language Education with specialization option in World Language Education; and the M.A.T. in TESOL and World Language Education, with specialization in World Language Education- Spanish, French, German, Latin, and Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL).