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Certificate in English
Language Learning

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Take the first step in your National University journey

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As classrooms, businesses, and organizations across the U.S. and around the world grow increasingly diverse, the demand and rewards have never been higher for educators with the leadership and abilities to teach English to non-native speakers. The English Language Learning (ELL) post-master’s certificate will help you to build on your existing knowledge and skills to improve the pedagogy, assessment, and curriculum development for ELL programs. The final course offers you the opportunity to consider the various contexts, issues, and implications involved in ELL education. If you’re seeking ELL/ESL certification, you should verify with appropriate state officials that this non-degree certificate meets applicable certification requirements.

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The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredits public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S.

Admission Requirements 

A conferred master’s level or higher degree from a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution.


For the Post-Master’s Certificate in English Language Learning, you must complete 6 courses (18 credit hours). The estimated time needed to complete this certificate is 13 months.

Course Details

Course Listings

In this course, you’ll analyze how learning a new language differs from learning a first language, including learner experiences and processes that occur during second language acquisition. As you examine theories related to second language acquisition, you’ll also consider the role of reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in acquiring the second language. You’ll also assess best practices and principles in various learning environments and create instructional plans and materials based on those principles.

This course offers a deeper exploration of theories, models, practices, and strategies related to teaching English language learners. You’ll consider knowledge and skills related to listening, speaking, reading, and writing English as you develop sheltered content lessons for diverse learners. Given the collaborative nature of teaching, you’ll also assess opportunities to confer with other professionals around effective instruction for English language learners. Throughout the course, you’ll consider diversity, equity, and inclusion as you design culturally responsive instructional materials and accommodations.

In this course, you’ll explore the assessment of diverse English language learners in various educational contexts from the perspectives of a leader-practitioner and research scholar. Your studies will include assessment differences, tools, and strategies for both content-area learning and language learning. You’ll also evaluate the role of technology in the assessment of diverse English language learners and examine the roles of teachers and other professionals in the evaluation and accountability of English language services and programs.

Here you’ll examine frameworks for curriculum development, including the development of unit plans for both content area and language learning outcomes related to reading, writing, and speaking English. You’ll also consider strategies for differentiating curricula and evaluating proficiency standards and guidelines for English language learners.

Because today’s learners differ in gender, sexual orientation, age, cultural background, experiences, and abilities, today’s educators must be able to appraise, assess, and argue the best means to reach such a variety. In this course, you’ll explore different means to address the nature of cultural diversity, its sources, and its importance to educators. You’ll also consider how districts can plan and prepare to meet the needs of diverse students, taking into consideration epistemological and axiological perspectives unique to many cultures.

In this course, you’ll analyze historical contexts for English language learning and the current political, social, and educational implications of teaching English learners. You’ll consider research regarding the education of students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, as well as different ways to affirm students’ cultural identities. Along the journey, you’ll also evaluate strategies for teaching English language learners within contexts of English as a foreign language, English as a second language, and bilingual education.

Learning Outcomes

If you’ve earned your Master of Education degree, then our post-master’s certificate may move you past the head of the class. NU’s Post-Master’s Certificate in English Language Learning is designed to help you focus and develop your skill sets and knowledge in a particular area of education beyond the master’s level, without the need for a doctoral commitment or dissertation. You’ll not only enhance your understanding of major theories and practices in your specialty, but you’ll be challenged to think critically about the topics covered with the goal of applying what you learn to your professional objectives—all while gaining a wealth of experience from your mentoring professors.

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We’re proud to be a Veteran-founded, San Diego-based nonprofit. Since 1971, our mission has been to provide accessible, achievable higher education to adult learners. Today, we educate students from across the U.S. and around the globe, with over 240,000 alumni worldwide.

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Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.