Graduate Certificate in Language Instruction

Origin and Purpose

The Graduate Certificate in Language Instruction is an interdisciplinary certificate related to the fields of applied linguistics, second language acquisition, psychology, neuroscience, and other disciplines that has important implications for the way we teach foreign languages. Study within these different fields provides a fascinating examination of the way that second languages (L2) are learned and how second language is generated by learners. An understanding of second language acquisition processes both enriches our knowledge of how the mind works and serves to better inform the ways that foreign language teachers design and implement curricular approaches for different levels and skills.

In order to provide our graduate students with additional qualifications and formal training that will make them strongly prepared for a range of demanding academic positions, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures offers the Graduate Certificate in Language Instruction for students enrolled in doctoral degree programs.

Program Details

Students must apply to be considered for the certificate program and will be evaluated by a faculty committee, twice a year, on approximately October 15 and March 15. (The committee is made up of co-directors and graduate directors of participating departments.) The certificate consists of five courses: 3 required courses and 2 electives. This application is submitted at the beginning of the student's doctoral coursework. MA students are not eligible for consideration. 

The goal of the five-course sequence is to provide certificate students with a solid base in the theoretical and instructional implications of research on language acquisition across different linguistic subsystems (phonology, lexis, syntax, pragmatics) and different linguistic modalities (spoken and written). This formation will also prepare students to be involved in language program design and curricular development.

Certificate Requirements

15 Units of credit, one course from each of the following groups, is required.

  1. Language Teaching Methodology (Fr/Span 501) or the equivalent in another department for students of that language
  2. Linguistics and Language Learning (Educ 4111) or other approved equivalent
  3. Second Language Acquisition (Ling/Span/Fr 466, may have cross-listings with other languages)

Two of the following elective courses are required.

  1. Reading and Writing in a Second Language (Educ 4692)
  2. Grammar and Vocabulary Acquisition (Fr/Span 467)
  3. Phonology and Second Language Acquisition (Span 417)
  4. Second Language Acquisition and Technology (Educ 4023)

For more details

Connect with the faculty co-directors for more information: Joe Barcroft, Professor of Spanish and Second Language Acquisition, Department of Romance Languages; and Cindy Brantmeier, Professor of Applied Linguistics and Education, Department of Education