Cultural Diversity program

Teaching English Language Learners (CTELL)

Offered by:
University of Colorado Denver

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To meet the increasing needs of individuals seeking advanced training in teaching English as a second language, the English department at CU Denver offers a graduate Certificate in Teaching English Language Learners (CTELL).

The certificate program is designed to build the necessary skills to teach adults English as a second language through focused preparation. It is primarily aimed at native speakers of English who want to teach overseas, but may serve the needs of international students wanting to teach English in their home country or other countries.

Program Details

Upon successful completion of the program, CTELL participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the theoretical basis of second language instruction
  • Demonstrate a variety of effective ESL teaching techniques
  • Explain, in pedagogically relevant ways, the linguistic structures of the English language

    All applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent, with a 3.0 GPA, to be accepted to the program. Graduate students at CU Denver will also be permitted to apply for the certificate while they are concurrently completing another graduate degree. Permission may not be granted to graduate students in the applied linguistics option of the Master of Arts in English program.

    Non-native speakers of English are required to submit an official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) report showing a score of at least 580. Those who score below 580 but above 525 on the TOEFL may be admitted conditionally to the program. Under these conditions, students will have their English language skills assessed by the faculty of the program immediately after they arrive on campus to determine whether further courses are needed to develop English language proficiency. After assessment, the students may be assigned to full-time language study in an intensive English program, permitted to take graduate-level classes on a conditional basis along with further designated language study or permitted to begin graduate study without further restrictions.

Tuition and Fees

Investing in your future is a big decision. However, becoming a fully online student at the University of Colorado is a high-quality and affordable option for learners of all types. Tuition and fees are based largely on the degree program you enroll in.

The tuition amount assessed is determined based on which University of Colorado campus, school, or college is offering your degree program, as well as if it is at the undergrad or graduate level, and finally your resident status. Visit our tuition and financial aid page for more information.

Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.

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The course of study will typically last one academic year, including the summer session. You may begin in any semester. There is no fixed deadline for application for admission.


Admission requirements and deadlines vary based on program. In addition, you will have different requirements depending on if you are a first time student, a transfer student, or an international student.

Learn more about the admissions process by filling out the form above or contacting an Enrollment Navigator today.

Example Courses


Required Courses

ENGL 5171 - Language Theory
ENGL 5651 - Second Language Writing
ENGL 5601 - Principles and Practices of Second Language Acquisition


Elective Courses
ENGL 5093 - Teaching of Writing
An alternative elective such as a special topic course (i.e., ENGL 5190 - Cross-Cultural Communication) approved by the program advisor. An internship approved by the program advisor.