Department of Linguistics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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EIL Courses Online

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The TESL program in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has been offering on-campus instruction for ESL/EFL teachers for more than 40 years through our EIL (English as an International Language) courses. We now bring those same courses to you online. If you have questions that are not answered in this information, please contact Professor Randall Sadler at

Courses and schedule
Programs to which online courses apply
Others who may be interested in online TESL courses
Registration information
Tuition information
Course descriptions

Courses and schedule

EIL Courses online Projected availability
EIL 411 - Introduction to TESL Methodology Summer 2015: Summer Session 2--June 15-Aug15
EIL 422 - Engl Grammar for ESL Teachers Available Fall and Spring
EIL 460 - Principles of Language Testing Summer 2015: Summer Session 2--June 15-Aug15

EIL 486 - Linguistics for Language Teachers

Summer 2015: Summer Session 2--June 15-Aug15
EIL 487 - Technology for Language Teaching Available Summer 2016
EIL 488 - English Phon & Morph for TESL Available Fall and Spring
LING 489 - Theoretical Foundations of SLA Summer 2015: Summer Session 2--June 15-Aug15

For more information about courses and instructors, please see the Course Descriptions below.

Programs to which online courses apply

Online EIL courses may be used to fulfill course requirements in a range of programs. To learn more about these programs, follow the links provided.

  1. Online Certificate in TESL: A 300 contact-hour credential for teaching ESL/EFL in non-public school settings. The certificate is available as a stand-alone credential to graduate students who are not currently in a degree program at UIUC. If accepted into the UIUC MATESL degree program, candidates may transfer into their degree program 12 hours of certificate courses completed with a grade of B or higher. Details are discussed in the following document.

  2. Online ESL Endorsement: The State of Illinois, like many other states, is experiencing a shortage of qualified teachers who can teach public school children whose native languages are not English. Teachers with a valid teaching certificate (Type 03, 04, 09, 10) can earn an ESL Endorsement that will qualify them to teach ESL in public schools. The requirements for an ESL Endorsement in the State of Illinois include coursework and clinical experience. Our online offerings will meet the coursework requirements. They and the necessary clinical experience are discussed in the following document.

    Since many other states have the same or similar requirements for an ESL Endorsement, these online courses can serve other in-service teachers as well.

  3. Online ENL Endorsement: The No-Child-Left-Behind (NCLB) legislation requires that in order to carry full responsibility for a public school ESL class, a teacher must be recognized as ‘Highly Qualified’. An ESL Endorsement does not take a public school teacher to this level; an ENL Endorsement (for secondary Type 09 certificates) does. It requires seven TESL courses (two more than the ESL Endorsement), the same on-site practical experience in an ESL or bilingual classroom, and satisfactory completion of a State-administered TESL proficiency exam. Our online courses meet the coursework requirements of the ENL Endorsement and prepare endorsement candidates to handle the TESL proficiency exam with ease. The requirements are stated in this document.

  4. Masters in TESL (MATESL): We encourage on-campus MATESL candidates to take on-campus courses for their degree. However, students who have been accepted for admission to the UIUC MATESL degree program but have not yet started their program on campus may take online courses to shorten the length of their on-campus stay.

    Two courses are curriculum prerequisites for the MATESL degree. It is expected that MATESL candidates will have one of these courses--an introduction to linguistics--in their background. If they have not already completed this course, candidates for the MATESL degree are encouraged to do so by taking EIL 486 - Linguistics for Language Teachers online during Summer 2.

    Some domestic and international MATESL candidates, who have been accepted for admission, delay a year before coming to UIUC for financial or other reasons. However, they need not delay the start of their program if they take MATESL courses online. Since they will not yet have started the MATESL program, they will take online courses as non-degree students and transfer the credit (up to 12 hours) to their degree program once on campus. For information about course requirements for the MATESL degree, please see:

  5. Cooperative MATESL Degree
    The Department of Linguistics enters into cooperative agreements with institutions abroad to offer courses for the fist year of a MATESL degree awarded by the other institution. Students come to campus for a year, joining UIUC MATESL candidates, to improve their English and pedagogical skills. They leave UIUC a year closer to their goal of a MATESL degree, having earned a Certificate in TESL. If they choose to be on campus for only one semester, they can complete their UIUC coursework toward a Certificate in TESL online.

Others who may be interested in online TESL courses

If you have not committed to one of the programs above but wish to explore the field of TESL or fill a gap in your professional preparation, our online courses offer you a ready way to meet your needs.

  • You may have already begun a certificate, endorsement, or degree program elsewhere and may wish to take advantage of the online option to fulfill one or more of your program requirements. We encourage you to consider using our courses to meet your goals.
  • You may be pursuing a public school teaching certificate at a college or university where there is no ESL Endorsement program. You are welcome to use our online courses to meet State course requirements.
  • You may be looking at TESL with interest but are uncertain whether this is the right field for you. We invite you to enroll in an online course to gain some first-hand experience that will help you answer the questions you have.

For guidance on the appropriateness of these courses for your interests, needs, and goals, contact Professor Randall Sadler at to discuss your particular situation.

Registration information

The degree and certificate programs noted above require a graduate application for admission. Click on the links above for details. Undergraduate UIUC students, MATESL candidates who have already begun on-campus courses, and candidates who have applied and have been accepted into the Certificate in TESL program register through the Enterprise Applications system according to guidelines sent to you by the University. The ESL and ENL Endorsement program do not require an application for admission. Prospective MATESL candidates, those taking ESL and ENL Endorsement courses, and others register through Online & Continuing Education (OCE): Find the course you wish to register for, scroll to the bottom of that page, and click on ‘OCE’s Online Registration System’.

Courses available for a particular semester are published by OCE about two months before courses are scheduled to start. To see which courses are currently available, go to Just look for the English as an International Language (EIL) rubric.

Tuition information

UIUC campus degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students, who register through the Enterprise Applications system, will pay tuition and fees based on their program of study at the university. For those tuition and fee rates, please refer to

Non-Degree Online Certificate in TESL students are considered UIUC students. They also register through the Enterprise Applications system and pay tuition at the Graduate Base Rate for registration in designated non-degree online course sections (see

Online students who are not enrolled UIUC students and register for online classes through the Office of Continuing Education (OCE), pay tuition according to information given at

Course descriptions

Online courses beyond the following will be added in coming semesters.

EIL 411 - Introduction to TESL Methodology (3 hrs undergraduate credit/4 hours graduate credit)

Introduces the field of second language teaching, particularly ESL. Participants will learn about communicative competence and its various components as well as develop an understanding of the different contexts for language learning. They will also learn about current theories of second language teaching and explore the ways in which language can be taught, practiced, and learned. Additionally the course offers students practical guided experience in planning and teaching an ESL class and provides the opportunity for students to evaluate their own and others' teaching. Materials development is included as a crucial course component which focuses on developing, teaching, and evaluating pedagogical materials designed to meet learners' needs. Professor: Dr. Hugh Bishop

EIL 422 - English Grammar for ESL Teachers (3 hrs undergraduate credit/4 hours graduate credit)

This course is designed to help prospective teachers of English as a Second or Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) enhance their understanding of English grammar and develop pedagogical approaches to teaching English grammar. This course has two main components: (1) instruction in English grammar, with particular emphasis on those areas that present difficulties for ESL students; and (2) development of pedagogical approaches for teaching English grammar. In order to provide practical teaching experience, the course also offers a tutoring practicum where participants tutor ESL students on topics of English grammar that have been covered in the course, using pedagogical materials that are sound in light of current second language acquisition (SLA) theories, research findings, and teaching methodologies. Professor: Dr. Tania Ionin
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EIL 445 - Second Language Reading & Writing (3 hours undergraduate credit/4 hours graduate credit)

This course introduces students to the teaching of Second Language (L2) reading and writing, including related theories, research that has been performed in the area, and practical applications in the field. First, the course will give you some ideas about how people actually learn to read and write in an L2 and the theories that have been proposed about the best ways to teach learners to do this. Second, we’ll talk about some of the research being done in this field and how to do your own research on second language reading and writing topics. Finally, this class will have a large practical component. You will design your own materials for teaching reading and writing, including a syllabus to use in such a class, etc. All the materials you create for this class will be shared with your classmates and fellow teachers via a forum that currently has over four million page views from teachers around the world. Professor: Dr. Randall Sadler

EIL 460 - Principles of Language Testing (3 hrs undergraduate credit/4 hrs graduate credit)

Studies theoretical and practical aspects of language testing. Examines purposes and types of language tests in relation to theories of language use and language teaching goals; discusses testing practices and procedures related to language teaching and language research; and includes the planning, writing, and administration of tests, basic descriptive statistics, and test analysis. Three written course projects focus on (a) the reaction to current and critical problems in language test theory and practice, (b) technical tools in test development, and (c) topic(s) of the student's choosing in negotiation with the instructor. Students also exit with a set of exemplars of language test materials developed during the class, as well as a model by which they can extend and can adapt those development techniques to their own educational settings. Professor: Dr. Fred Davidson
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EIL 486 - Linguistics for Language Teachers (3 hrs undergraduate credit/4 hrs graduate credit)

EIL 486 introduces the topic of linguistics to language teachers. Unlike traditional theoretical linguistics courses, it makes explicit connections between the theory of linguistics and practical applications in individual classrooms. Students learn about the history of linguistics, and the role of key concepts in linguistic analysis with a focus on the sound system, words, grammar, meaning, and the social functions of language. Linguistic data will be analyzed to evaluate the practical applicability of linguistic theories. The course will culminate in a project in which each participant will apply their newly acquired understanding of the  principles of linguistics to describe, analyze and solve linguistic problems in their own unique classroom settings (as teachers or learners). Professor: Dr. Hugh Bishop
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EIL 487 - Technology for Language Teaching (4 hrs undergraduate credit/4 hrs graduate credit)

This course explores how technology may be used to enhance the language teaching process via the use of both traditional Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) resources and Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC). The course will begin by providing a firm theoretical orientation to these areas, linking them to existing theories regarding language learning. The majority of the course will consist of exploration of the two areas mentioned above. The section of the course dealing with CALL will survey software (e.g. Rosetta Stone), multimedia (e.g., YouTube, news resources, online text and audio books, etc.), other web-based resources (e.g. Webquests), and more. While this section focuses on humans interacting with materials that are computer-based, Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) concentrates on the use of the computers as tools for communicating with other people. CMC tools include discussion boards, podcasts, video conferencing, social networks, virtual worlds, etc. Students in the course will use a variety of these tools to devise their own lessons that they may use in the future. All students are welcome in this course, no matter their level of experience with technology! Professor: Dr. Randall Sadler

EIL 488 - English Phonology & Morphology for TESL (3 hrs undergraduate credit/4 hrs graduate credit)

To be good oral communicators in English, ESL/EFL students need to speak and be understood easily. They also need to listen and understand well. What must teachers know and know how to do to help students reach these communication goals? This pedagogical phonology course answers: Equip teachers with (a) a comfortable familiarity with the English sound system—its vowels, consonants, stress, rhythm, intonation, and orthography—and (b) an ability to apply that knowledge to their own teaching and to their students' learning of English pronunciation. Applications include understanding how students learn sounds, analyzing students' most challenging problems, designing targeted instructional materials, evaluating and selecting quality published materials, and using effective techniques when teaching pronunciation. The course also introduces technology tools that can serve ESL/EFL teachers and their students. Professor: Dr. Wayne Dickerson
What will EIL 488 do for me?
Video tour of the course

LING 489 - Theoretical Foundations of SLA (Second Language Acquisition) (3 hrs undergraduate credit/4 hrs graduate credit)

This course is a general introduction to the field of second language acquisition (SLA), a theoretically driven, and vibrant field of study within bilingualism and applied linguistics. The course is organized in three main parts. Part 1 will address linguistic, cognitive, and universal aspects of first and second language learning, including type of context. Part 2 will focus on individual differences that affect rate and success of second language learning (aptitude, motivation, affect). Part 3 will address the social dimension of L2 learning (identity, acculturation, power asymmetries, sociopolitical context). We will cover different theoretical models, and we will examine implications for L2 teaching. Course objectives include 1) to introduce students to contemporary approaches to SLA theories and research, 2) to involve students in the process of analyzing and interpreting L2 data, and 3) to assist students in applying L2 theories and research findings to L2 pedagogy. Professor: Dr. Sue Ingels

Updated: 5/15/2014