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TESOL Frequently Asked Questions

How does the NVCC TESOL Program compare with other TESOL courses?

TESOL International Association recommends that certificate courses be at least 100 hours, include a practicum placement with ESL students, and be taught by qualified instructors. Workforce Development’s TESOL Certificate Program meets the standards set out in TESOL International Association’s 2015 Standards for Short Term TESL/TEFL Certificate Programs.

Northern Virginia Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC).

I don’t have any experience in the field of TESOL. Is this program suitable for me?

Yes. The TESOL Certificate caters to individuals interested in a career change or seeking to refresh their skills.  If you are interested in teaching and have strong English skills, this program will prepare you to work with adult English Language Learners.  To apply for this program you must have completed high school, although a BA/BA is often required to teach in the U.S.

When do the classes run?
Most workshops run on Saturday from 9:00am–4:00pm with the exception of Practicum 1, Practicum 2, and the online classes.
How many hours is this program?

132 hours of instruction + supervised teaching + observation

  • 100 hours of direct instruction
    • 15 in-person workshops
      • Workshops are on Saturdays
      • Includes peer-to-peer team teaching
    • 3 on-line workshops
      • Workshops can be done at your own pace during the semester
      • Includes submitted assignments
  • 30 hour TESOL Practicum 1:
    • 10 hours of ESL classroom observation (in adult ESL programs in the DC region)
    • 10 hours of ESL supervised practice teaching 
      • At the American Culture & Language Institute (ACLI) at NOVA or if currently teaching ESL.
    • 10 hr NVCC TESOL Practicum 2 (two-day)
      • Each student completes individual peer-to-peer teaching (evaluated by TESOL faculty)

Most students complete the program in one to two semesters. Students earn 13.2 CEUs (continuing education units).

Do I have to take the workshops in a certain order?

Students begin the program with the three foundation workshops: Introduction to TESOLELT Methodology and English Grammar in ESL. These workshops are required before taking any other classes. In addition, Lesson Planning is a prerequisite for many other workshops in the program. Visit MyWorkforce to learn about individual workshop prerequisites. 

How do I register for workshops?

You can pay and register for blocks of workshops or pay and register for the entire program at one time online via MyWorkforce.

  1. Create a profile in our online registration system “MyWorkforce”.
  2. TESOL classes are in the “Professional Education & Training” category, “Teaching & Education” subcategory.

You pay for each class at the time you register, and you must pay for a class in full before attending. Students cannot audit NOVA Workforce classes. Students can pay with Visa, Master Card, and American Express via MyWorkforce. TESOL Certificate workshops are not covered by financial aid or the Workforce Financial Assistance grant.

Workforce Development's general refund policy applies to all TESOL workshops. For refunds, please email wddrefunds@nvcc.edu.  E-mail your request at least 4 calendar days prior to the class session and we will gladly refund your tuition after we receive your written request.  Refunds will be issued depending on the form of payment. If you pay with a credit card, the refund will be credited to your card within 10 business days. All other refunds are issued in the form of a check made payable to the student and will be sent from Richmond to your mailing address within 2-4 weeks.

Senior citizens can apply to take three (3) tuition-free classes per semester once they meet this criteria:

  1. Reached the age of 60
  2. Lived in Virginia for one year.
  3. Visited a NOVA Workforce office in person and completed the Senior Citizen Certification of Eligibility for Free Tuition form. 

NOTE: Completing the Senior Citizen Certification of Eligibility for Free Tuition form does not guarantee a place in a TESOL workshop. Students must call the NOVA Workforce office at the campus where the TESOL workshop is to be held on the Friday before the class between the hours of 2-4pm to determine if space is available and secure their senior registration for the class. Seniors will receive an email confirmation of their tuition-free registration. Tuition-paying students are accommodated before senior citizens are enrolled. 

What is the attendance policy?
Students are expected to attend at least 90% of each workshop. That means that students who arrive more than 10% late will need to complete a make-up assignment created and graded by the department.  
How can I find my grades / schedule?
Grades and schedules can be found through MyWorkforce and view “My Transcript” or “My Schedule.”