Q&A with instructors from ASU's TESOL Certificate | Coursera Community
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Q&A with instructors from ASU's TESOL Certificate

Q&A with instructors from ASU's TESOL Certificate
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If you've been considering Arizona State University's TESOL Professional Certificate, or if you think you might enjoy a career teaching English as a second or foreign language, this is a great opportunity to find out more!

Between now and September 3rd you can post your questions about the TESOL Certificate below and Dr. Shane Dixon and Jessica Cinco will answer as many as they can on September 3rd. Here are some example questions they get asked a lot but feel free to come up with your own:

1. What does the TESOL Certificate qualify me to do?
2. Where in the world can I go with a TESOL Certificate?
3. Do I need a bachelor’s degree to get a TESOL Certificate?
4. What is the difference between a TESOL Certificate and a TEFL Certificate? A CELTA/DELTA?
5. What accrediting bodies exist for TESOL Certificates? Are they all the same?
6. How do I know who accepts a TESOL Certificate?
7. What if I have already been teaching English?

About the Q&A Guests

Dr. Shane Dixon is a Sr. Global Educator at Global Launch, Arizona State University. His research interests include language learner autonomy, online design, and gamification. He has a PhD in educational technology and publishes articles and book chapters related to the intersection of language learning and educational technology. He has also conducted studies on international student success in U.S. universities. Dixon has designed on-ground, online, and blended TESOL programs for groups from China, Korea, Japan, Iraq, Peru, and Mexico and for companies such as General Electric (Brazil), LG (Korea), and Toyota (Japan). He is the author of five books, including 100 TESOL Activities (a former Amazon bestseller in ESL) and The Language Learner Guidebook: Powerful Tools to Help You Conquer Any Language.


Jessica Cinco is the co-instructor of “Teach English Now!” This is Arizona State University’s award-winning 150-hour TESOL Certificate course offered on Coursera with over 200,000 learners enrolled from all around the world. She has facilitated teacher trainings at ASU, in the Jiangsu Province, China and in Bhopal, India. Additionally, she has taught at Chosun University in South Korea, Beijing Normal University in China, Southeast Missouri State University in Missouri and has been teaching at Arizona State University for more than 6 years. She holds a Master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Southeast Missouri State University and two undergraduate degrees from Truman State University: German and Communication. Her research interests are the integration and implementation of Dr. Brené Brown’s research on reducing shame-based behaviors and empowering teachers to create more empathetic, vulnerable spaces to promote both student and teacher motivation and engagement.

13 replies

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Hello, Dr. Shane and Jessica,

Questions from China.
  1. What is the difference between this and others such as
  2. Is hard copy provided and what is the shipping fee to China?
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1)Where in the world can I go with a tesol certificate
2)Is TESOL as strong as CELTA and TEFL in accreditation
3) Where do you recommend to study TEFL online I want an authorized and accreditated website
4) Is your TESOL certificate as strong as the one on TESOL International association
Thank you very much.
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Hello to both Dr. Dixon and Jessica, our great instructors.

I have a couple of questions!
  1. How much credible is this TESOL certificate? in comparison to others and in-person curriculums.
  2. Do we Receive a hard copy as in paper?
  3. Aside from Coursera website, is possible for recruiters to confirm certificate from ASU website?
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Hello Dr Shane and Jesicca,
My name is Ivie and I'm from Nigeria. Here are my questions:
  1. Aside from Coursera website, is possible for recruiters to confirm certificate from ASU website?
  2. Is your TESOL certificate as strong as the one on TESOL International association.
  3. What is the difference between a TESOL Certificate and a TEFL Certificate? A CELTA/DELTA?
  4. What accrediting bodies exist for TESOL Certificates? Are they all the same?
Thank you very much.
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Hello,

I just had a handful of questions regarding some more specific aspects of TESOL certification.

1- My primary question is regarding completion of the course online through Coursera. Would I be able to complete the first seven courses through Coursera, and then complete the second Capstone project abroad through ASU's partnership with CIEE?

2-If that is the case, that raises some additional questions relating to the finer details of the international aspect. First and foremost, would it just be a matter of living in a hotel for a couple of weeks, or is there a different arrangement available?

3- I see that job assistance is one of the listed benefits included in the program, what does that normally entail?

4-Then, on another note, the CIEE website on the program lists the Czech Republic, England, Italy, and Spain as options; ASU's page announcing the partnership with CIEE also lists Thailand as an option. Is that no longer an option or was it accidentally left out of the CIEE page?

5-Finally, is there a particular time of year I would need to be aiming for to be involved with the international aspect, or is that done on something of a rolling basis?

Thanks, and I look forward to looking through the answers to the other questions posted here!
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Ethan wrote:

Questions from China.
  1. What is the difference between this and others such as
  2. Is hard copy provided and what is the shipping fee to China?
Thanks for your question, Ethan. I was just in China (Beijing and Chengdu) and will be returning in October. It is a wonderful place, and English language learning is certainly growing. Let me answer your two questions.

  1. What is the difference between this certificate and others
This certificate is backed by an accredited university body, Arizona State University, and you will receive a certificate directly from ASU, a top 100 world university (not from Coursera), upon completion. This certificate also follows the precise standards of the TESOL International Association for TESOL Certificate Programs. For more information, see http://www.tesol.org/advancethe-field/standards/standards-for-short-term-tefl-tesl-certificate-programs.

I can also say that this certificate is different in terms of the course content itself. It is, to put it bluntly, more rigorous and more fun than similar products online. I'd encourage you to read the learner reviews and ratings to get a sense of how enjoyable and practical this course will be.

  1. Is a hard copy provided and what is the shipping fee to China?
Yes, we ship to China! Currently the shipping fee is $50.00 no matter what part of the world you live in. Conversely, you can receive the certificate digitally. Whether digital or paper, the course certificate features a statement attesting your confirmed identity, a certification URL that allows others to check the Certificate’s authenticity.
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Mohannad wrote:

1) Where in the world can I go with a tesol certificate
2) Is TESOL as strong as CELTA and TEFL in accreditation
3) Where do you recommend to study TEFL online I want an authorized and accredited website
4) Is your TESOL certificate as strong as the one on TESOL International association

Thanks for your question, Mohannad. Here are some answers!

1) Where in the world can I go with a TESOL Certificate?

We have had learners go all over the world. I would spend time reading learner stories so you can see all of the ways that our learners have used TESOL Certificates. Most commonly, those who speak English as a native language and receive this TESOL certificate travel outside the U.S. or teach in refugee communities, junior colleges, or online (such as VIPKid, Voxy, or GoGoKid). Those who are learning English as a Second language and attain a certificate often do not go outside their countries, rather teach in their local public and private schools.

2) The TESOL Certificate is as strong as a TEFL in brand recognition. I would suggest that CELTA, in Europe, as a European product, has more brand awareness in Europe than a TESOL. TESOL Certificates and CELTAs are not all created equal, however, and there are some TESOL, TEFL, and CELTA certificates that are of low quality. Please make sure you look at number of hours, the quality of the educators, the institution issuing the certificate, and the product you will get upon completing the certificate.

Our certificate: 150 hours
Our teachers: Professional designers and educators (co-designers are PhD's in educational technology and master English language teacher trainers)
Institution: Top 100 world university, most innovative university in the country 3 years in a row
Product: You will create a professional portfolio that includes 10 lesson plans, 10 videos, and a teaching philosophy that you can show to current or prospective employers.

3) I recommend us for your TEFL accreditation. TESOL is an umbrella term for both TEFL and TESL.

4) Please see my note in 2, but I would say that the TESOL certificate offered at TESOL International ranks high in terms of hours and teachers, but not in terms of institution (they are not attached to a university) and product (no digital portfolio at the end that I know of...but you can check with them).
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Samadvaliloo wrote:

I have a couple of questions!
  1. How much credible is this TESOL certificate? in comparison to others and in-person curriculums.
  2. Do we Receive a hard copy as in paper?
  3. Aside from Coursera website, is possible for recruiters to confirm certificate from ASU website?
Thanks for your question. Here are my answers:

  1. How credible is this TESOL certificate in comparison to others and in-person curriculums?
Credibility of this course is high for several reasons:

Top 100 University
Designed by professional language experts and online designers
Follows TESOL international guidelines
Best reviewed set of courses on Coursera (out of more than 2,000 + courses)
Learners are getting hired and getting promoted

2. Do we Receive a hard copy as in paper?

Yes, you can request a hard copy. The cost is $50.00.

3. Aside from Coursera website, is possible for recruiters to confirm certificate from ASU website?

Whether digital or paper, the course certificate features a statement attesting your confirmed identity, and a certification URL that allows others to check the Certificate’s authenticity.
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Ivie wrote:


Hello Dr Shane and Jesicca,
My name is Ivie and I'm from Nigeria. Here are my questions:
  1. Aside from Coursera website, is possible for recruiters to confirm certificate from ASU website?
  2. Is your TESOL certificate as strong as the one on TESOL International association.
  3. What is the difference between a TESOL Certificate and a TEFL Certificate? A CELTA/DELTA?
  4. What accrediting bodies exist for TESOL Certificates? Are they all the same?
Thank you very much.

Ivie, I will share some of the same answers I shared with previous posters. So glad you wrote.
  1. Aside from Coursera website, is possible for recruiters to confirm certificate from ASU website?
Whether digital or paper, the course certificate features a statement attesting your confirmed identity, and a certification URL that allows others to check the Certificate’s authenticity.

  1. Is your TESOL certificate as strong as the one on TESOL International association.
Yes, I think it competes well. As you examine different organization's certificates, I recommend that you look at number of hours, the quality of the educators, the institution issuing the certificate, and the product you will get upon completing the certificate.

Our certificate: 150 hours
Our teachers: Professional designers and educators (co-designers are PhD's in educational technology and master English language teacher trainers)
Institution: Top 100 world university, most innovative university in the country 3 years in a row
Product: You will create a professional portfolio that includes 10 lesson plans, 10 videos, and a teaching philosophy that you can show to current or prospective employers.


  1. What is the difference between a TESOL Certificate and a TEFL Certificate? A CELTA/DELTA?
The TESOL Certificate is as strong as a TEFL in brand recognition, and is an umbrella term that encapsulates those who wish to teach abroad (EFL) or in an NES community (ESL). I would suggest that CELTA, in Europe, as a European product, has more brand awareness in Europe than a TESOL, but that doesn't always mean it is more rigorous.

In short, TESOL Certificates and CELTAs are not all created equal, and there are some TESOL, TEFL, and CELTA certificates that are of low quality. Again, that is why I think it is important to pay attention to number of hours, the institution itself, and the reviews of learners.

  1. What accrediting bodies exist for TESOL Certificates? Are they all the same?
While there are some accrediting bodies that exist, TESOL organization itself does not authorize or accredit any one certificate over another. However, it has put out a standards list here: http://www.tesol.org/advancethe-field/standards/standards-for-short-term-tefl-tesl-certificate-programs. They are definitely NOT all the same. If you have a specific employer in mind, you may wish to talk with them directly about the kinds of certificates that are accepted. We have had employers such as Voxy, VIPKIds and others go through our program, and a number of other employers have found our learners to come away well prepared.
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Hello, Everyone!

Thanks for all your questions.

I noticed that both Muhanned and Ivie asked about accreditation. I'd like to add to Shane's response about accreditation. Arizona State University is an accredited university, which means all academic programs (like "Teach English Now!") are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Please refer to this website for more in-depth information: https://provost.asu.edu/accreditation

All the best,

Jessica C.
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Hello Again Dr Shane & Dr Jessica,
Thank you so much for your response.
I would like to ask one more question:


1- Job assistance is one of the benefits included in the program, how does this work?
2- Do you have a URL link that explains this aspect?

Thank you, I look forward to your response!
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Thanks so much to @Shane Dixon and @Jessica Cinco for taking the time to answer all these questions, and thanks to @Ethan @samadvaliloo @Muhannad @Ivie @lilmack for asking good questions. I'm sure many others will have found this useful as well.

You are welcome to continue discussion the ASU TESOL Certificate here if you want to but Shane and Jessica will no longer be around to respond. If there are a lot more questions then we might ask if they could come back again in the future.

We will continue to schedule events like this for ASU TESOL and other Professional Certificates so check back or join the forum to stay in the loop.
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Ethan wrote:

Questions from China.
  1. What is the difference between this and others such as
  2. Is hard copy provided and what is the shipping fee to China?
Thanks for your question, Ethan. I was just in China (Beijing and Chengdu) and will be returning in October. It is a wonderful place, and English language learning is certainly growing. Let me answer your two questions.

  1. What is the difference between this certificate and others
This certificate is backed by an accredited university body, Arizona State University, and you will receive a certificate directly from ASU, a top 100 world university (not from Coursera), upon completion. This certificate also follows the precise standards of the TESOL International Association for TESOL Certificate Programs. For more information, see http://www.tesol.org/advancethe-field/standards/standards-for-short-term-tefl-tesl-certificate-programs.

I can also say that this certificate is different in terms of the course content itself. It is, to put it bluntly, more rigorous and more fun than similar products online. I'd encourage you to read the learner reviews and ratings to get a sense of how enjoyable and practical this course will be.

  1. Is a hard copy provided and what is the shipping fee to China?
Yes, we ship to China! Currently the shipping fee is $50.00 no matter what part of the world you live in. Conversely, you can receive the certificate digitally. Whether digital or paper, the course certificate features a statement attesting your confirmed identity, a certification URL that allows others to check the Certificate’s authenticity.


Thank you, Dr. Shane, for the helpful replies. I'm on the sixth course now with two more to go! I agree with you on the rigorous and creative uses of technologies in your videos lessons. They are amazing and in fact they are the best online courses I've taken so far (I've tried a few of online courses already). @Shane Dixon

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