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University of Oregon

Program Overview

What is the SLAT certificate?

The Certificate in SLAT documents that the student has solid grounding in second language acquisition and teaching and in a specific second language and its structures. The certificate is easily added to a major in Linguistics, a second language (Spanish, Japanese, etc.), international studies, and English, but it is designed to be useful and accessible to students in any major.

Why get the SLAT certificate?

This certificate prepares you to teach in private schools, language institutes, and community-based language programs.

The certificate is a valuable credential for applying to language teaching positions overseas.

A SLAT certificate complements or meets course requirements for other UO undergraduate programs, e.g. B.A. in International Studies.

The courses constituting the undergraduate Certificate are excellent preparation for post-baccalaureate teacher certification programs, such as the University of Oregon UOTeach program.

Since the SLAT certificate offers solid grounding in the structure of language, the cognitive and socio-cultural process of language acquisition, and appropriate pedagogy for working with second language learners, it greatly strengthens any future K-12 second-language-teaching license. However, the goals of the Certificate are quite distinct, and this certificate does not license you to teach in Oregon public schools. A SLAT certificate will provide an advantage for those students wishing to subsequently enroll in these other licensure/endorsement programs.

SLAT credits can count towards the MA in Language Teaching Studies
If you find that you love language teaching in the SLAT courses, you might decide to apply to the MA in Language Teaching Studies (LTS) in the Department of Linguistics at UO. Up to 15 credits of the core 400 level courses in SLAT can be applied towards LTS. This reduces the length of the MA from five terms (15 months) to four terms (12 months) for most individuals. SLAT courses must be passed at the 90% (A-) level or higher to be counted towards the MA.
Check out the program here:

How can I use the SLAT certificate?

Students should be aware that across the US and abroad, standards for specific programs in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) and Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) vary widely, and there is no accrediting body specific to certificates. Therefore, on your résumé/C.V. or in your presentation letter, you should specify how much course work you did for the SLAT and add a few sentences about the practical work you did in your internship. SLAT advisors can also provide you with a signed document that states your coursework and number of practicum hours (this will match your transcript).  Note that the UO SLAT certificate requirements are among the highest for second language teaching certificates.

Read more about how you can use a UO SLAT certificate
Compare the UO English SLAT certificate with TESOL and other ESL certificates

Can I get a certificate in more than one language?

Yes! You will receive just one physical certificate for the SLAT, but if you complete the language-specific requirements and an internship experience for two languages, you will have completed two language tracks within the SLAT. This can be verified by an official letter from the SLAT director if needed and by the coursework on your transcript. We do not recommend pursuing the SLAT for more than two languages unless the additional coursework is not an extra burden to the student. Consult your SLAT advisor for more information.