This page contains answers to frequently asked questions about the SLAT certificate. N.B.: There may be slight differences in information depending on the language of the certificate (Chinese, ESL, French, Japanese, Korean, German, Spanish); always consult with a SLAT advisor for the most definitive information.
1. What can I do with the SLAT Certificate? What jobs does it help me to get?
The SLAT certificate has two purposes:
- Preparation to teach: The SLAT Certificate gives you the background preparation and practical training to do a good job teaching in any second-language classroom.
- Credential to show to employers: The SLAT Certificate tells prospective employers that you have the preparation to do a good job in their educational institution. (See Question 2, as well.)
What a SLAT Certificate DOES NOT do:
- A SLAT certificatate DOES NOT allow you to teach in public schools: Credentials that allow you to teach in public schools are given exclusively by Colleges of Education, which have a separate accreditation process. The SLAT Certificate offers more language teaching preparation than many of these Education programs, but it does not offer the other preparation that an Education degree is required to offer to public school teachers.
- A SLAT certificate DOES NOT make you competitive for top-tier language teaching jobs: Most jobs in the US, Europe or Japan require faculty to hold an MA in TESOL, Applied Linguistics, or a related field, and sometimes they also require two or more years of classroom teaching experience. The SLAT Certificate may help qualify you for more entry-level jobs in these countries, and it will certainly qualify you for a wider range of jobs in other countries.
2. I want to apply for a job that requests a TESOL Certificate. How does the ESL SLAT compare to a TESOL or TEFL Certificate?
The SLAT gives equal or better preparation compared to any TESOL, TEFL, or other certificate we are aware of. Visit the SLAT-TESOL comparison page for a full explanation; we encourage you to share this link with prospective employers, so that they will understand what a strong background your SLAT Certificate gives you compared to most other certificates.
The director of the SLAT program can also provide you with a letter stating your coursework and practicum hours that you can give to prospective employers.
3. I am a senior and I want to go overseas and teach English. How long will it take me to finish the SLAT?
The full ESL SLAT requires at least seven courses. They can be taken in three consecutive terms, starting Spring, Summer, or Fall (but not Winter). See the course calendar page for more information.
4. If Ling 444 is a prerequisite for LT 435, why are they both offered the same term? Same question for LT 436 and LT 437?
LING 444 is a prerequisite for LT 435, and LT 436 is a prerequisite for LT 437. However, in a term when both classes are offered at the same time, we will allow students to enroll for both simultaneously: LING 444 and LT 435 Summer Term and LT 436 and LT 437 both Fall Term and Spring Term. The procedure is:
- Enroll for the first class (Duckweb will reject your attempts to enroll for the second class, as you will not have completed the prerequisite).
- Request permission from your SLAT Advisor to add the second class.
- You will be notified when the SLAT Advisor has arranged for you to add the class without the prerequisite, after which you go to Duckweb and add the second class.
5. What is LING 409, and how is it different from LT 437?
- LT 437 gives English SLAT students an opportunity to do some live teaching in a collaborative environment. A cohort of students co-teaches a one-credit elective class at the American English Institute. Under the supervision of a master teacher, the students meet for three hours per week separately from the AEI class, which they teach together. We strongly recommend that all students take LT 437 if possible.
- LT 409 is an English SLAT Internship, in which the student spends the entire term (9 weeks) as an intern for an experienced ESL teacher. In the first two weeks, the student is an active observer, determining the teaching style of the supervising teacher, and thinking about how to fit in appropriately with the classroom dynamic as established by that teacher. In the next 5 weeks, the student acts more as a teacher’s aid, helping the supervising teacher with grading and participating in other ways as suggested by the supervising teacher. In the final two weeks or so, the supervising teacher and the student may agree for the student to prepare and lead the class in some individual lessons. The LT 409 class is an intensive individualized experience, and it varies widely depending on all the many factors that make each class unique. LT 409 is available every term as an alternative for SLAT students who cannot fit LT 437 into their schedules.
- For other SLAT certificates, the internship experience (CHN, FREN, GER, JPN, KRN, SPAN 409) generally follows the LT 409 format described above. For more information, visit the internship page.
6. Can I work towards SLAT if I already have earned an undergraduate degree?
The SLAT certificate is designed as an add-on to an undergraduate degree at UO, and cannot be awarded if a student is not enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. It cannot be awarded as a stand-alone post-baccalaureate certificate. Please see the 15-month intensive LTS MA program as an alternate option for language teacher education at the graduate level. The LTS degree can also be pursued as a concurrent MA degree with other MA or doctoral programs at UO.