The Chicago Center for Teaching (CCT) and the University of Chicago Language Center (CLC) host a number of activities and resources related to second language acquisition and language teaching. For those seeking to develop their teachings skills generally, and their teaching of a second language specifically the CCT and the CLC offer the College Teaching Certificate: Second Language Pedagogy. The Second Language Pedagogy certificate contains many of the same elements of the more general College Teaching Certificate, with a few modifications aimed at addressing pedagogical issues specific to teaching a second language.

Program Requirements

To register for the program, log your completion of requirements, and track your progress, you must enroll in the CTC Second Language Pedagogy Canvas site.

I. Pedagogical Training

1. Orientation 

Attend Teaching@Chicago

Teaching@Chicago is an orientation to teaching at UChicago for first-time teaching assistants, interns, and instructors, and is an important first step in developing your teaching skills. Held the week before classes start each fall, the program provides initial guidance on your role as a graduate teacher.

2. Reflecting on Teaching 

-  Complete at least 5 hours of teaching development programming.
-  Write a 500 to 700-word reflective essay that summarizes how your approach to teaching was shaped by participating in this programming. 

As you take on roles such as teaching assistant, intern, or instructor, there are numerous opportunities on campus to step back and reflect on different aspects of your developing teaching practice. Just what mix of programming advances your teaching development goals will vary from person to person. Options to fulfill this requirement include: 

-  A Fundamentals of Teaching Series
-  Other teaching workshops and seminars offered by the CCT or other units on campus (e.g. The Craft of Teaching)
-  Teaching English as an Additional Language (TEAL) course offered by the English Language Institute
-  Teaching development activities offered by your department (e.g. departmental pedagogy courses or workshops)

3. Reflect on Inclusive Pedagogy

- Complete at least 1 stand-alone workshop on Inclusive Teaching offered by the CCT. 

- Upon completion of a workshop on inclusive teaching, please write a 500 to 700-word essay reflecting on the ways that inclusive pedagogical practices inform your approach to teaching. Please include a description of specific strategies you plan to use to promote an inclusive and welcoming classroom environment. For example, activities you plan to incorporate into the way you think about and address social and/or cognitive differences and student learning.

4. Course Design and Second Language Pedagogy 

-  Complete the “Language Pedagogy for the Contemporary Classroom” course (CCTE 50100). 

Topics include: 

-  Analysis of methods and approaches
-  Goal-oriented syllabus design and lesson planning
-  Proficiency assessment and test design
-  Backward design to meet goals in all skills
-  Choosing when and how to implement hybrid instruction
-  Pedagogically-driven use of technology
-  Integration of vocabulary and grammar instruction and practice
-  Multi-literacy approaches to reading and listening

- Process writing at all language levels

To find out more about this course and the upcoming course schedule, please contact Catherine Baumann, Director of the University of Chicago Language Center.

II. Practice and Feedback

1. Teaching 

Teach one language course at UChicago as an independent instructor.

2. Observation and Feedback 

Participate in an Individual Teaching Consultation (ITC)

Observation and feedback is a key step for developing your teaching. The CCT offers ITCs to graduate students and postdocs as a way to receive constructive feedback to help them develop their teaching.

III. Document Your Teaching

1. Statement of Teaching Philosophy and Teaching Portfolio 

Participate in the Seminar and Workshop on Teaching Portfolios 

The Seminar on Teaching Portfolios provides guidance to graduate students and postdocs on how to write a statement of teaching philosophy and construct a teaching portfolio. The subsequent Workshop on Teaching Portfolios then provides a venue for guided peer feedback on the teaching statement and other elements of the portfolio in progress.

2. Essay on Inclusive Pedagogy

- As you prepare your teaching portfolio, please submit an updated draft of your reflective essay. The updated version may include new thoughts on promoting an inclusive and welcoming classroom environment, an assessment of specific inclusive strategies you have been able to incorporate into your teaching, and/or a description of how considerations of inclusion and diversity shaped the materials of your teaching portfolio. This reflective essay should also be included in your teaching portfolio.

3. Submission of the Teaching Portfolio 

Once all requirements have been satisfied, please submit your final teaching portfolio via Canvas to certify your completion of the program. You may choose to upload your teaching portfolio as a PDF or to provide the link to your online teaching portfolio. CCT staff will review your materials, certify that you have completed all requirements, and issue your certificate.