College Teaching Certificate: Second Language Pedagogy

The Chicago Center for Teaching (CCT) and the Chicago Language Center (CLC), in partnership with academic departments and other organizations on campus, offer a host of professional development activities aimed at supporting graduate students and postdocs as they develop their approach to teaching in the language classroom. As a means of structuring and documenting this professional development process, the CCT and the CLC offer the College Teaching Certificate: Second Language Pedagogy, for those seeking to develop their teachings skills generally, and their teaching of a second language specifically.  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.


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

Program Requirements

I.  Pedagogical Training
1.  Orientation

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

2.  Reflecting on Teaching

  • Complete at least 5 hours of teaching development programming.
  • Write a 500-750 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 Workshop Series (offered by the CCT)
  • Other teaching workshops offered by the CCT, the CLC, or other units on campus (e.g. Eat. Teach. Talk. Run!)
  • Teaching development activities offered by your department (e.g. departmental pedagogy courses or workshops)
  • A course on teaching offered by the Writing Program


3.  Course Design and Second Language Pedagogy

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

In this course you will:

  • critically analyze methods and approaches
  • use backward design to design curriculum that meets stated goals and objectives
  • implement pedagogically-driven multimedia
  • learn how to make choices for hybrid instruction
  • create lessons and syllabi that are goal oriented
  • integrate collaborative learning effectively
  • design assessment for activities, skills and end-of-course or program measurements
  • assess broader trends in language instruction, such as content-based courses, online instruction, and others


II.  Practice and Feedback
1.  Teaching

  • Teach one language course at UChicago as an independent instructor.


2.  Observation and Feedback

Observation and feedback is a key step for developing your teaching.  The CCT offers ITCs to instructors as a way to receive confidential, constructive feedback on their teaching.


III.  Documenting Your Teaching
1.  Statement of Teaching Philosophy and Teaching Portfolio

The Seminar, regularly offered by the CCT, provides guidance on how to write a statement of teaching philosophy and construct a teaching portfolio.  The Workshop—to be completed after participating in the Seminar—provides a venue for guided peer feedback on the teaching statement and other elements of the portfolio in progress.

2.  Submission

Once all requirements have been satisfied, submit your final teaching portfolio to the CCT to certify your completion of the program.  CCT staff will review your materials, certify that you have completed all requirements, and issue your certificate.