Graduate Certification in Foreign Language Teaching

The Certification in College Foreign Language Teaching (CCFLT) is designed to prepare graduate students within the College of Arts and Letters language departments for careers in post-secondary education, while enhancing the quality of their teaching at Michigan State University. The program provides background and training in foreign language teaching at the college level, and includes course work, workshops, and a mentored teaching experience that provide basic information on language teaching and learning. Students are expected to document and reflect upon their growth as language teachers in an online portfolio.

The program supplements the student’s degree program and, in many cases, can be completed without additional credits or teaching duties. The program can be tailored to meet the needs and goals of individual participants. It is designed to provide coherence for the varied teaching experiences of graduate students. This certification program also offers graduate assistants a way of documenting their developing expertise as teachers. The materials developed in the portfolio, along with the certificate and a possible designation on the student’s transcript, are designed to assist graduates seeking employment in an increasingly competitive job market.

The program is administered by the Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA) within the College of Arts and Letters in cooperation with the Graduate School.

Course Work

Complete one course in each of the areas below:

Principles and Practices of Language Teaching

  • LLT 807 Language Teaching Methods (SLS)
  • ROM 803 Current Approaches to Romance Language Instruction (RCS)
  • FLT 807 Foreign Language Teaching Methods (MAFLT online) 

Technology and Language Teaching 

  • AL 891 Practicum in Blended and Online Learning (Arts & Letters)
  • FLT 881 Teaching Foreign Language with Technology (MAFLT online)
  • LLT 841 Technology and Language Teaching (SLS)

Professional Development

Professional development activities address the five fundamental professional development areas outlined by the MSU Graduate School:

  • Developing Foreign Language Teaching Strategies
  • Creating Effective Learning Environments
  • Incorporating Technology in the Classroom
  • Understanding the Academy
  • Assessing Student Learning

Candidates for the certificate are expected to be active in seeking out professional development opportunities. This requirement can be achieved in a variety of ways, including participation in or attendance at a minimum of 5 approved, relevant events. This may include professional meetings or events sponsored by CeLTA, the College of Arts and Letters, the SLS Program, or the language departments. Events must be approved and a reflection must be written for each event. The reflection papers should present a summary of the event as well as a statement of how it contributed to the candidate’s professional development. Students should retain relevant workshop materials, seminar outlines, course syllabi, conference programs, etc. for inclusion in their portfolio.

Mentored Teaching Experience

The mentored teaching experience is designed to bring together graduate student teachers with faculty, to encourage active and critical discussions about teaching and learning, and to encourage innovative teaching practices. For students appointed as teaching assistants in language departments, their teaching assignment within the department under a language coordinator will fulfill this requirement.

Teaching experiences coordinated by the Center may serve as mentored teaching experiences for student not teaching in the language programs. As part of the mentored teaching experience, students will design and implement a specific project.


The submission of a portfolio will complete the requirements for the certificate. The portfolio will document the candidate’s accomplishments and include a teaching philosophy, any curricular materials developed, faculty observation reports, student evaluations, and other materials that demonstrate the core competencies listed above. It is strongly recommended that a short video sample (10-15 mins) of the candidate teaching be included in the portfolio. Equipment is available through CeLTA for filming and editing this video sample. A team of faculty will review and evaluate the portfolio and discuss its contents with the applicant before the certification form is signed and forwarded to the College and the Graduate School. 


Interested students should complete the registration form on this website. Once your application is approved you may start working on the requirements for the certificate. Students should consult with CeLTA faculty to draft a plan for completing the certificate.

  • Visit the certification page for more information (coming soon).

If you have questions, please contact Caitlin Cornell at