I graduated at the end of 2009, and directly upon graduation, I packed up my fresh Applied Linguistics degree and TESOL Certificate and went to China. I did not plan to go to China when I was in university. I did not know what I wanted to do when I was in university! However, since then, I have been to 5 countries; I can speak 3 additional languages; and I have learned how to sew clothing, how to cook new foods, and how to compose myself in situations that are terribly unstructured and unpredictable.
TESOL has been a great vehicle for me to learn what is arguably my most important adult lesson: We do not know how big our dreams can be until we experience the different ways of life in our world.
Teaching ESL gives you a chance to taste the possibilities, and gives you the power to change your life into something that you didn’t even know existed. Even if you don’t want to teach English as a long-term career (I didn’t and don’t), the experiences you gain through TESOL will infuse your future.
After travelling to Korea in 2007, I decided I wanted to experience life there longer term. So, I began the TWU TESOL Certificate in 2009. Upon completion, a series of unique cross-cultural opportunities presented themselves to me, which would demand all the skills and perspectives that I had learned from the engaging and challenging professors of my TESOL courses.
First, I taught English with ELIC to high-school students in a restricted access country in Asia. Then, I embarked on a year of teaching English and language learning in South Korea with Adventure Teaching. Right after that, I visited Jordan with a Bridges for Communities team where we found ourselves volunteering as ESL teachers in a Palestinian refugee camp. Through all those experiences, God was imparting in me a vocation for helping those without a voice.
Back in Canada, my experience with languages and teaching helped me gain admission into the M.Sc. in speech therapy at UBC. While studying, I volunteered as an ESL teacher in Vancouver with the immigrant community, and now, having completed that degree, I am exploring a return to Asia.
Completing my TESOL Certificate at TWU has been one of the best decisions of my life. The certificate program allowed me to not only take core courses like advanced English grammar, but also informative weekend seminars like classroom management.
Since graduating with my B.A. and TESOL Certificate in 2012 I have been working nonstop! In 2013, I took my first full time job as an assistant English language teacher in Tottori City, Japan. As a Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme participant, I spent two years in small town Japan teaching at an academic senior high school. I taught 10-15 classes each week, working collaboratively with Japanese teachers to plan and execute lessons. It was an invaluable experience, and even allowed me to save enough money to pay off my student debt! In addition to JET, for the past five years, I have been a private ELL tutor part time to learners from countries including Korea, Hungary, and Syria.
I am now studying to complete my Bachelor of Education degree to become a certified K-12 teacher. With the current demand in B.C. for ELL teachers, I recommend the TESOL Certificate as a great starting point for anyone interested in teaching English language learners!
I graduated with the TESOL Certificate in April 2016. Since then, I had the opportunity to teach in an International ESL camp run by a school in Surrey, BC. I also taught a group from Shanghai for one month, and it is a job that I would love to return to in the future.
More recently, I have been teaching English in Spain. As an English speaker with a TESOL certificate, I was accepted into the Auxiliares de Conversación program, and have been working as a teaching assistant in Spanish schools since October 2016. I work with a wide range of students, facilitating listening and speaking classes in collaboration with the English teachers at the schools. I have also been volunteering at an academy run by WorldTeam cross-cultural workers.
Overall, my TESOL Certificate has been essential for my development as a teacher. I always refer to what I learned in the program, making sure to apply sound techniques. The certificate not only gave me the necessary qualifications to be hired, but also prepared me to do the work well.
The longer I teach, the more I am convinced that TWU offers one of the best TESOL training programs. The vast knowledge and experience that the faculty shared with me in and outside of classroom gave me a solid foundation to teach well and to even put together my personal teaching methodology and techniques. I love how extensive the program is; from linguistic courses to practical teaching, it prepares you well for a variety of teaching opportunities.
For the past 13 years, I have been teaching ESL in Dnipro, Ukraine as part of an on-going ministry of the Evangelical Free Church of Canada. Through short-term intensive language programs, regular discussion club opportunities and tutoring, I have seen my students not only improve their English, but also come to a saving faith in Christ, which is so precious to me. The TESOL Certificate opened doors for me to have an impact on, literally, hundreds of lives. And because of the quality of the program, I am able to do it well, with pleasure and confidence.
It was always my dream to be an explorer. In my childhood, I was inspired by tales of Magellan or Marco Polo visiting unknown lands and meeting new peoples. My TESOL Certificate and BA has allowed me to do just that. I have accepted a full-time nine-month contract as an EFL teacher on Sakhalin, an island in the Far East of Russia, just kilometers north of Japan. It has been a wonderful and fulfilling experience for me to be able to explore a new culture from within. Sakhalin, with its unique combination of Japanese and Russian history and large population of ethnic Koreans, has been a wonder to discover, despite the long and cold winter. I love my job teaching and interacting with students aged seven to seventeen, and the skills, principles and confidence I developed from my TESOL studies have proved invaluable.
Because of my qualifications, I was even asked to provide a two-month course for Russian teachers wanting to write part of the TKT exam. Although that was very challenging, I found that the quality of my education at TWU enabled me to impart TESOL concepts to other teachers.
I still have the desire to travel the world, getting to know interesting places and cultures by living and working in them, and my TESOL certificate is the ship that can take me to these far-off ports.
Graduating with my TESOL Certificate in 2012, I accepted a teaching position at a primary school in northern Hungary with the Central European Teaching Program. My first year, I taught English and Art only, but upon extending my contract a second year, I began teaching the four core subjects (language arts, mathematics, science, and history) to students in the accelerated English program.
Although teaching was never a long-term career goal of mine, I believe the experiences I garnered as a teacher abroad greatly enhanced my curriculum vitae, and shaped who I am as an individual and what I can offer as a professional. My interactions with my Hungarian colleagues, my students, and those I met in my travels strengthened my skills in communication, intentionality, and patience – three traits that are universally sought after in any work environment.
Since returning stateside in 2014, I have re-focused my career sights on law. I applied to, and was offered, positions at multiple firms in the Pacific Northwest, but eventually settled on a paralegal position in downtown Portland, Oregon. Currently, I work full-time at a nationally-recognized Intellectual Property firm. Most recently, I sat the Law School Admissions Test, and plan to begin law school in the fall of 2018.
I had a great experience in the TWU TESOL program. After graduating, I got a job as a LINC instructor in Surrey three evenings per week. Shortly after that, I was hired by the Langley school district as an International Student Education Assistant. I worked with international students to support them in their English language learning, modify their curriculum, help them with visas, and communicate with their teachers, agents, and homestay providers.
The TWU TESOL program more than prepared me for these roles. The classroom-to-real-job transition was smooth. The TESOL Certificate was, without a doubt, the most practical thing I graduated with. It was nice to get the degree in Linguistics and to have the Spanish minor, but the TESOL Certificate is what allowed me to get a job and open the door into the working world.
One thing I love about the TESOL Certificate is that it adapts really well to motherhood. If I want to teach ESL three nights a week, I can most certainly do that, even with young children. I'm very grateful for that.
Teaching ESL has been one of my most rewarding experiences. After immigrating to Canada in 1997 with my husband and two young children, I was discouraged as I didn’t have Canadian certification to teach in a K-12 school. The TESOL program at TWU was the right fit for me as it had a part-time evening option. The admissions office staff were extremely helpful; the professors were approachable and available.
I was hired at Holly/Hjorth Community program as soon as I graduated, where I had to adapt materials for a multi-level class on a daily basis. I soon started working as a teacher-on-call for SD 36, and then as a LINC instructor at SUCCESS, a non-profit organization. In my role as a LINC instructor, I have the opportunity not only to teach English but also to connect students with community resources. It is especially rewarding to see students’ progress, to see them move on to find employment and become an intrinsic part of our society.
I feel I’ve also greatly benefited as teaching ESL has made me more aware of the common threads in all cultures. I’ve learned to embrace the richness that each culture brings to our Canadian society.
When I graduated high school, the one thing I promised myself I would never do was become a teacher. Of any kind. Then I found myself finishing a TESOL Certificate along with my degree program, and was shocked to realize that I actually loved it.
What I’d failed to realize before completing my TESOL training was that teaching English isn’t about standing in front of a class and rattling off grammar notes; it’s about serving the people of your community.
I discovered this during my final practicum, which involved teaching beginning English to grandmothers from immigrant communities. One of my students admitted to me that the reason she was coming to class was so she could learn to talk to her English-speaking grandchildren.
Since then, whether I have been tutoring, working in a formal classroom, helping a friend compose a text message, or just chatting with my students’ families over tea, I have continued to discover new ways to meet the real, felt needs of the people around me.