Students have the opportunity to take courses to earn a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certificate and pursue self sustained study abroad.
The courses, which are offered each semester, cover in depth various theories and methodologies associated with teaching English while also giving students the opportunity to work in an actual ESL setting. Pam Sullivan, instructor in the Department of Language and Literature and instructor of the course, said there are plenty of opportunities to teach English around the world.
“In a lot of countries around the world there is a need to learn English,” Sullivan said. “In many countries, students do that in regular school, but a lot of times there are adults who have not had the opportunity to do that. So there are plenty of private language institutions and other places that offer English lessons, and with the certificate, you would be able to work there.”
Alex Poole, a graduate student studying for her Master’s in Teaching from Frisco, took the TESOL courses as a senior in undergraduate and said what she learned in those courses helped her on mission trips.
“This past summer I went on a mission trip to Spain where I taught students English and Bible for two weeks,” Poole said.
Poole, who also works in a second grade classroom in Abilene, said what she learned has been useful in working with ESL students there, as well.
“This helped me develop my own activities to teach [English],” Poole said. “I am able to use the same skills right here in Abilene.”
The TESOL certificate involves taking two three-hour courses. TESOL 440 is normally taken first and goes into the theories and methods behind language teaching. TESOL 340, which can be taken either concurrently with TESOL 440 or on its own, is a practicum where students implement what they learned in TESOL 440 in a classroom setting.
“You have to take 30 hours outside of class,” Sullivan said. “You do some observations and interviews of teachers and then 20 hours of instruction practicum and 10 hours with social time with non-native English speakers.”
There is no test required to receive the certificate. Sullivan said if a student passes all the requirements of the course, they would earn the certificate.
For more information about the TESOL certification, contact Pam Sullivan at email@example.com.