A Summer TESOL Program is Drawing Many Career Changers | Teachers College Columbia University

Skip to content Skip to main navigation

A Summer TESOL Program is Drawing Many Career Changers

The 2013 Teachers College TESOL summer certificate program is drawing many applicants like Joy, a successful book designer who, when she volunteered at a local literacy center, had no idea that she was taking the first step into a new career.

When Joy, a successful book designer based outside of New York City, agreed to volunteer at a local literacy center, she had no idea that she was taking the first step into a new career. Most of her students were immigrants, and she soon found herself interested in teaching English to new arrivals in her community. After several years of volunteer work, Joy realized that she was teaching largely by “instinct,” and that it was time to improve her skills and theoretical knowledge. She chose to attend the summer intensive program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at Teachers College. Since then, Joy has gone on to work at a local community college, create curriculum for immigrants in New York City, and study for her MA in TESOL at Teachers College.

The 2013 Teachers College TESOL certificate program will run for eight weeks, from June 24th through August 16th. The program balances theory and practice, and prepares graduates to teach English in a variety of settings, from language schools abroad to community programs in the United States. Applications are still being accepted.

“While changes in the economy are forcing many of us to rethink our career tracks, one thing has remained constant—the need to communicate across the global community,” says Sarah Creider, Director of the TESOL Certificate Program. “Learning to teach English to speakers of other languages is one skill that will never go out of date. For those hoping to combine work and travel, pursuing a lifelong interest in language and culture, or seeking to give back to the community, a certificate can be a great, short-term option.”

Creider says that applications to the program from mid-life career changers are not uncommon. “Those who seek to change or supplement their current careers can find unique opportunities when they add a TESOL certificate to the experience of a full professional life.”

Students, who range in age from 22 to 72, also value the opportunity to join the Columbia learning community.

Program graduates choose career paths as varied as their backgrounds. Alumni have gone on to teach abroad, continue their graduate studies in a TESOL MA program, develop curricula for immigrant day-laborers, and start businesses teaching English to executives.

In the Teachers College TESOL Summer Certificate program, classes include:

  • How to plan lessons, create activities, and manage a classroom
  • How to teach grammar in an enjoyable, communicative way
  • How to incorporate culture into your classroom, and
  • Hands-on teaching experience

For more information, visit www.tc.edu/tesolcertificate

Published Friday, May. 3, 2013