2009 TCP Alumna Receives “Global English Teacher” Award | TESOL Certificate Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Certification

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TCP Alumna Receives "Global English Teacher" Award

2009 Alumna, Arata Nishio



My name is Arata Nishio ( Zushi) and I am an alumna of the TESOL Certificate Program (TCP) class of 2009. It is such an honor to share the news of my being awarded the Asia and Oceania region’s 2019 Pearson Global English Teacher Award. This is an annual contest supported by Pearson, a UK-based giant book publisher. Applicants from all over the world submit their best practices in their English language classrooms; in 2019 there were 431 entries from 65 countries. Ultimately, 5 winners were chosen this year from 5 different regions of the world and I am one of them! Please click here for the link to Pearson Global English Teacher Award 2019:

I really enjoyed the Teaching Practicum at the Community English Program (CEP). From Monday to Friday, we learned how to teach concepts such as reading or writing through workshops and experiential activities and put the theory into practice at CEP on Saturdays. We were divided into teaching teams of three, where native and non-native English speakers were mixed. 

When it came down to team-teaching, I remember that a lot of communication with my peers was required. Even outside of class, our team got together and discussed how students could achieve after our class was over, how we could keep topic consistent and coherent, and what activities should be incorporated. We also received helpful advice for our lesson plans from our mentors every Wednesday. I received a lot of support to implement my lesson plan both from faculty and my teammates. This experience of fostering cooperation and collaboration through sharing ideas with others was the cornerstone to my growth and success in the Program.

In addition, I believe the mixture of native and non-native English speakers in the same teaching team was a great benefit for mutual learning. The other two classmates in my team were both native English speakers and they helped me incorporate some American cultural aspects in my class..

The most precious experience in TCP was the encounter with many creative, highly-motivated, and competent classmates from all over the world. They were full of ideas and were very willing to cascade their wisdom. I was always fascinated by their cultural competency, and their open-mindedness was such an inspiration and motivation for me.

With such a huge shift in the language education paradigm, a TESOL certificate from Columbia TC in my resume with plenty of practical approaches attracted a lot of attention. Upon my return, I was able to get a job at a Japanese high school with relative ease. Upon graduating from the TESOL Certificate Program, I was hired by the Nagoya City Board of Education in Japan as a full-time English teacher. I was first assigned to the Meito Senior High School, which focused on education with an international focus.

My Classes and Practices Awarded in the Global English Teacher Award

As a TCP alumna, my goal has been to put students in the center by having them share their opinions on various topics and interact with others to build cultural competency and critical thinking skills. However, in Japan, students rarely have an opportunity to actually use English in their daily lives. Therefore, I incorporated real English in my class by conducting Skype discussions with people from five different countries. With a Finnish school, we had a collaborative history class and our students shared their wisdom about the arrival of Commodore Perry with their new friends from abroad. Students also carried out joint research and made presentations on gender equality with Taiwanese counterparts.