Meet Our Students: Jinhwa | TESOL Certificate Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Certification

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Meet Our Students: Jinhwa

Today we are excited to feature Jinhwa, a full-time summer student in the TESOL Certificate Program from Korea!

The TCP welcomes applications from international students. For more information on applying as an international student, click here.

Name: Jinhwa 

Hometown: Korea

Background: I grew up in Korea, where I learned English exclusively, and then majored in English linguistics. I have taught English in secondary school and high school in Korea for 4 years. Before working as an English teacher, I worked at Forbes Korea, and EBS, but soon realized that I was born to be a teacher; I have been trying my best to become a better teacher ever since.

Why did you choose the TESOL Certificate Program?

To be honest, Columbia’s brand value was a big reason that I applied for TCP. Korea, not to mention the U.S., has some certificate programs that tend to be achieved quite easily. I did not think that getting certification through one of those prevailing programs would help me stand out in the job market. Even though I applied because of Columbia’s reputation, I now realize that Columbia’s TCP curriculum is unique and outstanding. They focus on making you a better teacher. Another attraction was that I am thinking of getting an M.A. degree in TESOL, and six credits from the certificate program can count towards an M.A. in TESOL at Columbia University Teachers College.
Short & Money –saving : One of the greatest advantages of this program is the online/onsite blended courses. If taken during the summer, you only need a one-month break from work to get this certificate. Even though you may not be able to work during the online portion (because daily reading materials and assignments require thoughtfulness and are graded at a high standard) you can at least stay at your home. In other words, you don’t have to spend a fortune covering the crazy living costs in New York.
Traveling to NYC after Study: Another advantage is the fact that you can go sightseeing before/after the program as your visa allows. (Having eggs benedict at Sarabeth’s or taking a walk in Central Park will certainly make your study less stressful.)

What has been your favorite class and why?

My favorite class was Classroom Practices with our unparalleled teacher Michelle. All the teaching skills and activities recommend in the textbook were digested and refined in her class; I regularly borrowed them and applied them to my Friday practicum. Grammar with Elizabeth was great, too. I learned prioritizing what grammar to teach and it was a great opportunity to replenish my explicit grammar knowledge.

What are your career goals after the program?

Before I came here to attend TCP, my goal was to go back to Korea, get a teaching job in one of the top prestigious private high schools, or become a famous instructor in an online education company. After attending TCP, however, I created a new goal: teaching English in the U.S., which is something that I never thought could be possible. The Columbia TESOL Certificate Program broadened my perspective and had enough of an impact to change the course of my life.

What advice do you have for prospective TCP students?

Are you a traditional English teacher who has a grammar translation and lecture-based teaching style? Are you eager to improve your teaching skills and brush up on your knowledge? Then choose Columbia’s TESOL certificate program. While getting trained in Columbia’s TCP, you will find yourself becoming the consummate teacher. This program is not all about theoretical approaches. It is extremely practical and helpful. I would also like to emphasize the wonderful experiences I gained through practicum every Friday. Columbia has built an amazing system that helps teachers acquire and advance their teaching skills. The program makes TCP stand out when compared to less comprehensive certificate programs. For just 45 minutes of teaching per week, you will spend at least 10 hours polishing your lesson plan to generate a flawless lesson. Wonderful mentors are right there to give you advice and feedback to help you become a better teacher. You will also see yourself grow, learning from your passionate, competent, creative and supportive peers in your team-teaching process. How amazing it is to meet highly motivated, and ready-to-study CEP students. It was so rewarding to see their proficiency improving and to hear them say, “I love your class!” If you are a teacher who has mastered English in EFL contexts, your success as a foreign English language learner will translate into you becoming a role model. You will experience your happiest moments sharing your know-how in learning English with them, and relating to students from different cultures. Be a sponge and absorb/benchmark everything from your instructors, group members, and amazing mentors. The summer intensive program is literally “intensive and tough.” Never estimate it just because it is a certificate. Once you successfully deal with the heavy workload and stress, you will be an astounding teacher with a brand new attitude and level of competence at the end of the program.