Arizona State University
How it all started: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Shortly after I graduated with my master’s degree, I had lunch with a friend who was teaching English as a Second Language at the university. She described her job with such energy that I couldn’t help but want what she had. I realized her teaching job wasn’t going to class everyday to drill grammar on a chalk board. She brought in nerf guns for students to shoot at correct verbal phrases (the targets) to teach grammar. WHAT? I mean, is this really the life of a language teacher? Play games in class? Students must enjoy–no, love— to learn. I told my friend that I was in. My interest was piqued, but I didn’t know where to start, especially since I had no TESOL experience.
My friend recommended I get in touch with someone in particular, a TESOL expert. This person was Jessica Cinco, a TESOL instructor from Arizona State University who plays a huge role in “Teach English Now!” (TEN!) an online TESOL certification course through Coursera. Between completing my TESOL certificate and receiving advice from my mentor, Jessica, this was my ticket to living a passionate, professional career. Therefore, this certificate was the first my first big step. I was on my way towards teaching English fulfilling my dream to travel abroad while teaching English.
I am incredibly blessed to have built a mentorship throughout the TEN! practicum with Jessica Cinco, who is literally one of the biggest role models in my professional world. I would to do what she does! She’s helped guide me in so many areas of my career: from offering advice in my teaching demonstration videos all the way up to reading my job contracts before I made the big plunge to live and teach abroad in United Arab Emirates. Her influence on my life has been monumental; I give credit to this TESOL certificate for merging our paths.
My first step: Teach English Now! (TEN!)
Teach English Now! was my first step in a year-long journey of learning, studying, and practicing the skills of high-quality English language teaching. Because of TEN!, I was able to switch careers confidently.
Very quickly, I fell in love with TEN!’s entertaining videos (thanks to Dr. Shane Dixon, Dr. Justin Shewell, and Jessica Cinco). I participated in enlightening readings, positive discussions, peer feedback, but the best part was that it was self-paced. I started on July 4, 2016 (I’ll never forget that date!), and I finished by that next July.
TESOL Certificate: two parts
The TESOL Certificate is split into two parts:
- Part 1: TEN! Specialization
- Part 2: TEN! Specialization
Only with these two specializations do you qualify to take the final capstone project in order to receive a TESOL certificate from Arizona State University.
It was crucial that I could slow down the due dates when I needed to. And guess what? I did. Twice! I utilized the option to extend due dates by switching out of a course to gain more time–because at that time, I was switching from part-time teaching at the university to accepting a full time position as a Writing Lab Coordinator–so I was intensely busy with over 100 students in developmental English courses and tutoring! It was simple to switch my courses/due dates while my full time job kept me busy.
Think about it: over 150 hours of online instruction, but 60 hours were spent in a face-to-face teaching practicum on Arizona State University’s campus in Tempe, Arizona. That’s invaluable one-on-one time with the course’s instructors!
Topics covered in the TESOL Certificate:
- Foundational Principles
- Theories of Second Language Acquisition
- Lesson Design and Assessment
- Teaching (Reading, Writing, Grammar, Listening, Speaking, Pronunciation)
- Technology-Enriched Teaching
What I really enjoyed the most was the hands-on project after each specialization. It was like a nice challenge at the end of your studying to prove yourself. It usually ended with a longer teaching demonstration video that required a detailed lesson plan and compulsory peer feedback on other students’ videos.
Online TESOL portfolio
Elizabeth Mosaidis was one of our ultra tech-savvy instructors in the TEN! practicum. She helped me create a website dedicated to my TESOL portfolio to promote my teaching effectiveness and abilities. Check it out below.
Why earn a TESOL certificate?
It’s simple: it helps veteran teachers attain better employment, or it allows new teachers to enter the field.
Teach English Now! International Conference
I was happily featured as a conference presenter in ASU’s Global Launch video with my friend, Dr. Walker. Check it out!