What started out as a part-time job teaching the English language eventually led junior CheaRi Lee to continue pursuing her education in TESOL
“My parents’ friends asked me to teach their children English,” said Lee, an accounting
major from Korea who will graduate in 2013. “I had my own techniques and strategies, but I knew taking more classes would help me learn how to teach students better. Plus, it never hurts to have more qualifications on your resume.”
The Institute for TESOL Studies at Huntington University offers certification in teaching English language learners (ELLs). Individuals working in education, missions, ministry, social work, international business and numerous other fields benefit from earning their TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or ENL (English as a New Language) Certificate. The certificate equips students and professionals for overseas English teaching, community-based English instruction in the U.S. and church and non-profit outreach to refugees, immigrants and U.S.-born ELLs.
As part of the TESOL studies program, students seeking certification are required to partake in a practicum — a real-life experience. Lee worked at Gunpo Global Education Center, a language academy in Korea with an enrollment of 2,300 students. She taught Listening and Speaking English classes to students ranging from elementary to middle school.
“The experience felt overwhelming at times,” Lee said. “I could not incorporate my own teaching styles because they already had a set curriculum in place.”
Even though Lee faced a few challenges, she also enjoyed investing in her students while in Korea.
“I felt like the students liked me because I was younger than most other teachers, and I think they felt like they could relate to me better,” she said.
Now at Huntington, Lee interns at Pathfinder Services where she fills out tax returns for low-income clients. She also attends College Park Church where she plays the violin during the worship service and attends the college-age Sunday School program.
Upon graduation, Lee hopes to pass her CPA exam and land a job at one of the top five accounting firms — preferably in California where it is warm.
Lee’s last word of advice: Get all of the experiences that you can at HU.
“I think it’s a good idea for anyone going into the mission’s field or interested in teaching English to take TESOL classes.”
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