TESOL at CityU: Innovation, Creativity, and Teamwork

TESOL at CityU: Innovation, Creativity, and Teamwork

Christine Knorrby Christine Knorr, Director of Washington Academy of Languages

It has indeed been a very exciting year for the TESOL Certificate Program.  In just a short year, we have redesigned five courses to meet exemplary standard and introduced a third mode of instruction to accommodate the needs of our students’ busy work schedules.  The innovations our teacher trainers have put into the development of the curriculum has energized instruction, and apparently, the word is spreading.  Enrollments have increased dramatically from 2017 by 65%! The numbers say it all!

While of course we are pleased with the increased enrollments, it is the improved quality of the curriculum and instruction that counts.  Our TESOL students are being challenged and exposed to real-life issues concerning language instruction and are given meaningful tasks to lead them towards becoming better observers, solvers, and creators.  In addition to a richer learning experience, we’ve added more flexibility in scheduling courses. This year’s introduction of mixed-mode instruction has given both instructors and students more room and variety for presenting material and practicing activities.  This new flexibility of instruction for our adult learners has been well received, as it meets the needs of more than one learning style.  Now, students can move freely from one mode to another depending on their availability.

Students who opted for an in-class experience attended our Summer Five-Week Intensive. This past summer, we were thrilled to graduate five TESOL intensive teachers.  In just over one month, these student-teachers completed the entire program and received their TESOL Certificate.  Although exhausted at the end, all were very satisfied with their experience and felt ready to undertake their next venture either locally or abroad.

Another group worth mentioning is our first graduating mixed-mode cohort who started in February 2018 and will be completing this month!  For two and a half quarters, they have been meeting their instructors and peers on campus every Saturday and completing assignments online.

As we enter fall quarter, we look forward to seeing new and returning students practice even more creatively what they will learn in each course; we will give them added opportunities to observe language classes and increase their microteaching practice.  Whether online or in class, our students remain engaged, stimulated, and committed.

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