by Barbara Castrovillo Seasholtz
This fantasy often turns into reality for graduates of Concordias
programs in teaching English as a second language (TESL), and seven of
them shared their tales of adventure and mishap abroad while teaching
English at the fourth annual Wide World of TESL presentation on Nov. 8.
Students from the TESL bachelors and certificate programs and the
masters program in applied linguistics acted as tour guides for
their enthusiastic audience, recalling experiences in Azerbaijan, China,
Indonesia, Mexico, Japan and South Korea.
Sponsored by the TESL Centre, a part of the Department of Education,
the Wide World of TESL promotes Concordias TESL programs and often
interests students from other programs looking to enhance their career
Marlise Horst, an assistant professor at the TESL Centre, was one of
the coordinators of the event. Its also a nice chance for
us to hear from each other, because a lot of people have done really interesting
things. She has taught English in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Egypt,
spending a total of 13 years in the Arab world as an ESL teacher.
Concordia TESL graduates have worked in more than 50 countries around
the globe. Currently, there are some 65 students in the masters
of applied linguistics program and hundreds more in the certificate and
bachelors programs, said Roberto Chen-Rangel, graduate program coordinator
at the Centre.
The most important economic activity of my state, Quintana Roo,
is the tourist industry, so that makes people very interested in learning
English, she said, noting that Cancun is just a few hours to the
north. They know that learning English may give them more chances
to have a better job.
If you go, it will be a very different experience, she said
matter-of-factly, but the Azerbaijanis make the trip worth it.
The people are very warm and proud, and take hospitality very seriously.
He added, Theres no winter there either, so that was a really
big factor for me.
Gilbert taught at a private language school for two years in Semarang,
Java, after taking a five-day crash course in teaching English.
He raved about the island.
The landscape had volcanoes and there were so many temples that really fascinated me. Like the other student speakers, Gilbert is pursuing further studies in TESL, thanks to his experiences abroad.