Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should I consider getting a TESOL Certificate?
A: Although not all of the English teaching positions abroad require a TESOL certificate, the most desirable positions give preference to those with a certificate and experience. Because the UM-Flint TESOL Certificate program includes a practicum where you will get hands-on experience teaching, you will be eligible for higher salaries and better benefits. Furthermore, you will be able to teach English abroad with confidence, preparation, resources, and membership to a community of ESL teachers.
Q: Why should I consider getting the TESOL Certificate at UM-Flint?
A: By studying here, you will have the academic and professional support of UM-Flint’s Student Success Center, Library, Career Center, and all other resources to help you be successful. You will also gain experience teaching English through the program’s practicum.
Q: How long will it take to complete the UM-Flint TESOL Certificate?
A: The UM-Flint TESOL Certificate courses build upon each other, so the certificate will take 2-3 semesters to complete. However, the program can be completed at the same time as another degree and can also be spaced out over a longer period of time. This flexibility is ideal for students and professionals thinking about pursuing the TESOL Certificate on a part-time basis.
Q: Do I need to speak another language to teach English abroad?
A: Not necessarily. The only requirement is that you must speak English fluently. That being said, it’s a good idea to learn the language spoken where you will be teaching. You don’t need to know more than a few phrases before you arrive, but while you are living abroad, you should learn more so that you can engage more fully in your new community. This is good practice not only because of the many benefits of bilingualism, but also because it will help you connect with your students through shared experiences of language learning.
Q: Can I teach abroad if I have a family?
A: It is possible for spouses and dependents to travel abroad with you to teach. In many countries, you can hire a nanny for young children, while older children can be enrolled in school. Young children will learn the local language very quickly, while older children may need more time and instruction to learn the language. Be sure to speak with your employer about housing, employment, and educational options for your family. Also, some countries and programs have higher salaries with a lower cost of living, such as South Korea and China, making it easier to afford to live abroad with your family.
Q: Does the TESOL Certificate expire?
A: The certificate does not expire. Your employer may require that you continue your learning through professional development, participating in regional and international conferences, or attending special trainings and workshops.
Q: Can I teach in the US with this TESOL Certificate?
A: You cannot teach in public schools with this certificate. To teach in public schools, each state requires their teachers to complete a state-approved teacher preparation program and pass state-required tests. Most TESOL positions in the US require teaching credentials with an ESL endorsement (for K-12) or a Master’s in TESOL (for colleges/universities). There are some private teaching or tutoring positions which only require a college degree and TESOL experience/certificate, but these tend to be part-time positions.
Q: Is the UM-Flint TESOL Certificate offered online?
A: Not at this time. However, some of the classes are offered online occasionally (LIN200 Intro to Linguistics and LIN244 Structure of English).
Q: Where can I find additional resources and information about TESOL?
A: Here are some useful links:
|TESOL international Assoc.
||Conferences, publications, books, reviews, resources
||Publications, local chapter newsletter and conferences, job board
|Center for Applied Linguistics
||Professional development and research
|Dave's ESL Café
||International job board, resources for teachers and students
||Information on taking a gap year
||Information on volunteering and internships abroad