Exporting your English skills: An opportunity for adventure

Teaching English abroad has become just as common as studying abroad, offering an opportunity of adventure, particularly popular amongst recent college grads, before settling into the corporate world.

Why has interest in teaching English abroad recently spiked? Half the world’s population is expected to be speaking English by 2015. English is a first language for 400 million people and a fluent second for 300 million to 500 million more.
A recent graduate of SDSU's TESL/TEFL program in Saudi Arabia
A recent graduate of SDSU's TESL/TEFL program in Saudi Arabia

Cultural and economic reasons have thrust English upon the world stage as the new lingua franca, a common business language used for communications by people who do not share a mother tongue.

If you have ever considered living overseas and earning money at the same time by teaching English, the College of Extended Studies at SDSU and UC San Diego Extension offer programs that may be a perfect fit for you.

The 130-hour Teaching English as a Second Language/Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate program is offered through the American Language Institute, a division of SDSU’s Extended Studies. The program prepares novice instructors to live and teach English overseas.

SDSU Extended Studies is an approved provider for this and many other “education to career” funding programs through San Diego Workforce Partnership, Military Spouse, and Veterans benefits.

More than 150 graduates of the SDSU program have been employed in nearly 40 countries with the help of the American Language Institute’s job placement assistance program, which combines a solid teaching foundation with hands-on practical classroom experience.

“Traveling and living overseas has been a valuable and meaningful rite of passage for generations of Americans,” said Van Hillier, assistant director of the American Language Institute and course instructor. “Facilitating the process for those interested in such an adventure has been very rewarding.”

Hillier received his undergraduate degree at UC San Diego and his master’s at Rutgers University. He has been teaching since 1983 and has taught English at SDSU and Harvard as well as overseas in Saudi Arabia and Switzerland. He has also taught English as a foreign language in the U.S., Korea, Jordan, Japan, and Mexico.

In addition, UC San Diego Extension’s professional certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) trains teachers to use teaching methods and special techniques to rapidly increase their students’ proficiency and fluency. This certificate provides in-depth study and training in best practices and methodology for teaching English learners.

“The major goals are to provide training which results in highly advanced knowledge and skills in explaining the English language at every level: elementary, secondary, university, and adult, around the world,” says Roxanne Nuhaily, director of the English Language Institute and International Student Services at UC San Diego Extension.

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