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SAGU offers Certificate of Completion in TESOL

Southwestern Assemblies of God University's (SAGU) English and Foreign Language department offers a Certificate of Completion in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

SAGU instructor and TESOL coordinator Calvin George says, "English teachers are in high demand throughout the world. English has become the language of global communication, including international business, education and even politics."

The SAGU TESOL Certificate of Completion exceeds the criteria of Cambridge University’s Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA). The CELTA is an internationally recognized TESOLtraining program that requires 120 hours of in-class instruction and six hours of supervised teaching. The SAGU Certificate of Completion requires 160 hours of in-class instruction with six hours of supervised teaching.

English, education, and intercultural studies majors use their TESOL training to teach speakers of other languages in the U.S. and abroad. Opportunities include public and private school ESL education, adult literacy, linguistics, and translation work.

While the TESOL track is part of the English Bachelor of Arts program, all SAGU students are eligible to pursue the Certificate of Completion. Course requirements include TESOL and Diversity I, TESOL and Diversity II, Introduction to Linguistics, and Linguistics II. A minimum of six hours of TESOL teaching experience is also required. By taking a fifth course, such as Sociolinguistics, students can also receive a TESOL minor.

The SAGU TESOL Certificate of Completion alone is sufficient for graduates desiring to teach abroad. For education majors desiring to teach in U.S. schools, SAGU TESOL courses complement the content and skills needed to pass Texas educator credentialing exams, acquired through an education degree.

George says, "TESOL certification contributes to making educators marketable. Many school districts encourage and even require TESOL certification, and teachers with certification receive a higher average salary."

SAGU mission trips provide opportunities for students to practice their TESOL training. Every summer, SAGU students travel all over the world to serve missionaries and local churches, raise awareness of world needs, and develop leadership skills. In the past two years, three groups have traveled to Jeonju, South Korea to teach English for five weeks.

George says, “Missions trips provide an opportunity for students to experience teaching English, broaden their perspective, and consider things they hadn’t considered before. Some of the students who go on these trips realize that teaching English is a worthwhile investment and decide to commit to longer trips abroad teaching English.”

"When you are a teacher, relationships are automatically created in the classroom and in the community,” George continued. “Additionally, teaching provides an income so that you are not completely dependent on raising financial support."