for International Education
Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) and
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)
Testimonials- Students Voices
What do students say about the TESOL and TEFL programs?
I am so happy with all that I have learned in my first course of the TESOL program offered at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. This program is exposing me to an aspect of teaching that I've never seen before. It makes me excited for future courses. It's nice to learn from highly qualified staff and from other students. The tools I am learning are immediately applicable and can be applied to both non-native, and native, English speaking students. Compared to the previous college I attended, where I earned my first Master's Degree at, UWEC staff genuinely cares about their students success. I would encourage anyone interested in working with non-native English speakers to take this program.
Anticipated Graduation 2012
The TESOL program is an amazing opportunity at UWEC. It's not offered at many colleges, and the program here is exceptional. My most interesting classes have been the ones I take for TESOL, I feel like I'm constantly learning new material that is extremely useful. The classes seem to really focus on meaningful topics that are and will continue to be extremely beneficial once you graduate. There are so many unique experiences offered through the department too, from research projects to attending the TESOL conference. I strongly encourage looking into it if you have any interest at all in other cultures, languages, or just working with people. Anonymous
Not only are the program and the highly experienced faculty conscious about the length of time needed for completion, which is so necessary for students of both traditional and non-traditional backgrounds, but the content is highly relevant, honing a balance of time-tested methods and theories with progressive ideas that the students and staff are not only reading about, but researching, uncovering, developing, solidifying, and publishing. My education is professional, student-centered, active, and its impact has made me one of the best in the field.
I was offered a position at a great school in Saudi Arabia, the middle east being the salary pinnacle of the TEFL world. The administrators and chairmen of the technical college where I work are the master minds that started research departments at Harvard, founded and directed the East Asia Management Center at the Sloan School of Management at MIT, and administrate at Boston School of Modern Languages, among a host of other prime universities and schools.
Jason R. Gerstenkorn,
American Higher Education, Inc.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Being involved in UWEC’s TESOL program has been wonderful.
I have been given many opportunities from the program that I might
not have otherwise encountered. TESOL has allowed me to experience
amazing workshops and conferences both in and outside of Eau Claire.
The TESOL Program, [sponsored by the UWEC Foundations], even took
me to Long Beach, California for a four-day international conference!
I have met so many great people through the program and have made
connections with professional teachers who are already in the field.
UWEC has the best TESOL program and I encourage anyone interested
to check it out. I decided on TESOL a few years ago and because
of the wonderful program at this university I have earned a TESOL
internship at a local elementary school. Stefanie Koszarek
I am thoroughly enjoying the TESOL program through UWEC. The courses
are fast paced and intense, but they allow for great fellowship
and personal growth. The instructors are supportive and encourage
student centered learning. I have found it a very comprehensive
program that provides a solid background in second language acquisition
in preparation for teaching. JH , ESL Teacher.
As a freshmen elementary education major, I needed to choose a
minor. Initially, I wasn’t looking very heavily into the TESOL
program. The minor is not promoted as much as some of the other
minors are in the education field. However, I took the extra step
to investigate what the minor could offer, and I’m so glad
that I did. This minor teaches pedagogy from a more practical standpoint.
The teaching skills that I have attained from being a TESOL minor
will carry through in any aspect of teaching I pursue. The classes
I take make me more aware of the political and cultural issues behind
non-native English Speakers and the hindrance that is put upon these
students when they enter the United States public education system.
I feel that I’m a better-rounded educator, and more aware
of the variety of teaching styles and approaches I can use in the
regular classroom, or with ELL students. Christine Dussault
UWEC offers a wonderful opportunity to Wisconsin teachers and students…the
TESOL program. The courses are research-based, practical, interesting
and innovative. The classes are held after school hours and the
instructors are flexible and supportive. With the TESOL certificate
you can teach in Wisconsin or in other countries! I completed the
program in August and am now teaching a multilevel class of adults
from 8 different countries. I feel very prepared because I learned
the skills I needed in the TESOL program. I know I could use my
TESOL add-on license to become certified in other states. And many
states have a desperate need for ELL teachers. Jeanne Sargeant, ESL Literacy Teacher.
I have really enjoyed being around other professionals learning
about TESOL. I have enjoyed the chance to exchange ideas and concerns
about ELL’s. The material was very relevant and the classes
were informative. I have learned a lot about creating programs,
helping content teachers, and teaching ELL’s in a variety
of settings (pullout, sheltered content classes, regular ESL classes,
etc.) TESOL is simply good teaching. All the things that I learned
about being a good teacher have been reinforced during my studies.
I appreciate the teaching style of Dr. Reynolds, very practical
and hands-on. She models what she teaches. She and Dale Gable have
been wonderful. They have made this possible for those of us who
are trying to juggle a full-time career, family and school. I would
highly recommend this program to those who feel they may be teaching
ELL’s in the future. Thanks, Terri Leal, Spanish Teacher.
What better opportunity to gain experience abroad and connect with
others then exchange language and culture!? The TEFL program gives
you real world experiences through opportunities to conduct research
and attend international conferences. You will learn the most current
information available in the field and learn alongside current teachers
from the area public schools. Take the opportunity to observe and
teach in the ESL classes on campus. Eau Claire's TEFL program is
great! I have finally found something I am really excited about!
Or..... become an advocate for the English Language Learners here
and help them gain the language skills they need to succeed living
in the United States through the TESOL program! Erin Flehmer, Youth Program Coordinator.
I highly recommend the TESOL program at the University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire. I have enjoyed the readings and discussions about TESOL. Dr. Reynolds is energetic and positive, and she encourages us to get involved in professional development opportunities around the state and the country. Our research projects were applicable to my current work as a teacher. Dale Gable and Dr. Reynolds have worked very hard to make the grad school experience flexible and convenient for me, as I live far from the university. It has been fun to network with other teachers who have similar interests and concerns. I have also enjoyed the opportunity to hear the perspectives of other younger students. The TESOL grant program has been stimulating and interesting, and I am grateful to have had this opportunity. Sue Alice Shay, Spanish and ESL Teacher.
It has been 15 years since I graduated from UWEC in TESOL; however, it has been barely a semester since I took my last class there. Clearly, I have difficulty staying away! I continue to learn a great deal as this program has kept me current on methodology and research. The instructors and professors challenge and instruct while they treat their students respectfully and professionally. Since I have been teaching English language learners for quite a few years, I have utilized the expertise this department offers. I highly recommend the TESOL program here at UWEC and have enjoyed the variety and challenge TESOL offers. Gail Servoss, ESL Teacher.
I am a certified K-6 teacher hired to teach English Language Learners in our elementary and middle schools here in Barron, WI. When I started to work with these students, I soon realized that they needed help in speaking, reading, and writing. How do I best help to fill in the gaps? I did not know how, but since I have enrolled in the TESOL program at the University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire my understanding in this area of education has greatly increased. I had a quick review of our English grammar, have studied researchers' results in second language acquisition, learned how language is used in our culture and society, and studied how to integrate content and language for these learners. I appreciate the professionalism of all my professors I have had thus far. These classes have helped me to stretch myself academically, and evaluate my philosophies about different aspects of learning while providing a vast network of teaching professionals. Our connections and comraderie have enhanced my experience in classes at UW-Eau Claire. Class projects and papers have been productive assignments. I look forward to what this semester will bring! Lynn Emmons, ESL Teacher.
I am happy to have the opportunity to praise the TESOL program offered at UWEC. Having completed my Master's Degree at UWEC in this area, I can attest to its relevance, variety of course offerings, and excellence in teaching. It is so refreshing to be part of a growing and changing field that is so critical to the success of education in this country. And, the TESOL program continues to progress and reflect the latest findings in research, as all programs should, but do not.
I entered this program as an OLD teacher, and found that I learned new and important things to add to my teaching in every course. I often had feelings of ambivalence: Shame on me for not knowing/doing this…, mixed with many thoughts of Oh yes!, now I get it! This program honors the old and builds on the new. It is a wonderful opportunity to master concepts in second language teaching and learning while improving one's teaching. It is only regrettable that ALL content area teachers are not empowered with this knowledge. Liz Kitzmann, ESL Teacher.
I graduated UWEC with a French teaching major and a TESOL minor, and it has been a wonderful combination! I recommend the TESOL minor to any education student. In a time when the number of non-native English-speakers is on the rise, we need teachers who are qualified to deliver services to these particular students. If you are an elementary education major or have chosen a content as a secondary education major, the classes can show you how to reach these students who are often forgotten. For foreign language teaching majors, the courses offer a dynamic look into theories and methods that can be used in foreign language classrooms also! Some may enter into this minor thinking that it will help them find a job in the future; they're right! I found an ESL-teaching job right out of school! Once in the program, you'll realize how plugged-in you become to the professional field of TESOL (through campus organizations, course reading materials, and conferences) and how much you learn in such a short time (in highly interesting and fast-moving classes) and you are instantly thankful! Jaclyn Mauer, ESL Teacher
Being an exchange student in UWEC, it was necessary for me to absorb successful experience of foreign teaching. I was standing on the crossroads, trying to choose a way to reach my goals as an EFL teacher. Luckily, UWEC offered excellent seeds that yielded a great harvest in my Ukrainian garden. Dr. Reynolds' CI 405: TESOL Methods course helped me find the right links between my thoughts and actions in the classroom. Having learned a lot about various approaches and methods available, I found out which practices have proved to be successful. Apart from this, Dr. Reynolds' class offered professional e-mail discussions. TESOL students' various perspectives added nice alternative viewpoints fro me. UWEC's TESOL program, the GEO club and Dr. Reynolds personally gave me a wonderful opportunity to visit the 36 th annual TESOL Conference in Salt Lake City . The TESOL 2002 Conference helped me discover new publications, cutting edge technology, fresh ideas, and innovative materials. It provided invaluable information and inspiration to last for many years. I discovered a network that helped me much in my professional development. Besides, the conference brought me to one of the most beautiful nooks in the world – Salt Lake City + TESOL = an unforgettable experience! If I had a chance, I would apply for UWEC's TESOL program again, again and again.
Oleg Yefimov, English/Russian/Ukraininan Translator.
- Traveled to Maryland , Utah and California to participate in international conferences. Conducted research on the efficacy of a methodology for teaching writing.
- Presented at local, regional and national conferences.
- Coordinated book and technology reviews for the UW-Eau Claire TESOL newsletter.
- Wrote articles for the Wisconsin TESOL newsletter.
- Assisted in the creation of a new student organization, Global English Organization (GEO).
- Acted as the Publisher/Exhibitor Contact for the WITESOL conference.
- Taught study skills to middle school English Language Learners.
Sounds like a killer resume! All of the aforementioned opportunities were opened to me as a direct result of the depth of the TESOL minor program at UWEC. Yet those opportunities are just the tip of the iceberg. A skills resume would include still other beneficial qualities that were developed through the TESOL minor program. Leadership, responsibility, cooperation, strong networking skills, and innovation are a few of the qualities that you could find on the skills-based resume of any graduate of the TESOL minor program at UWEC. The classes were structured in a way that gave each person the responsibility for creating personal understanding and constructing comprehension by communicating with peers. The highly interactive style of teaching that the professors use to facilitate learning helped me develop confidence in approaching administrators and advocating for the ELL programs in the district that I serve. Both the required reading and the classroom interactions helped me develop skills that I use on a daily basis as an ELL teacher in Kindergarten through seventh grade. Elizabeth (Peters) Hartung, ESL Teacher.
I graduated from UWEC in 2002 with a major in Communications (PR) and a photography minor. I was never actually involved directly in the TESOL/TEFL program. However, I did have very valuable indirect involvement due to my interests. Dr. Reynolds was an invaluable resource during my senior year and in my planning to teach English in Asia. Dr. Reynolds provided me with the information regarding the Wisconsin-Chiba Sister State Teacher Exchange program, which took me to Japan for two years. Dr. Reynolds also invited me to the national TESOL conference in Salt Lake City along with where I was able to learn a great deal about TESOL/TEFL. Going to the conference was a great experience for me as I was able to meet UWEC students in the TESOL/TEFL program and assist Kate in her presentation there. My indirect involvement with the TESOL/TEFL program at UWEC was among the most valuable experience I had while at UWEC. Stacey Bolton Tsantir, International Student Advisor.
As a recent graduate of the 5+ year program at the school of education, I am proud to also be a member of the ever-growing TESOL community here at UWEC and the greater Wisconsin area.
When I determined my major as a sophomore, I was pleasantly surprised that upon my decision to enter the education field, that there were so many avenues to explore. I soon realized that there were various sub-categories and certifications that would ultimately lead to interesting and fruitful careers. The TESOL minor was not only the longest title listed as possible certified minors, but it also seemed to capture my attention as it was a new addition to the UWEC program. Upon further investigation, I saw that the required courses came from an array of disciplines and content areas. A wide array of domains like Anthropology, Communication Disorders and Linguistics truly peaked my curiosity about this unfamiliar acronym.
My first meeting with Dr. Kate Reynolds sold the deal completely. Her office had recently been repainted with warm inviting colors and the Christmas lights strung along the ceiling offered refuge from the harsh florescent tubes of Hibbard Hall. Kate's professional, knowledgeable and compassionate disposition was clear from the beginning. Combined with her genuine enthusiasm about the program, it would be a surprise if anyone would walk out of there a non-TESOLer!
The years that followed provided insight into the teaching field that was geared toward a specialty area, but as many have said, and others would agree, the methods we studied centralized around what best practice is and should be for all teachers. In addition, the underpinnings of the program enhanced the student experience with a plethora of opportunities to practically apply their knowledge by working in TESOL classrooms. Similarly, the course discussions were enriched by grant members, mostly classroom teachers from the surrounding communities, who were able to offer stories, examples and explanations of how things played out currently in their own schools. Finally, the consistent push for professional development allowed undergrads to feel the greater need for their efforts in communities all around the world. Annual trips to International TESOL conferences shed light on what was happening in the greater TESOL arena and provided many young adults with further insight as to what our field is really all about.
Dr. Reynolds and the other FLG/CI instructors have consistently been advocates of their teachers in training and have encouraged us all greatly. I feel very fortunate to have been a part of this program. As a newcomer I was introduced to the organization GEO (Global English Organization) which was developed to bring campus TESOLers together to work on further education, advocacy and communication about the program and the field. Within a few months I had been given opportunities to head such aspects of the group as the Advocacy Column editor for the UWEC TESOL newsletter, and the subcommittee chair. Finally, as a senior I was elected president of the organization and was able to head-up several events and workshops in the 2003-2004 academic year.
In addition to these experiences in leadership, Dr. Reynolds gave me the tremendous opportunity to work along side her on a research project, which was in turn accepted for grants from the University as well as a presentation at International TESOL 2004 in Long Beach , CA . This was an amazing endeavor for me as an undergrad, I learned a great deal about the field, as well as some practical knowledge in professionalism and large-scale conference presentations.
All in all, this program, its founders and its members have propelled me into a path towards a successful and adventurous future. To try compare or rate the knowledge that I have gained in both course-related work and extra-curricular activities would be an impossible task. The compassion that I sensed in my first days as a TESOLer, and that I aimed to have as a teacher, is now the foundation that I have built my own teaching methods and ideals around, and in turn is what I see in many of the members of this program, undergraduate and graduate students alike. I hope that the program continues to flourish and that as I continue on in my own life, that I may somehow repay what all has been so greatly bestowed upon me. Heather Williams, ESL Teacher.
I just wanted to tell you how happy I am with the TESOL program here at UWEC. I received my first teaching certification at another university and never felt very confident about the pedagogy I had been taught. Now that I am almost finished with this program, I feel not only confident but excited about the prospect of renewing my teaching career. The classes here have been wonderful in terms of the cutting-edge topics offered such as Content Based Instruction. Dr. Reynolds has also been a wonderful role model for the really effective teaching of not only language but also academic content and higher level thinking skills. My confidence was reinforced recently when another TESOL student and I gave a presentation on second language acquisition. The presentation was a great success and the interest in the topic was amazing. It made me realize how well prepared I am for this career and what great resources we all have at our disposal here at UWEC. This is a great program and the need for it will only grow over time. Sincerely, Linda Caradori, ESL Teacher.
Are you a TESOL or TEFL student and
would like to submit a testimonial?
It would be appreciated! Thanks!