Washburn University Introduces Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certificate

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Reviewed by Mary McLaughlin, Ma-TESOL; M.S. SpEd

Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas is now offering a new certificate program. The Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certificate will allow Washburn community members the ability to become certified to teach English as a foreign language all over the world. The program, which was coordinated by the Council on International Education Exchange and the International House, has been accredited by the World Teaching English as a Foreign Language Accreditation Commission.

Sarah Springsteen Trumble, who is a coordinator for the program as well as a lecturer at Washburn, said that she got involved in the certification program because her teaching career began when she taught English abroad. Trumble taught in Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Republic of Georgia during her time in the Peace Corps. She believes it will be an amazing opportunity for students to travel abroad and experience other parts of the world. “When you’re from a small town or you’re not rich, the opportunity isn’t always there for you,” she said.

Trumble’s hope is that the certificate will give recipients the confidence and experience to succeed in the classroom. Eliza Rezac feels that the opportunity will add a unique aspect to her English major. Rezac is currently a freshman at the university.

The program, which will be available for a minimum of five years will run year-round and be available to all students, no matter their major. The ability to speak another language is not necessary to enroll in the certificate program though it is considered helpful. The certificate will include 11 weeks of online classes and 20 hours of practicum teaching which will take place in an Intensive English course at Washburn. The current cost is a $1000.

The Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate will allow students to make a career out of teaching English abroad for as long as they desire. There are also opportunities for recruitment upon becoming certified.