TEFL Alumni Testimonials

What our alumni say about our program:

I always had a passion for languages and diverse cultures.  When deciding to shift my career focus, the TEFL Certificate program was my first significant step in the new direction.  The different theories I learned as to how languages are acquired, as well as the teaching techniques exercised during the course, were essential to enhancing my understanding of audiences’ perception of any content presented in a classroom environment.  My presentation skills advanced naturally.  The rich exchange over the weeks with my classmates and our instructor proved invaluable, and continues to inform my career progress.

In my new business endeavor, a corporate etiquette and cross-cultural management consultancy, I routinely apply the knowledge absorbed during my time at Georgetown.  Topics studied during the program, such as the different learning styles, the behaviors imbedded in the speech of native and nonnative speakers, and the nuances transpiring from different cultural backgrounds, are all essential aspects of my work as a lecturer and trainer. Those studies enable me to create relevant content for my practice, and address my audience in a more meaningful way. 

- Viviane Bencie, Fall 2015 GU-TEFL Graduate and Founder, Rispetto Consulting

Prior to enrolling and completing the Georgetown University TEFL program, I spent seven months teaching English to elementary school level children, ages 5-11, in France. Quite frankly, I had no idea what I was doing and felt lost throughout the entire teaching experience. I enrolled in the Georgetown TEFL Program because I wanted to move back to Italy, where I spent my junior year in college, to teach English for one year and I could not in good conscience do so without the proper training. Georgetown provided me with everything I had previously been lacking - experience, confidence and a solid understanding of what it means to teach. My own experiences as a foreign language learner and the core theories of the course greatly impacted how I have fashioned myself into an English language teacher. I take inspiration from both and try to design lessons that encourage my students to better themselves through learning.

Since graduation from the TEFL Program in December 2013, I have moved to Rome, Italy, and found employment as a part-time English instructor at a language institute. My students’ needs range from improving English for work (or in general), studying for the IELTS exam to conversational lessons. Each student is different and presents different challenges. The TEFL program has equipped me with the necessary tools to deal with each student (and the challenges they pose) and to do so with more confidence. Georgetown and my professor provided with me with an enriching experience that I would not have been able to have elsewhere.

- Fall 2013 GU-TEFL Graduate

The Georgetown CLED TEFL certification program was a perfect introduction to the field of teaching English. The course gave me an overview of the history of the field, relevant research, and current teaching methodologies. The culminating practicum made me feel ready to take on a class of my own.

- Spring 2013 GU-TEFL Graduate

After years of living abroad and then resettling in D.C., I wanted to use my international experience while serving my local community. The Georgetown TEFL Certificate has been a springboard to a career in English language teaching that is so satisfying. The certificate content, the peer group and the professional contacts inspired me to volunteer as an ESL teacher at the Washington English Center (formerly LETC) - a non-profit language school that serves the immigrant community. I was well-prepared to use a communicative approach, building task-based activities from textbook topics, to help students gain a useful English proficiency.

- Erin, Fall 2012 GU-TEFL Graduate

When applying to teach English abroad, I was looking for a course to give me more preparation. While searching for TEFL certification programs I researched cost, content, convenience, and hours. Despite coming from out of town, I found Georgetown’s program to be the best choice. The course was convenient for its online component but also unique in its in-class practicum, not to mention getting to spend time in D.C. after class. All of our coursework led up to our final weeks of preparing lesson plans and actually implementing them in a classroom with real students. While teaching was still new for me, the practicum gave me the confidence to step into my own classroom in Korea and know I was doing the best job I could for my students. Dr. Steeley is a wonderful teacher and taking Georgetown’s TEFL Certification course is one of the best decisions I made for myself in becoming a teacher.

- Fall 2012 GU-TEFL Graduate

To fulfill a life-long love of international cultures and peoples, and to give back to society in a more direct, dynamic way, I decided to become a teacher of ESL.  I chose the Georgetown TEFL certificate as it was more comprehensive in its expectations and curriculum than other TEFL certificate programs.  The GT program also provided more opportunities for teaching practice, and, the program was well regarded by alumni.

The program was well organized, each week building upon the knowledge and practice from the previous week. The faculty are highly experienced, and were very supportive, providing abundant feedback and guidance.  The program provides a comprehensive, rigorous foundation in theory, methods, and practice, and as such, has served as a touchstone for me as I’ve continued my professional learning in the field of teaching. 

Since completing the certification in December 2012, I’ve worked as a teacher with the REEP adult education English language program in Arlington, and I’ve volunteered at local public schools helping ESL students. I’ve also been a substitute teacher, ESL tutor, and an academic content tutor to second language adults in a continuing education high school. I’m currently working towards ESL licensure for the VA public schools.

The Georgetown program provides a strong alumni professional development network, and instructors remain responsive and supportive of graduates. It has been invaluable in launching me into a new career path, and I would recommend it without hesitation. 

- Fall 2012 GU-TEFL Graduate

The course was intense, but it was very well organized and sequenced. The support and insights from faculty and fellow students helped us process and apply new information. Weekly written assignments also allowed us to “try out” some of the new concepts and methods from the readings, and faculty feedback was immediate, and very instructive. In general, faculty and the practicum mentors were 100% committed, and highly responsive to, and supportive of, all students throughout the course. The Georgetown Certificate program taught me how to create authentic lessons geared towards student needs, and has motivated me to strive to teach to a very high standard. I recommend this Certificate.

- 2012 GU-TEFL Graduate

The approaches, methods, and techniques for high quality instruction that I learned in the TEFL Certificate Program have given me a framework to use in combination with the skills I had developed in previous teaching experience… The course has also helped me to explore the basics of instructional planning and execution in adult education classrooms using the Communicative Language Teaching approach and other student-centered instructional practices. Overall, the course made me much more knowledgeable and capable in my instructional abilities, reinforced my program administration career, and inspired me to undertake a doctorate program in Education Administration.

- Samson, Spring 2011 GU-TEFL Graduate

I thought the TEFL Program was one of the most important things I've done and it is what I end up spending most of my time talking about and what I'm asked most about in job interviews. Every education job I've interviewed for has asked me about my experience working with "diverse" student populations, and I really feel that the TEFL certificate has provided me with invaluable experience in that area. What I loved most about the program was how our readings and homework throughout the semester culminated in a hands-on practicum. I always refer to the practicum as a "teaching bootcamp," because after completing that intensive week of team teaching and reflection, I felt as if I could go into any classroom and confidently teach students from any variety of different levels and backgrounds.

- Alison, Spring 2010 GU-TEFL Graduate

The Georgetown University TEFL program changed the direction of my life. After spending more than 18 years in the corporate world as a Certified Meeting Professional, I finally found my passion in TEFL. There is nothing better than hearing your students say "thank you, teacher" at the end of a class.

- Mary, Spring 2010 GU-TEFL Graduate

The Georgetown TEFL course gave me exactly what I wanted and more. Teaching English as a second or foreign language is a new career for me (my fourth to be exact!) I'm trailing my spouse in his career move overseas and needed a portable, employable and satisfying professional skill. Georgetown's TEFL course was just the right mix of guided independent study, online discussion and practical application through practice teaching. At first I thought I was just learning a skill; mid-way through the class I realized I was really acquiring a profession. From theory to lesson planning to classroom reality, I'm super-prepared and feel I have something of real value to offer my students. Georgetown TEFL also inspired me to continue to learn through websites, professional organizations and other resources.

- C.P., Fall 2010 GU-TEFL Graduate

The Georgetown TEFL program has been an invaluable addition to my growth as a teacher. I had been a volunteer tutor for over a year when I decided to make it a career. The course has provided me with a comprehensive foundation and skill set to make me an effective, confident, and responsive teacher. It has been central to my success as an instructor and to the successes that my students have enjoyed.

- Spring 2009 GU-TEFL Graduate