SIT Graduate Institute TESOL Certificate

TESOL Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Some answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the SIT Graduate Institute TESOL Certificate Program

  1. What is World Learning, and what is SIT Graduate Institute (formerly known as the School for International Training)?
  2. Why should I take the SIT TESOL Certificate course?
  3. Who teaches the course?
  4. Is the course the same at all sites?
  5. What kind of people take this course?
  6. What are the entrance requirements?
  7. What kind of job will I be able to get with this certificate?
  8. Will SIT’s TESOL Certificate enable me to teach ESOL in U.S. public schools?
  9. Can I get graduate credit for the course?
  10. After I finish the certificate course, if, at a later date, I decide to complete SIT's program leading to a Master of Arts with a concentration in TESOL, is there any special financial aid available for certificate alumni?
  11. Does everyone who attends the course get a certificate?

1. What is World Learning, and what is SIT Graduate Institute (formerly known as the School for International Training)?
World Learning is a private, nonprofit international organization with both academic and field project capabilities. Through its four program units – Experiment in International Living, SIT Graduate Institute (formerly known as the School for International Training), SIT Study Abroad, and World Learning International Development Programs – World Learning is a leader in the fields of sustainable development, teacher education, language training, international exchange, study abroad, peacebuilding, and NGO management.

SIT Graduate Institute, located in Brattleboro, Vermont, is World Learning's accredited institution of higher education. Established more than 40 years ago, SIT offers Master of Arts degree programs in teaching, conflict transformation, international education, social justice, intercultural relations, sustainable development, intercultural service, leadership, and management; and a Master of Science degree program in organizational management. Also offered is a certificate and diploma program in NGO leadership and management and more than fifty undergraduate-level study abroad programs.

The mission of SIT is to enable participants to develop the skills, knowledge, attitudes and awareness needed to contribute effectively to global understanding and world peace. SIT is recognized nationally and internationally for its work in language teacher education and has been educating learner-oriented and culturally sensitive language teachers in its Master of Arts in Teaching program for over thirty years. It has prepared over 2000 active professionals who are working in the field today making significant contributions as classroom teachers, administrators or consultants throughout the USA and in over 70 countries around the world.

2. Why should I take the SIT TESOL Certificate course?
The SIT course provides practical ESOL teacher-training in which participants develop skills in planning and teaching lessons focusing on speaking, listening, reading, writing, language, and culture. The sessions are highly interactive and experiential. During the course individual participants do 6 assessed hours of practice teaching to ESOL students. Trainers observe participant teaching, guide participant reflection on the lesson, and give practical advice after each session.

3. Who teaches the course?
SIT TESOL Certificate course trainers are highly qualified, experienced ESOL teachers who have worked with adult learners and have previous training experience. They are licensed by SIT through a rigorous, multi-step process and bring a strong passion and dedication to their work.

The trainers teach the course content, process discussions, and coach participants in developing lesson plans and teaching. They also observe participants' teaching and provide feedback to participants after each teaching session.

4. Is the course the same at all sites?
All courses are delivered by SIT-licensed trainers and focus on the same content areas, teacher skills, and course outcomes. In addition, each course is assessed by an evaluator who observes lesson planning and practice teaching sessions. The evaluator reviews participants' written work and collects direct feedback from course participants. The evaluator ensures that SIT's high standards are upheld.

5. What kind of people take this course?
Participants are a diverse group. Many are college-age students who are interested in traveling and working overseas. There are also working professionals preparing to enter TESOL as an alternative career or in retirement. Non-native English speakers with strong English skills also take the course so they can teach English in their own countries or elsewhere. Many experienced teachers find the Certificate course a valuable introduction to SIT's model of reflective practice.

6. What are the entrance requirements?
You must have a high school degree and show a capacity for college-level education including a good understanding of the English language and solid writing skills. You must remain calm under pressure, be willing to accept the authority of your trainers, commit to conveying a difference of opinion in a respectful manner, and be willing to work as a positive team player. All applicants must submit an application along with a one-page essay. Non-native speakers typically have a minimum TOEFL score of 600 on the written test or 250 on the computerized version, an IELTS Band 7.0 or higher, or a CEF C1. Non-native speakers must also have a second interview to ensure their listening/speaking skills are adequate to take the course and to teach English. All participants must show a willingness to plan and teach in groups and to work reflectively.

7. What kind of job will I be able to get with this certificate?
This certificate can help you find an entry level position in a language institute or an adult education program in the United States or overseas. Most college and university teaching positions, however, require you to have a master's degree. SIT also offers a Master of Arts in Teaching degree.

As a graduate of the program, you will have access to information about teaching positions through SIT's Career Center, located on SIT's Brattleboro campus.

8. Will SIT's TESOL Certificate enable me to teach ESOL in U.S. public schools?
The SIT TESOL Certificate may qualify you for an aide position in a public school ESOL program. However, to teach in the public schools in the U.S., you need public school certification, a process which generally involves an undergraduate degree followed by a period of full-time student teaching in a public school under the direction of a veteran teacher. Specific requirements vary from state to state.

9. Can I get graduate credit for the course?
Participants may choose to pursue the option of five graduate credits to be awarded upon successful completion of the course. There is an additional $500 fee for these five credits.  If you are interested in pursuing this option you should check with the Registrar's Office at whatever college or university you are attending or plan to attend.  Of the five graduate credits, up to two may be applied toward the Academic Year World Learning SIT Master of Arts in Teaching, and these would take the place of the two one-credit electives.  It is not possible to apply any of the five credits toward World Learning SIT's Low Residency Master of Arts in Teaching.

Learn more about obtaining graduate credit for the course.

Please note:
The World Learning SIT TESOL Certificate is graded on a Pass/Fail basis.  Credits earned from the World Learning SIT Graduate Institute are transferable only at the discretion of the receiving school. 

10. After I finish the certificate course, if, at a later date, I decide to complete SIT's program leading to a Master of Arts with a concentration in TESOL, is there any special financial aid available for certificate alumni?
Yes. Any SIT TESOL Certificate holder who enrolls in one of the SIT Master of Arts in Teaching degree programs will be given a tuition reduction of $2,000.

11. Does everyone who attends the course get a certificate?
No. Acceptance into the course is not a guarantee that you will receive the certificate. If trainers feel that any participant has not successfully completed or mastered any segment of the course, or has not completed the written work satisfactorily, the participant will not be awarded the certificate, but will be awarded a Letter of Learning instead. To complete the certificate successfully, you must meet all the program requirements:

  1. Attend all the program sessions (allowances are made for absence due to emergency situations);
  2. Communicate effectively and fluently in written and oral English;
  3. Successfully meet the goals and objectives of the program;
  4. Successfully complete all the student teaching requirements and all program assignments.

Trainers in the course will meet with you to give you feedback on all aspects of your work in the course. You will also do a self-assessment.

For more information, please contact:

TESOL Certificate
SIT Graduate Institute
Brattleboro, Vermont 05302-0676
Tel: 802 258-3310
Fax: 802 258-3316
Email: tesolcert@sit.edu

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Phone:
802.258.3409
202.464.6586

Fax:
802 258-3316

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SIT Graduate Institute TESOL Certificate Program
William Kennedy
SIT Graduate Institute
1 Kipling Road, P.O. Box 676
Brattleboro, Vermont 05302-0676

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