TESOL Programs at APU: Your Ticket to Teaching English in the U.S. or Abroad

by Ana Felce

If you’re looking for a role that could allow you to travel the world and make a difference in the lives of others, teaching English as a second language can lead to an incredibly rewarding career.

At Azusa Pacific University, the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, or TESOL, programs prepare students for careers in both the U.S. and abroad. Students can enjoy a personalized learning experience at the main campus in Azusa, through the school’s online program, or in the field. APU also offers certificate programs that can jump-start a career in English language education.

If you’d like to develop a fulfilling career that can also take you around the world, it’s worth considering the TESOL programs offered at APU.

Exploring Different Teaching Opportunities

Wherever you hope to teach English, you’ll find there’s a demand for qualified educators across sectors and learner groups. The profession is anything but boring!

For example, you could have an experience similar to that of Barbara Kindschi, M.A. ’06, an APU graduate who spent five years teaching in different settings. Her work took her to a hotel, a hospitality school, an airline accounting department, a private language school for beauty contestants, and a primary school taught by monks. She’s currently employed as an English teacher in Laos.

Christa Bixby, M.A. ’14, another graduate of APU, said that she considers her career to be fulfilling and full of opportunities to grow. Bixby, now a TESOL professor, recently served as an English Language Fellow, funded by the U.S. Department of State. “I enjoyed the element of challenge as I ventured into various avenues in this field to chair conferences, conduct teacher trainings, provide workshops for Fulbright English Teaching Assistants, and more,” she said.

Earning a TESOL master’s degree or certificate from APU is a popular path among those who want to provide valuable language teaching to those who need it—wherever they may be.

Learning Along With Students

Teaching English to those who speak other languages can also allow you to immerse yourself in a new culture. Whether teaching abroad or at home with students from other backgrounds, you’re not only sharing a language but culture, knowledge, and a new way of seeing the world. This is a rewarding—and eye-opening—experience for all parties.

For instance, you may find yourself facing as much of a learning curve as your students. Tamara Roose ’07, M.A. ’10, completed her TESOL program at APU and went on to teach in South Korea, where she experienced role reversal on a daily basis. “One moment, I was a professor teaching English and felt confident before the classroom, and the next moment, I was lost on a subway or struggling to buy food using my limited Korean language skills,” she said. Roose attended a Korean language class, which gave her deeper insight into her students’ experience learning English and helped inform her teaching practices.

Making a Difference Every Day

The TESOL program at APU helps students grow personally and professionally while integrating a Christian perspective on life and calling. Bixby said she’s grateful to have chosen a career that allows her to learn and develop new skills—and make a difference in the lives of her students.

“I enjoy the element of empowerment that comes from giving individuals the ability to converse with those outside their immediate circles, try for a job they were nervous about before, or simply confidently approach me knowing they are making themselves clear and understood,” Bixby noted. “I believe it takes a lot of strength and courage to be vulnerable enough to learn a language, and I see our students as inspirations.”

Curious to find out more about the TESOL program or related opportunities? Explore Azusa Pacific University’s graduate TESOL programs to find a program that best fits your interests.