Our certificate is unique in that it is explicitly based on SIT’s application of John Dewey’s Experiential Learning theories, which inform all aspects of the course. Participants learn by engaging in, describing and analyzing shared, thought-provoking experiences that are designed to directly relate to the development of skills, attitudes and awareness necessary for effective teaching.

  • Focused experiences and analysis result in graduates with strong foundations in both theory and practice.
  • Shared experiences allow participants to refine their ability to work cooperatively in groups and have been shown to result in deeper and longer lasting change.
  • An explicit focus on the reflective process leads to graduates with the tools necessary for lifelong learning and continued professional development.

Our curriculum has three main foci:

Participants engage in a language-learning experience in order to explore the relationship between language learning, teaching, and aspects of second language acquisition from the point of view of the learner. This experience provides the foundation for the examination of teaching practices.

Participants examine the theory and practice of planning, teaching, grammar, culture, and assessing lessons in the four skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) through experiential activities, teaching demonstrations, discussions, lesson planning, materials development, and readings.

Classroom practices
Participants put their new knowledge and skills into practice through daily teaching sessions. Trainers observe and facilitate feedback sessions after these lessons. Participants learn to reflect on and assess their own teaching as well as to examine the teaching of their peers.

Download a sample daily schedule for an example of how we structure the course. 

Pass/Fail Assessment
The SIT TESOL certificate is unique in that it doesn’t rank participants in terms of high and low grades. The course is based in a belief that successful teacher development takes place in an environment of cooperation rather than competition. The course assessment is competency-based and participants either pass (meet the course requirements and competencies) or they fail (don’t meet the course requirements and competencies). Participants who pass receive a certificate and those who fail receive a letter of learning (stating what they’ve accomplished on the course). 

Download the course requirements and competencies.

The SIT TESOL certificate takes the "best practices" of our MA TESOL program and applies them in the certificate context. It gets participants thinking reflectively and planning and teaching learner-centered classes. Dramatic changes occur when the learner is respected and understood as a whole person, when teachers and students engage in building communities of learners, and when beliefs and practices are challenged in safe and constructive ways.

Diane Larsen-Freeman, SIT Adjunct Faculty

Other programs of interest