1. What is the School for International Training?
The School for International Training (SIT), located in Brattleboro, Vermont, 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 the School is to enable participants to develop the skills, knowledge,
attitudes and awareness needed to contribute effectively to global understanding and world

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-five 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.  

SIT is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

For more information, visit the following links:

2. Why should I take the SIT TESOL Certificate course?
SIT is one of the pre-eminent institutions in TESOL Training in the world, with more than 35
years of experience.  The SIT TESOL Certificate is the premier US-based certificate and is
recognized worldwide.  The innovative course curriculum was designed by SIT faculty,
based on humanistic, experiential, and progressive teaching.

The SIT course provides practical ESOL teacher-training in which participants develop
skills in planning lessons and teaching speaking, listening, reading, writing, grammar, and
culture. The sessions are highly interactive and experiential. The course includes planning
lessons and teaching twenty-four hours of classes to "real" ESOL students. Trainers
observe your teaching and give practical advice after each session.

Graduates of the SIT TESOL Certificate find challenging teaching positions in the U.S. and
abroad, or return to their current jobs with new skills and greater knowledge, awareness,
and satisfaction.

3. Who teaches the course?
The SIT TESOL Certificate course is taught by two full-time trainers working in tandem.
Trainers are experienced ESOL teachers who have worked with adult learners, and have
previous training experience.  The average trainer/trainee ratio is 6:1.
The trainers teach the course content, process discussions, coach participants in
developing lesson plans and in planning 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 follow the same curriculum and are taught by SIT-trained trainers. 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 the program meets SIT
standards and that participants are meeting the goals and requirements of the course and
are on track to receive their certificates at the end.

5.  What is the difference between the Intensive course and the Extensive
The main difference between these two types of courses is the schedule.  The intensive
course takes place over a 4 week period, with classes meeting everyday, Monday through
Friday.  The Extensive course takes place over a 12 week period and workshops are
primarily held on Saturdays and some Sundays.  Practice teaching and observation are
held two evenings per week (participants generally need to attend only one of those two
nights).  The extensive course is designed for participants who have other responsibilities
such as full-time jobs and cannot study intensively for one month.  The Trainer/Trainee
ratio during workshops may vary between 6:1 and 12:1.  The Trainer/Trainee ratio during
practice teaching will be no greater than 6:1.

6. 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.

7. 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
handwritten essay, as well as have an oral interview (which can be done by phone) with the
program manager. Non-native speakers need a minimum TOEFL score of 550 for the
written test or 213 for the computerized version, or an IELTS Band 6.0 or higher. 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.

8. What kind of job will I be able to get with this certificate?
The SIT TESOL Certificate will open employment opportunities both at home and abroad.  
It can qualify you for a position in a language institute or an adult education program in the
United States, Canada 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 (see question 12 for discounts available to holders of the SIT TESOL
Completion of the SIT TESOL Certificate will give you access to the SIT job resource data
base as well as the network of SIT alumni around the world.

9. What kind of job search support will be provided after I receive the certificate
As a graduate of the program, you will have access to information about ESOL teaching
positions worldwide through SIT's Professional Development Resource Center, located on
SIT's Brattleboro campus. To facilitate networking, SIT maintains a listserv that connects
graduates of all SIT courses. In addition, SIT's Professional Development Resource Center
offers valuable support during employment searches.

In addition, SIT TESOL Certificate holders are invited to apply for teaching jobs at the over
125 schools in the International House (IH) network through IH London. Available positions
can be accessed on-line at

10. 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.  Graduates from the program
should apply to the state within which they wish to teach for an ESOL endorsement.

11. Can I get college credit for the course?
Yes. 5 graduate credits are available through World Learning's School for International
Training (SIT). Additional fees apply and participants must elect either of these options
BEFORE the course begins.
Please contact SIT or the course manager for details.

Participants can petition any college or university to recognize the course hours spent in
the program and issue undergraduate or graduate academic credit. 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.    

12. After I finish the certificate course, if, at a later date, I decide to complete one
of SIT's programs leading to a Master of Arts in Teaching, is there any special
financial aid available for me as a certificate course alum?
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.

13. Does everyone who attends the course get a certificate?
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 course attendance 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
Trainers in the course will meet with you to give you feedback on all aspects of your work in
the program. You will also do a self-assessment and a peer assessment as part of your
program requirements.

14.  What is the difference between TESOL, TESL and TEFL?
Essentially they all mean the same thing.  The acronym TESOL stands for “Teaching
English to Speakers of Other Languages” and is an umbrella term that encompasses both
TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and TEFL (Teaching English as a
Foreign Language).  North American-based organizations tend to favor the term TESOL;
whereas, European-based organizations tend to use the terms TESL and/or TEFL.

15.  Do I need to speak the language of the students I will be teaching?
No.  In order to ensure that students get a maximum exposure to and practice in English,
the SIT Certificate teaching strategies all focus upon using English to teach English.  In this
way, students not only have a deeper, more meaningful language learning experience, but
teachers are also equipped with the skills necessary to teach classes of students from a
variety of linguistic backgrounds.

16.  Does SIT offer other academic programs?
Yes.  For more information about the range of academic programs offered by SIT, please
Frequently Asked Questions (SIT TESOL Certificate)