|Here's what people are saying about The SIT TESOL Certificate Course:
Kestrel Feiner-Homer, a fourth year foreign policy student, says, "Participating in the SIT
TESOL Certificate Course was an incredibly rewarding learning experience. After spending
three years doing undergraduate work, I can honestly say that I gained more applicable skills
from this one month course than I have from any college class. Not only did I learn
techniques for engaging different learning styles and creating fun and effective lesson plans,
but I also developed a better understanding of myself as a learner. The trainers were
incredibly supportive and dedicated to our learning. By creating workshops based in the
same teaching methodologies we were learning how to employ, I was able to experience how
learning is facilitated in an environment that maximizes student participation, engages visual,
kinesthetic and auditory learners and allows time for both teacher and student reflection.
Looking back at my experience, I realize that I constantly draw upon the skills and knowledge
I gained through my participation in this course, both when I am out in the world and in the
class room. I would recommend SIT TESOL certificate to anyone who is ready to full
heartedly invest themselves in an intense and rewarding month of learning and growth."
Eden Fegusson who had 6 years of full-time teaching experience when she came to the
course says, "Of everything I’ve ever participated in, undergrad, grad school, post grad and
all of the workshops, this is far and away the best. It’s the most professional and best
organized course that I’ve taken. I’ve never learned so much in such a short time. I came
prepared to learn and this just met my needs exactly."
Sari Gonzalez who came to the course with 5 years of counseling and teaching experience
says, "The SIT TESOL Oaxaca course is not to be missed...it will change your life! The
course not only helped me to be a better teacher...to have confidence, to be a better
listener, to be more patient, to have tolerance, to use my creativity and to build a student
centered classroom. But, it also helped me to be a better human being. Reflection and
introspection have become a huge part of my life after the SIT Oaxaca course and I learned
how to search for answers and to learn from my mistakes. The SIT Oaxaca course will take
you not only to a beautiful land with gentile and caring people, but will take you through a
journey of your innermost self."
Kathleen Korder who had just finished her third year of teacher's college when she took
the course says, "I was a participant in the Oaxaca course and could not have asked for a
better experience. The trainers were extremely knowledgeable and also approachable so I
was never hesitant to ask questions. The city itself is fantastic and I would highly recommend
taking the course in Oaxaca if possible. There is so much to see and do in and around the
city. It was an experience I'll never forget."
Suzanne Curley who had no teaching experience when she took the course says, "After
researching various options for certification in teaching English as a foreign language, I
chose the School for International Training (SIT) program in Oaxaca City, Mexico, this past
May. It was the right decision: The program, located in a beautifully renovated home with a
courtyard/garden, close to the center of the city, was well-thought out, challenging and
extremely useful for someone wanting a grasp of the basic tools of teaching ESL. Gina
Thurston and her co-trainer Todd Vidamour were true professionals, enthusiastic,
unflappable, sensitive and highly qualified. We worked hard, and the program was quite
challenging, but the workshops and practice teaching gave us a wide range of theory, tools
and practical skills. I loved the learner-centered approach favored by SIT, and it was truly
beautiful to see how well it works in the actual classroom with real learners of varying levels
The city of Oaxaca itself has a perfect climate (sunny, dry and springlike) and is beautiful,
safe and (usually) peaceful, with great food and friendly citizens. Our group of trainees
"clicked" and worked well together, complementing and supporting each other nicely. The
comfortable and conveniently located homestay provided by the host school was one of the
highlights of the trip for me, and there were always many things to do in spare time from
lesson-planning and coursework: cultural events (usually free!) and fantastic markets,
villages, crafts cooperatives and ancient ruins to visit, either in the city or close by. Even just
sitting and watching the world pass by in the lovely zocalo (town square) was a pleasure.
I would recommend the SIT TESOL program without reservation -- but don't even consider it
if you are looking for an "easy ride"! This is the real thing."
Shannon La Fon who had previously taught artisan families in rural Oaxaca says, "I have to
give the SIT TESOL course in Oaxaca a double thumbs-up. Without a doubt this is a very
intense course; the days are extremely long, but it is incredibly rewarding. I was quite worried
in the beginning about the pace and being able to absorb enough information in such a short
period of time, and then turn around and be able to remember it all and apply it. The
instructors are extremely competent and have such an insightful way of teaching that my
worries about these issues have been put at ease.
Another reason I would highly recommend this course is due to its location...it doesn´t get
any better than Oaxaca. The culture, the food, the kindness of the people, the architecture,
the handicrafts, the history, the archeological sites...Oaxaca has it all! Granted, during the
course itself there isn´t much time for sightseeing, but if you arrive a little early or arrange to
stay on for an extra week or two afterwards...you will be so glad you did!
I highly recommend the SIT TESOL course in Oaxaca."
Constance McCoy who was relatively new to teaching says, "The SIT TESOL course in
Oaxaca more than met all my carefully considered requirements of spending my time and
money wisely in obtaining a respected, internationally recognized certification. The program
in Oaxaca was an amazing experience for me in my progression from an unsure beginner to
feeling accomplished and competent in teaching English to multi-level students. I learned
many teaching techniques and strategies, but, more importantly, reflective teaching was
emphasized in our workshops, feedback sessions and lesson planning so that it became
second nature to me and will be the backbone of all my future teaching.
The trainers were Gina Thurston, who heads up the course in Oaxaca, and Todd Vidamour,
two very well-qualified, committed and dedicated trainers. Not only their breadth of
knowledge and broad backgrounds in teaching, but their passion in supporting SIT's mission
of humanistic teacher training made their classes and workshops rich not only in content
but in sensitivity to the needs of their students.
And why Oaxaca? It is my favorite city in Mexico. It is warm, the people are friendly, the food
is wonderful. It offers fantastic pre-Columbian ruins, Spanish architectural marvels and some
of the best handicrafts in Mexico. If I had to choose one place to return to over and over
again it would be Oaxaca. Multi-layered in history, language and culture it is at once both
refined and ethnic, sophisticated and laid back--you can attend a ballet one night and the
next listen to an impromptu local musical ensemble at the zocalo. The cost of living is such
that it was cheaper for me to fly to Oaxaca and live there for four weeks during the course
than it would have been to travel and stay anywhere in the U.S. where another course might
I can only say that everything considered, the SIT TESOL course in Oaxaca is one I would
highly recommend to anyone considering teaching English as a second language. The great
location of Oaxaca, the philosophy and teaching methods of SIT and the expertise of my
wonderful teachers, Gina and Todd, combined to make it an inspiring learning experience
which has launched my career as a teacher.
Selma Herzberg who had been teaching English for three years when she took the course
says, " I do not know how I was even teaching without knowing everything I learned in this
course. It was a very organized and efficient way to learn. The teachers were very sensitive
to the needs of the participants and the classes were full of good humor and interaction. Not
only was the content so rich, but also the teaching experience and group work provided us
with real growth and left us with plenty of things to think about. This was the first time I'd
heard of the experiential learning cycle and reflective teaching and I think education, in
general, would be much richer if these ideas were used in every school."
Heather Shaughnessy, who had no experience teaching English when she took the course
says, "The SIT TESOL Certificate Program was an amazing learning experience. I really
appreciated the practical, yet fun and creative tools we were given, which could be applied in
many situations, not just teaching EFL. Following the course I got a job working for a private
language institute in Boston, Massachusetts called ASPECT. I taught grammar, oral
communications, writing and a listening-speaking-pronunciation course. I worked with people
from all over the world. Thanks to the course, I felt well-prepared and most important,
confident enough to manage a multi-level, multi-age, multi-cultural classroom. I am now
working in the public school system down in Cape Cod. I work with the immigrant population.
It has been the most incredible work experience I've ever had. A truly amazing experience
made possible due to the SIT TESOL Certificate program. I am truly grateful to have been a
part of a program that has opened me up to two such incredible opportunities. Thank you
Phayvanh Luekhamhan says, "I had no idea when I signed up that the practice teaching
sessions would be such an important part of the course. Not only was it tons of fun, but also I
was amazed to see my progression from an unsure instructor, not really understanding what I
was doing, to someone who really felt comfortable teaching a language in a classroom.
Jan Church says, " The commitment, dedication and professionalism of the trainers was
superb. I was dazzled by my observations of their lessons and learned so many things from
their manner, presence, and gentle firmness that I want to carry into my own teaching."
Carolyn Sadeh says, "The course was a taste of a wonderfully rich and rewarding
profession. It was thought-provoking, mind-expanding and totally great. The trainers were
exuberant and energetic and totally complemented one another's gifts and strengths."
Martha Braun says, "I came away from the course with a confidence that I too will be a good
teacher because the SIT Trainers didn't just tell me how, they showed me how. Instead of
dreading the critique sessions, their gentle manner made me WANT feedback."
And more from a trainer and faculty member:
Trainer, Connie Tumavicus says, "The SIT TESOL Certificate course goes beyond the
"how-to" of teaching. Through experience, feedback and reflection, participants enter into a
personal discovery of who they are, and who they can be, as teachers. Each time I train, I
see participants' eyes light up as they begin to understand the possibilities of learning and
growth open to them."
ESOL luminary and author, Diane Larsen-Freeman says, "I believe the TESOL certificate
participants find the course so rewarding because it takes the "best practices" of our MAT
program and applies them in the certificate context. SIT's comprehensive approach 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."