When I first heard about the program, I got excited thinking that I would refresh my whole teaching practice after so many years and have some new perspectives towards the field. I also was thrilled to find out that the whole program was based on the philosophy of “Experiential Learning Cycle”, meaning lots of hands-on practice and reflection for me. After only a couple of days, it turned out that it was not just one of those regular teacher training courses where you are introduced with basic methodological concepts and follow-up practices and left with little actual hands-on experience and one-to-one feedback from the trainers. It was a month full of hard-work, preparation like you never had before, sleepless nights spent on lesson plans and assignments, collaboration with your peers and getting actual feedback and learning how to give one.
I can reassure that The SIT TESOL program is not like its counterparts. It is based on solid practice. It is arranged in such a smart way that it gets to surprise you with lots of new awareness every single day even if you are teacher with 13 years of experience. The trainers are well-organized, always meticulously prepared and available for guiding you in every step of the way. They are friendly and down-to-earth, and always kindly push you to reach your true potential. There is also a great variety of background among the participants which make it possible to learn from each other in every step of the way, and this I believe is something that you cannot easily have anywhere else.
My biggest concern throughout the course was how I would apply all that I learned in the course into my daily practice at prep school as the curriculum at the department is often pre-arranged and not subject to change at state schools. However, since you have a different perspective as a teacher after the course, it reflects on every step of your teaching along the way. It reflects on how you plan your lessons, how you modify them, how you give feedback and create space for your students within a hectic schedule. As a PDU member, my unit and institution also benefited from my experience when we were planning the yearly PD activities and the peer-observations we would have during the year.
I would definitely recommend the program to all the professionals who are open to improving their practice. Vecihe Kafadar – 2019 SIT TESOL Course (US Embassy Scholarship Recipient)
I would often quote ‘I didn’t choose to be a teacher. I was born one.’ in the description of myself as a teacher. Although I still believe in that, I have learned that one can always improve and learn no matter how good they are or consider themselves to be. For me, that learning experience was taking part in the SIT TESOL Certificate Course in June of 2019. I attended it a US Embassy grantee and I am extremely grateful to have had that opportunity. The theoretical knowledge, practical skills, useful tips, and a wide range of classroom ideas and activities I have acquired during the course is what I now use in my everyday teaching. I am thankful and appreciative of the trainers and other participants as they played an important role in this whole process. It has been five months since I have completed the course. I have used the acquired skills to advise my colleagues on ways they can make the most out of their teachings, shared materials I have gathered during the course with them and they are all very pleased about it. In the near future, I will be working closely with my university’s Professional Development Department on creating workshops for new instructors as part of their induction program. I sincerely advise inexperienced, as well as experienced EFL and ESL teachers to take part in this course. It is a one of a kind rollercoaster of hard work, a few hours of sleep, the stress of writing lesson plans and teaching, laughter, fast food, tons of paper, and lots of Turkish coffee that you will not want to end.
Edin Omerovic – 2019 SIT TESOL Course (US Embassy Scholarship Recipient)
Whether you are a novice teacher in need of the best practices for TESOL or an experienced teacher who needs refreshment, I cannot think of a better place than SIT TESOL Course for an English teacher’s continuous professional development. I am in the second category as an EFL teacher at tertiary level for 21 years. I am also PhD student who has in times felt ‘carried away’ from practice when so engulfed in theory. Thanks to SIT TESOL Certificate Course, I could observe and experience how to relate classroom practice to relevant research and theory in a very positive atmosphere where collaboration rather than competition is highlighted from the very beginning until the last minute of the course. Another crucial aspect of SIT TESOL Certificate Course for me is that it is never ‘sink or swim’; on the contrary, it is always ‘walk your talk’. Each and every bit of behavior we are expected to demonstrate throughout the program is modelled by the competent trainers of the course by their verbal or non-verbal communication skills. To sum up, the two very important lessons I have ‘relearned’ during the course are:
Any person who intends to teach or who have taught a little or a lot knows or will see that it is easier said than done. With SIT TESOL Certificate Course, we have observed and experienced that it is possible for each and every teacher who are at different points in the experience conundrum. Yes, this is definitely a demanding program, but it is worth every millisecond of the effort spent there. Aliye Evin Yörüdü – 2019 SIT TESOL Course (US Embassy Scholarship Recipient)
From the beginning to the end, SIT TESOL was an invaluable experience for me! In this course, I learnt many different kinds of educational teaching styles, tactics, theoretical, and extremely useful knowledge. There is a huge difference in me in teaching before and after. I learnt lots of activities which I didn’t know about until this course. Our teachers gave us enough opportunity to practice those activities such as mingles, roleplays, debates, etc. I also learnt how to prepare an ideal lesson plan in a very detailed manner. I had a chance to apply what I have learnt theoretically later in practice activities. Being observed and being given feedback during the practicum hours was extremely helpful. Above all, I haven’t had such an intense month in my life before, but it was our trainers who made this a fantastic month by creating a friendly and nice atmosphere at every lesson and my new friends who were always encouraging and supportive. Thanks for every single moment we shared here! Cansu Kalkan -2019 SIT TESOL Course (US Embassy Scholarship Recipient)
I feel really happy to be a part of the 2019 summer SIT TESOL course. This month has been the most fruitful month in my life to have a chance to synthesize my existing knowledge with international, new and contemporary methods of education and to enhance it to be a more successful English teacher. I have always considered about how to convey my knowledge of literature to my students in a better way and with the help of this course, I have had an opportunity to have a wide range of workshops, to apply theory into practice and to get qualified feedback on my teaching. Moreover, by the help of the experience, I have had in this course, I have learned how to make self-observation while teaching to be able to describe, interpret my teaching to generalize it and most importantly to take a plan action for my next teachings. What’s more, thanks to new frameworks, methods and practice teaching lessons, I have obtained a different awareness of my teaching skills. I absolutely recommend the SIT TESOL course to everyone who wants to broaden their perspective on teaching and learning. I would like to thank you to my valuable trainers who helped me develop my teaching skills and spent their time on us patiently. Fulya Çolak – 2019 SIT TESOL Course (US Embassy Scholarship Recipient)
I attended the TESOL program in the summer of 2019. As a person with zero experience in teaching, this program helped me a lot. It gave me self-confidence and self-discipline, helped me with strategies for teaching and classroom management, encouraged me to empathize with students more effectively and many more things.
Education: Learning theoretical strategies and then implementing them the same day in the classroom brought me from an inexperienced student to a person who could start working in an establishment. The things I learned were so diverse as well. You learn theories about teaching and then apply it to the classroom, and then you learn small things like sitting down while helping a student while he/she has problems during an exercise.
Community: In one month, the TESOL students/teachers and the trainers, we became like a family. We helped each other while we prepared our lessons, we gave emotional support, we went out for drinks and food. The stress that we had to endure during this course brought the trainers and the students/teachers closer together and this in order helped us endure the stress.
Trainers: The trainers were very helpful. They were nearly always ready to give advice and guide while we were preparing our lessons. From the way they managed the classroom we could see they were very experienced and they gave out a very professional look. Further, it was very noticeable that they had been preparing for the TESOL course for months. The course went really smoothly.
Do not expect this course to be a cake walk! It is stressful. Your whole month will only be consisting of TESOL. You will become frustrated, you may cry, you may end up preparing a lesson at 4 o’clock in the morning. Prepare accordingly; but there is no need to be afraid because the certificate, the community the education and the trainers definitely make it worth it.
Ten out of ten, would definitely do it again! Ramon Delp – 2019 SIT TESOL Course
SIT TESOL was like a Midsummer Night’s Dream considering it is taking place in midsummer and it makes you have night dreams (not nightmares) in which you give endless feedback. Aside from that, it was a rewarding course assisted me to reflect on my own learning and teaching. What I learned in TESOL, was patience. I was super excited to “teach” that I would not allow my students to digest what was learned. Also, before the course, I knew some terminology but everything was all over the place. Now, I am glad that I can see the big picture in a certain framework. I was not sure what had been required from me as a teacher but now I understand what is expected. Seeing other teachers’ classes also helped me reflect my own teaching.
I would suggest this course to the individuals who would like to broaden their perspective in teaching and learning regardless of their profession, because I believe, SIT TESOL is not a course that is only designed for inexperienced teachers but any teacher –experienced or inexperienced- and people deriving from other professions can find up-to-date elements of learning and teaching and the elation of creating with the guidance of two awesome trainers. Fatma Hüsmenoğlu – 2017 SIT TESOL Course
To me, being a participant in TESOL Cert. was a fruitful experience as a whole. The learning outcomes like getting from learner’s viewpoint to a teacher’s, building upon the experience and tasting “reflective practices”, helping others as well as yourself with a humble manner and having your “competencies” assessed in a constructive way were literally groundbreaking! This course is both useful and demanding, so you had better tune in and be truly present in this course. The best part is, it is worth all! As a participant, you realize that it is so essential to care for your teaching and learners. The course notifies you how precious learning is for everyone, which is a great lesson for life, too. Burak Aydın – 2016 SIT TESOL Course
It cannot be denied that TESOL course is ultimately a rewarding teacher training experience for everyone. Wholeheartedly, I believe that it has broadened my horizon in terms of teaching and questioned my traditional style. It entirely changed my way of teaching and my lessons became more engaging for students.
The course was intense and tough but definitely worth it. Besides, the course atmosphere was also very warming and our trainers were highly supportive. Apart from filling some of your gaps in your own knowledge of English teaching and equipping yourself with substantial skills, you also receive a very prestigious certificate beyond dispute. Do not hesitate a second to take this course. Cüneyt Gaffaroğlu – 2015 SIT TESOL Course
I would definitely recommend the course to any English teacher regardless of their experience. I had been teaching for five years when I attended the course in 2014. I have not only learnt many new things but also had a chance to explore myself as a teacher. One of the most essential things that I acquired during the course was being able to reflect on my own teaching. I believe that it is an ability that can help you improve your skills throughout your whole career.
Even though it was an intense programme, I never felt under pressure thanks to the supportive trainers and cooperative trainees. There was always a positive atmosphere, which made the whole experience as smooth as possible. The course was not based on competition but cooperation and self-improvement, and I believe this is what makes TESOL course different from similar programmes. Zeynep Özcan – 2014 SIT TESOL Course
I expected to learn strategies of how to teach crowded and small classes, problematic and unproblematic students and a way to teach grammar and pronunciation. I was more focused on the teacher, how an effective teacher should be and how not to be boring in class.
What I found was that I have to focus on the student more than the teacher. Student-student interaction and eliciting from students is much more important than being the holy source of the class. We experienced during our workshops how important different cultures are and we experienced classroom culture. I learned also about effective frameworks to use for creative and also receptive skills lessons.
I would definitely recommend the course. The major reason for it is that there is absolutely no competition; on the contrary, being cooperative, we were all encouraged to assist each other before our teaching sessions, and to observe and give feedback to each other when teaching classes. We were given more than enough material to use in our lessons and got help anytime we needed (even at 6am in the morning I received answers to my questions). Although we were usually sleepless and very busy with lesson planning, reading articles & writing report papers and evaluating our experiences, I must admit that I had the time of my life. It was the most challenging but exciting 4 weeks of my life and I’m incredibly sad that it has come to an end. Jennifer Delp Çelik – 2013 SIT TESOL Course