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Travels give TESOL students exposure to different cultures

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Bishal Niroula

Staff Writer

Troy, living up to its title of Alabama’s International university, not only offers non-native English speaking students classes in learning English as a Second Language (ESL), but also offers a minor to native English-speakers in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) through the College of Communication and Fine Arts. 

Theresa Johnson, senior lecturer of English and a faculty adviser for TESOL, recommends TESOL as a practical minor. 

“If you want to find something to fill that extra little minor spot, use TESOL,” Johnson said. “This minor is our newest minor in the English Department. 

“Troy has recently aligned its courses to match most other universities’ requirements for the minor.”

According to Johnson, TESOL minor students are equipped to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) students.

To encourage intercultural experience, Johnson wrote recommendation letters for students with TESOL minors for their study abroad programs. 

Savannah Cousins, a senior human services major and a TESOL minor from Ramstein, Germany, visited China over the summer in a language exchange program. She expressed how the minor helps her in daily life.

“The TESOL minor helps me relate to people through language,” Cousins said. “It makes me have empathy for people coming into a new country and learning a new language.”

Cousins encouraged students to consider the TESOL minor. 

“TESOL provides doors for you to get to know other people and learn how to communicate with others in a better way,” Cousins said.

Claire Humphreys, a senior psychology major and a TESOL minor from Atlanta, received federal scholarship to study the Korean language in Gwangju, South Korea.

“TESOL is always a good skill to have in your back pocket,” Humphreys said. “You will have a skill that is translatable anywhere in the world.”

Humphreys said her familiarity and experiences with different teaching methods and approaches helped her learn a new language. 

For a TESOL minor, students are required to take 18 semester hours of grammar and linguistic courses. Students will receive a TESOL certificate once they complete a Practicum and Assessment course. 

For additional information, Johnson can be reached at tmjohnson@troy.edu.