Huntington, Ind.—Huntington University will launch a new initiative this summer designed to prepare educators for the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Curriculum development, staffing, and the acquisition of equipment and library resources will begin this month.
The Institute for TESOL Studies and related academic courses are an outgrowth of long-term relationships between Huntington University faculty and educators in China. Dr. Luke Fetters, who formerly worked 11 years in Macau, is under contract to provide teacher training in Zhuhai City, China. By the end of this summer, Fetters and his team of Huntington faculty, local teachers and volunteers will have trained nearly 400 Chinese educators in English-teaching skills.
The university’s new Institute for TESOL Studies will build upon this foundation and extend new learning opportunities to HU students. Fetters will serve as the director of the institute.
“We anticipate tremendous benefits for Huntington University students, especially those planning careers in education or other professional service in an intercultural setting,” said Fetters. “Future teachers will be better prepared to teach students for whom English is not their first language. Ministry students, social workers and others also may have interest in TESOL training as they prepare to serve various non-English-speaking populations.”
Dr. Terrell Peace, chair of HU’s Department of Education, agrees. “There is growing demand for teachers and other professionals who have the ability to bridge cultural and language barriers,” he said. “In our local school corporation, for example, the number of students for whom English is a second language has increased tenfold in the past eight years.”
Pending state approval, the Institute for TESOL Studies will offer English as a New Language (ENL) certification for HU education students and area teachers. Huntington University also will offer a TESOL minor to HU students pursuing a degree in any discipline. Additional formal training and informal consulting in ENL and TESOL methodologies will be available to local, regional and international schools, agencies and social service organizations.