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Michael Gade

Go Overseas Writer

Michael is an American student from the University of Nebraska at Kearney graduating in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia and a minor in Japanese. In 2018, he obtained Trinity College London's CertTESOL in Tokyo from the Shane Corporation when he was an exchange student at Saitama University. He wishes to make use of his abilities toward the achievement of the English education goals of Japan.

Reviews
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Michael
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I decided pretty early on that I wanted to live in Japan long-term, and while I was studying abroad in the Tokyo area as a university student, I decided to look for a full-time TESOL certificate that I could do during one of my breaks. As an American college student, I have a very limited budget and relocating to Kobe for the CELTA was almost impossible. I knew about Shane's CertTESOL from research, but no courses were offered during my break. I took a shot in the dark and emailed the course director, Sophia, about my interest, and she was more than willing to move the course start time to fit my schedule, so that was a great hint that Shane was very accommodating to my needs.

The Unknown Language is surprisingly effective, as I still remember the vocabulary and phrases. I used some of the activities from those lessons in my own teaching practice. The Learner Profile had the option to be done entirely in the school with a learner arranged by the school, so it saved a lot of time from having to hunt my own. Teaching Practice was the most valuable part, as I literally felt growth in my ability with each lesson. I am very introverted, so the practice is going to save some stress when actually teaching for a paycheck and it really helped me open up about teaching. The class sizes are fairly small on some days, which can be beneficial if one is nervous about teaching larger groups.

This course will teach a lot of phonetics, which is something many native speakers are not used to, but pretty valuable in the long run. Lots of grammar is reviewed, and there are sample worksheets and lesson ideas given with them. It should be noted that there is also a small unit on teaching young learners and business English, which typically has to be purchased separately for a lot of other courses, so a little of everything most ESL teachers may encounter is covered under the one certificate.

It cannot be stressed enough how intensive the course is, and I would probably recommend the part-time option if possible. The first day will feel overwhelming, and you don't fully appreciate the course until a few days of rest after its over. During the course, there were times when I questioned myself about doing it due to the long commute I had and the amount of work. In the end, I am hands-down very glad that I decided to take it and would recommend it to others who want to get in the ESL world, especially in Japan and specifically in the Tokyo/Saitama/Chiba/Kanagawa area. I feel very confident in being able to land a good paying job abroad after I finish my bachelor's degree, and I feel there is more mobility in making it a long-term career by having the certificate. Depending where I end up, I may even return someday for the diploma.

What would you improve about this program?
Even though I liked smaller class sizes, having a large number of students on some days may help prepare trainees for those situations. And while instructional technology is mentioned, the ability to have some hands-on practice with tools such as interactive whiteboards would help give more universal experience for trainees.

My Interviews

Program
Trinity Cert TESOL