A Brief History of VCC’s TESOL Department

Vancouver Community College is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) and is home to the largest TESOL teacher training program of its kind in Western Canada. This achievement is due to the 22 year history of the program and, most importantly, to the faculty who are highly respected for their expertise in teacher training.

VCC’s TESOL Department provides a comprehensive program of studies, offering 6 different teacher training programs: The TESOL Diploma; The TESOL Distance Diploma; The TESOL Certificate; The TEFL Certificate; The Tutoring Certificate; and The TEFL Certificate for Young Learners. Additionally, VCC’s TESOL Department offers a wide range of special interest electives.

For many years the guiding force behind VCC’s TESOL Program was Jennifer Pearson Terell. The current TESOL team includes Joann Chernen, department head, Dorothy Giroux, program assistant, regular instructors: Sarah Burwood, Rita Dickson, Liet Hellwig, Anita Schuller and auxiliary instructor, Sara Yuen.

Since the program’s inception in 1986, literally thousands of satisfied students have graduated with a VCC TESOL Certificate or Diploma. The goal of VCC’s TESOL Department is to continue to build on its commitment to excellence in TESOL teacher training.

The following comments illustrate the satisfaction of VCC’s TESOL graduates and further serve to illustrate the strength and hallmark of our programming – the ability to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

Never in my life (and I’ve been in education for more than 25 years) have I met so many talented and devoted instructors. They are not only knowledgeable, but also dynamic and charismatic. I look forward to updating my knowledge in the future and seeing the instructors again by attending electives. I strongly recommend the TESOL Diploma Program not only to those new to teaching, but to experienced teachers as well. This program provides you with the guidance of highly qualified and enthusiastic instructors, and also provides numerous handouts and resources that can be used in a real classroom.
-Nonna Ketskalo, TESOL Diploma Graduate June 09

I wanted to let you know how impressed I am with the TESOL instructors. They are really super– they know their stuff, are enthusiastic and model exactly what they want us to do and learn. And there is no shortage of material – and good stuff it is. They have lots of great material and ideas.
-Stan Holman, TESOL Certificate Graduate May 2009

I am so happy that I had the opportunity to take the VCC TESOL Certificate program. I feel that it was absolutely necessary to get going with my ESL career in Vancouver, and completely relevant for the knowledge and skills that are needed for the teaching positions here.
-Celina Mikolajczyk, Graduate, February 2009

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