Thursday, July 3, 2014

Teaching English as Second Language opens door to new cultures



Douglas grad Elke Galter enjoys
a snack at a night market.

Elke Galter feels lucky to have found a job that combines two of her passions: helping to educate people and learning about different cultures.

Elke is a graduate of Douglas College’s Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate program. As a language instructor for S.U.C.C.E.S.S., a local non-profit immigrant services organization, she teaches English to adults from countries such as Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq and Korea.

“It’s cool that I was able to stay in Canada and teach and experience different cultures, which is my favourite part of the job,” she says. “I get to help people and I also get to learn about different cultures.”

Elke has long been interested in teaching. Originally, she considered training to become a school teacher. But after graduating from SFU with a psychology degree, she was eager to put her education to work. She said the Douglas program was affordable and, being one semester in length, had a quick turnaround.

With around 20 hours of class time per week, the program gives students the theoretical and practical knowledge they need to teach English and manage a classroom. Elke described the program as “intense” but she said she received plenty of support as a Douglas student.

“The instructors were really personable,” she says. “You could go to them and talk to them and they were really there to listen.”

“I made lifelong friends in the program,” she adds. “I still hang out with some of my classmates. We make an effort to get together at least once a month and just touch base.”

Learn more about the Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate program on the Douglas College website.