Christine Holder teaches online with Coursera for Business customer VIPKID, a platform that connects Chinese students aged 5 through 12 with English teachers in the U.S. and Canada. In 2016, VIPKID began sponsoring teachers like Christine to earn their Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certificates through Arizona State University’s TESOL Specializations on Coursera. The sponsorship opportunity, which allows teachers to earn a high-value professional certification at no personal cost, has been enormously popular with VIPKID’s teacher network. Here’s what Christine told us about her Coursera experience:
Education and community – in particular, international community – have always been central to my career choices. I’d love to work abroad, but as I have two young sons, that’s not currently a practical option. When a family member introduced me to VIPKID, I was thrilled. The platform is such an innovative and creative idea. It truly makes the world smaller. I’ve been teaching for almost a year now, and it’s been life-changing. I’m invited into my students’ homes – I’ve met their families and pets, and shared their toys and friendship.
I’m now enrolled in the TESOL program offered by VIPKID through Coursera, and my experiences with Coursera and Arizona State University have been effective in so many ways. Since enrolling in the program, I’ve been steadily applying everything I learn to improve my teaching. I’ve adjusted my teaching style to communicate better with students who speak very little English, and I’ve adopted new strategies for lesson planning and time management.
My previous attempts at online learning have been a struggle, especially when trying to balance education with my career – but Coursera has offered a smooth, flexible experience while still expecting dedication and diligence. I’m actually glad that I’m teaching while working toward my certification, since it’s allowed me to apply what I’m learning on a daily basis.
I’m excited about the new career opportunities that will open up to me once I am a certified TESOL instructor. Ultimately, I’d love to teach in different countries. For the immediate future, though, I also see a need here in my own city (St. Louis, Missouri) to help refugees and immigrants who are seeking to learn English in order to get jobs or become U.S. citizens. And I definitely want to keep learning on Coursera – I’m already looking into other courses that might help me improve my teaching and advance my career.
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