IGo’s Vision for TESOL

tesol-class_0It’s a privilege to share with you IGo’s vision for teaching English as a foreign language here in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

As you are aware, the initial vision for the establishment of IGo was an Institute located overseas to train American young people in foreign missions. One of the very practical tools that can be used in foreign missions is teaching English! Thus, from the beginning IGo has wanted the English Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program to be a part of the Institute. They have integrated it into the course curriculum, allowing the trainees an opportunity to receive informal training and learn skills on how to teach English as a foreign language. The 2 week ministry trips after each term as well as the weekly Monday and Friday ministry evenings have given the trainees multiple opportunities to put into practice some of the things they have learned in these classes! New for this year, IGo also plans to implement a TESOL Track into its 2 year program for returning second-year trainees. In this TESOL Track, the trainees will take an intensive, one month TESOL course certifying them to teach English. Following this they will then do a 4-6 month internship teaching English with a ministry of their choice.

Not only is IGo incorporating TESOL training into their courses offered at the Institute, but IGo would also like to open its doors in the evenings as an English school/corner to the local community. However, it hasn’t been as easy as 1,2,3…. And with the limited number of English teachers available to teach classes this past year (namely myself) it has felt necessary to wait, give ourselves time to get a bit more established and not rush the process. Currently we are looking at 2009 as a possible start date of opening our doors as an English Centre to the community.

When one door temporarily shuts, God opens others and with it has given us a broader vision for our English Program at IGo for 2008! We’ve branched into three avenues of TESOL ministry. Firstly, we would like to stay connected with other local ministries in Chiang Mai that are needing English teachers! This is my role and I am in the process of plugging into a ministry we frequented last year on our Monday and Friday ministry nights known as The Centre. The Centre is operating under Asian Outreach and is involved in teaching English to university students and is very active in sharing the Gospel through the friendships established there with the students. During the 2008 IGo school year, I will take a group of IGo trainees into The Centre with me on Mondays and Fridays to involve them in the ministry there. Secondly, IGo would like to offer support and aid to local churches who are wanting English teachers and/or programs in their churches as a means of outreach. Currently Katrina Nisly is in that position and has started teaching English at a small local church. During the 2008 IGo school year, we will have one of the IGo trainees assisting her as a means of some hands on training. Thirdly, we maintain our long term vision of having an English Corner established at IGo as a service to the community. As mentioned previously, we are aiming for 2009! Much prayer and direction is needed in knowing what God’s heart is for this and how He would have us establish something viable and long term. Our vision is that it would be an opportunity also for the IGo trainees to be involved in ministry and building relationships with the local community right there at the Institute.

In brief, this outlines where we as a TESOL team at IGo are headed in 2008! Katrina and I are looking forward to two new members joining our team later this year! We pray that God would lead us and that all would be done for the glory and fame of His Name! It’s all about HIM!

By Kris Schrock, IGo TESOL Assistant (I Witness News/Spring 2008)

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