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TESOL | Alumnae & Alumni

In Their Own Words

 Read about work our alumni have done and advice they have for current and prospective students.

Nasreen Abbas

TESOL Certificate 2006  - MA TESOL 2008

Headshot of Nasreen Abbas

In the summer of 2006, I took the TESOL certification and got a job at Montgomery College to teach the fourth and highest level in the American English program. I had already been teaching English Literature and Language at a high school. The following spring, I applied to complete my master's degree while teaching freshman composition and the American English program at Montgomery College. In summer 2007, I taught at CLED at Georgetown University and in summer 2008 at UPENN's IEP. In 2011, I joined the National Defense University to teach the summer intensive academic writing program to the international fellows. Then in 2012 and 2013, academic writing to international graduate students at George Washington University and the University of Maryland, respectively. The latter two are only fall teaching positions. The rest of the time I teach literature based composition or rhetoric. As my degrees are in Literature and TESOL, I teach academic and literature based writing courses. I also taught credit ESL and freshman comp at Nova Alexandria 2008-2012.

Advice: It's best to join a community college to get experience. Then apply to the universities. WATESOL and AUTESOL are great ways to get a job. I found all of mine on the AU list.

Caralyn Bushey


Caralyn Bushey headshot in Russia

My first job right after graduation was actually the position I had been working in all the time I was attending grad school: I was the lead teacher-trainer at the LADO TEFL Certificate Program. I went on to serve as an English Language Fellow (State Department program) in Moscow where my primary job was conducting teacher training workshops and teaching English at Moscow State University. Subsequently, I worked at The Literacy Council of Montgomery County as The Instructional Specialist at a newly instituted state-funded ESL classroom program. I did a stint in The Materials Branch in the Office of English Language Programs at the State Department and eventually landed at The Maryland English Institute at The University of Maryland where I split my time between teaching ESL and serving as The Student Services Coordinator. I have been an adjunct faculty member at Montgomery College since 2009 when I was invited to design and deliver a course in ESL Methods. So as you can see, it has been a mix of ESL instruction, teacher training and program administration.

Advice: As for finding a job, the best way is to network, network, network. Get actively involved in TESOL affiliate as well as in TESOL. Attend every single conference, convention and professional development opportunity that presents itself. And if interested in teaching in a university ESL program, don't wait to see a vacancy notice - just send your resume to the director.

Mohammad Mahmudul Haque


Mohammad Haque headshot

I am a two-time recipient of Fulbright Scholarship and a Bangladeshi academic and translator. I completed my MA in TESOL from American University, Washington D.C. in May 2013. Earlier, I graduated Summa Cum Laude in English Language and Literature from East West University, Dhaka, where I also did my undergraduate work. Currently, I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English, and Humanities, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh where I teach Applied Linguistics and TESOL courses. Previously, I taught at Syracuse University, NY, Washington English Centre, different universities and schools, and a few other universities at home and abroad. My research interests include post-method pedagogy, critical pedagogy, language teaching materials (design and evaluation), and second language acquisition.

John Mark King


Headshot of John Mark King in forest

I am a member of the U.S. Foreign Service as a Regional English Language Officer at the U.S. Department of State. I earned an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from American University in 2003 after serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Uzbekistan. Earlier, I was an English Language Fellow in Turkmenistan (2006-2007) and Russia (2009-2011) and also taught English in Bangladesh in 2006. Before joining the Foreign Service, I was the director of the English Language Institute at the American University of Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar. My areas of interest include non-native English speaking teachers, English for academic purposes and intercultural communication.

1. When you see every experience as a learning opportunity, especially those that don't go as planned, failure becomes an impossibility.
2. When you are struggling in the classroom, imagine what you might say to a friend in a similar situation. Say that to yourself.
3. Early in your career, when given the choice between opportunity and security, always choose opportunity.
4. Take responsibility for your actions and be purposeful in your decisions.

Andrew Screen


Andrew Screen headshot

I graduated from the AU TESOL program with an MIP in 2011 and began working in the Center for Language Education and Development at Georgetown University as an adjunct instructor. In 2012, I became a full-time faculty member in the EFL program at GU. I am interested in exploring ways to enhance learning for students through innovation and the use of technology.

Advice: Be honest with your students. Try new things. Don't let others tell you how YOU should teach. Test theories or methods in class, adapt and then test again. Be passionate about your teaching. When the passion dies, take a break and find a way to be reinspired.

Lauren White


Lauren White headshot

 I was thrilled after graduating from AU with my MAT in ESOL in 2007. I eventually wound up teaching EFL in institutes in South Korea in 2008 and then moved to Argentina, where I started working as a private English tutor. Now I am proud to say that I have truly found my niche teaching EFL to middle schoolers at the American International School of Buenos Aires. I love my job, and accredit a great deal of my success to what I learned while earning my degree.

Bryan Woerner


Headshot of Bryan Woerner

 I graduated with a master's in TESOL from American University in December 2004. I taught adult ESL for 7 years in the DC area and have worked for the Center for Applied Linguistics since 2005. At CAL, I conduct oral proficiency assessment training, do test development, and deliver professional development for teachers working with adult English learners. I have served on the WATESOL board as treasurer from 2007 to 2009, as Adult Ed SIG Co-Chair from 2011 to 2013, and most recently as President from 2014 to 2015.

Advice: Make connections. The TESOL community as a whole is very supportive network. DC is a great place to make connections, but it's important to attend events like TESOL to make national and international ones. You'll learn so much from others and find they are receptive to what you have to share. These connections can also lead to job opportunities as well.