A Conversation with CC English Teacher Doug Sponsler: “CC English Has Done the Hard Work for You”

My name is Doug Sponsler. I am married to my best friend and hiking partner, I recently retired from a career with the federal government, and I get to teach English to people thirsty to learn. In late 2017, I began teaching ESL at my church. The enthusiasm and warmth of the students drew me in and within a few weeks, I was hooked. That experience made it clear to me that teaching English would become a focus of my post-retirement life.

In early 2022, coinciding with my retirement, my wife and I completed an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) certification course with the goal of restarting the ESL program at our church. The program had stopped due to COVID. I also looked for a way to teach online, which is how I found CC English. I began teaching through CC English in March 2022. In October 2022, we restarted the ESL program at our church. The program started with 20 students but soon grew to nearly 100 students. The need for ESL classes is certainly great.

I’ve really enjoyed using Intercambio’s curriculum. The structure is similar to other curriculums that I’ve used, but the breadth and quality of the resources is top-notch. In particular, I appreciate The Immigrant Guide and the Color Vowel resources.

Though I had taught work-related classes via Zoom and other online tools, I was somewhat skeptical of teaching English online. At first, I found it a little awkward to teach one-on-one, but I’ve grown to appreciate the online approach and the opportunity to work with one student. Teaching one-on-one allows me to focus on the specific needs and interests of the student. It makes it easier to more deeply connect with the student. In that regard, I enjoy the Culture Tip question included in each CC English lesson. The question fosters a discussion that often goes well beyond the initial focus. Not only do I get to learn something new but, more importantly, the discussion momentarily interrupts the teacher/student roles. For a few minutes, it’s just two adults discussing cultural issues, current events, and our experiences.

For anyone considering teaching English, doing so through CC English is a great way to start. I used to think I needed to be certified to teach ESL. Though getting certified to teach provides some added tools, much of the certification training focuses on lesson development. CC English has done the hard work for you. They provide teachers and students with great resources, timely support, and the one-on-one ratio mitigates some of the nerves associated with standing in front of a class of students. There is really no chance of failure, just degrees of success.

The need for English language skills is great and growing. See the need of many. Meet the need of one.

Interested in teaching English? Become a CC English teacher today!

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