Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages program is designed to improve participants’ professional skills teaching English to non-native speakers, as well as their personal abilities to apply English in diverse settings. Participants will learn about linking theory and practice through instruction on teaching methods, lesson development and assessment. The program aims to provide opportunities for participants to:

  1. Design curricula and materials for teaching diverse age groups and ability levels.
  2. Practice teaching English to non-native speakers with tutorial supervision and feedback.
  3. Develop an understanding of American culture through coursework and planned experiences.

All MITI programs integrate the philosophy of living English to enhance cultural and language skills in a unique way.


  • Academic workshops: This program includes a series of seminars and workshops that are presented by experienced English instructors. Workshops provide the opportunity for participants to work individually and in groups for practical, hands-on teaching and learning that will enhance classroom instruction and lesson development. Topics may include:
    • Dialogues and roleplay
    • English games and activities
    • Lesson plan development
    • Literacy
    • Teaching English through music
    • Teaching materials
    • Teaching methods
    • Teaching styles
    • Teaching vocabulary
    • Teaching young learners
    • Team teaching
  • Site visits and classroom observation: Participants will have the opportunity to visit Columbia Public Schools and work with key administrators regarding the American education system and teacher roles and responsibilities. They will observe experienced English as a second language and homeroom teachers working with students in an American school setting. Following classroom observations, participants will create lesson plans in teams to give cultural presentations in American public school settings. Mentor teachers will guide and evaluate this process.
  • Professional presentation classes: These have been designed to provide an intensive English speaking experience for program participants. The coursework includes a variety of speech and drama activities geared toward enhancing the skills necessary for effective communication. The activities have been developed to help participants increase their speaking abilities; improve vocabulary, diction and pronunciation; and gain confidence in various speaking situations.
  • Presentations: Participants will complete two team presentations during the program.
  • American cultural seminars and field trips: In addition to professional training, participants on this program will engage in a number of American cultural activities, including visiting American homes, interactions with American college students and trips to nearby communities and cultural attractions. Cultural field trips in Missouri include:
    • Jefferson City — Missouri State Capitol, Scholastic Publishing
    • St. Louis — Gateway Arch, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Zoo
    • Kansas City — Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Major League Baseball game
    • Columbia — Daniel Boone Regional Library, The District, Columbia Mall
  • Weekly coffee hour: These sessions give program participants the opportunity to interact with American university students, staff and instructors in a casual setting. This experience is designed to provide participants with a low-risk environment to practice English, learn about American culture and education, and make friends with native English speakers.