From TESL/TEFL Student to ALI Facilitator – A Student’s Journey

Nosheen RizaiA native of Pakistan, Nosheen Rizai arrived in San Diego in 2010 to learn more about language enhancement. She came to SDSU to complete evaluations and eventually enrolled in the TESL/TEFL Certificate program since it was a good match with her bachelor’s in sociology and political science (she also has training in English literature and linguistics). She is fluent in Dari/Farsi, Urdu (the national language of Pakistan) and English, and decided to enroll at the ALI “to understand and learn which strategies are used in teaching English and how those strategies differ from the ones in Pakistan.”

“I’ve been exposed to ESL back home, but the difference here in the TESL/TEFL program is that certain strategies are very different. Those are class lectures presented by our lecturers in TESL/TEFL which include video testimonials and other more practical activities involved within in the class,” she adds.

Today and for the past year, Rizai has been in the classroom for about five hours a day helping students as a facilitator in the IEC and EAP program at the ALI. She says about her work, “As a student it’s really a learning process. I learned a lot about how to implement what I learned. I’m actually implementing these strategies as a facilitator. I want to help student gain language capabilities, fluency and correct usage. Also, it’s great to work with different people from different countries like Japan, China, Korea, and Germany. It’s a pleasure, and it’s an experience I will not forget in my life.”


Why did you decide to enroll in the program?

My initial goal was linguistics and to earn my master’s in linguistics, but now I know facilitating is a great opportunity and the program helped me to attain this position. I have come to realize I can do more because there are more opportunities available at SDSU and the ALI. Who knows, I might transition what I’ve learned into something other than language work – maybe get my MSA, Master of Science in Accountancy.

So you’re using the TESL/TEFL program as a stepping stone to future goals?

The program was excellent. Yes, a stepping stone for me that helped me to study more and encouraged me to reach my goals.

What were your initial thoughts about the program after you started it?

From the day I started the program, the program coordinator was really supportive in each and every aspect.  He was really helpful and then I found out he was going to teach most of the classes. He was always there for me. There are many people at the ALI that help you succeed. One of the aspects I found fascinating was that there were staff and teachers there to help you get a job abroad, which most TESL/TEFL students eventually want to experience. They help with your resume/CV. For example, one of my classmates is now working in Korea.