ALI Instructor Profile – Glen Clabaugh

Glen Clabaugh

Glen Clabaugh

When a family friend told Glen Clabaugh he would be great at teaching English as a Second Language, it turned out to be sound advice.

Alicia Wszelaki had traveled all over the world teaching English and encouraged Clabaugh to take the TESL/TEFL program at the American Language Institute (ALI) to learn how to teach English to foreign students.

It led to something special.

He now teaches Pre-MBA and Pre-Master’s students and math at the ALI. He’s also working for the same SDSU College of Extended Studies as his wife, Lori, a graphic designer.

Life is good.

“I am very lucky,” he said. “We live close by. We get to commute together and spend time together.”

Glen Clabaugh took the first TESL/TEFL Certificate night program at the ALI in 2010. After earning his certificate, he spent two semesters as a facilitator with ALI before teaching in the Intensive English Communications (IEC) program.

He has loved his employment at ALI from the outset.

“This is a perfect job for me,” he said. “The students are fantastic. I love what I teach and what I do. I really consider myself lucky to work here as much as I can.”

Clabaugh is a native San Diegan who attended Mt. Carmel High School. He said he attended a “plethora” of community colleges in the area while figuring out what he wanted to do career-wise. He became a social science major at Chapman College and earned a single-subject degree to teach history.

Thereafter, he substituted in the Poway Unified School District and worked in different positions. He spent six years in supervision and after-school detention for the “bad kids.” Then he worked five years as director of education for Sylvan Learning Centers.

Unfortunately, he was out of work for two years when the economy took a downturn in 2008-09. Along came the TESL/TEFL Certificate program and a timely career change.

Known for his humor among ALI faculty and staff members, he also carries his style over to the classroom. In fact, his students get “duded” many times when he speaks to them.

“My students want it,” he said. “They hear what real Americans say. After they get duded, I will explain something to them in American English and tell them what it means.”

As an example, Clabaugh cites a recent vocabulary test where he and his students disagreed on the meaning of “maintain.” They assumed it meant “preserve;” he was emphasizing “to state or affirm.”

Yes, the English vocabulary is difficult to learn with different meanings for similar words.

Away from the office, Clabaugh teaches Kung Fu and enjoys going to the desert with his wife.