Practicum

Welcome! If you’re here, you are probably looking for practical experience to strengthen your facilitation/teaching skills. We provide practicum opportunities and coaching along with programs like CIEE, International TEFL Academy, Peace Corps, and academic TESOL programs, among others.

Every year, we meet hundreds of language learners and connect them to teachers in training. Before the pandemic, we ran about 20 sites with around 50 apprentice facilitators per year. During the pandemic we connect hundreds of individuals to 1:1 language teaching opportunities.

It’s a lot of work with a lot of moving parts, and we do a it with very few resources. In order to receive any kind of recommendation or practicum credit from us, regardless of what your program requires that you do, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Complete 4 Shadowing experiences (counts as 4 hours of “observation” for most programs)
  • Do a Technical Rehearsal
  • Do a Dress Rehearsal¬†(counts as 2 hours “teaching” for most programs)
  • Enroll in the Ampersand Facilitator Training apprenticeship
  • Complete the Stage0 and Stage1 Missions
  • Complete 30 hours of practical experience
  • Complete Exit procedures

Only after these steps are completed will we sign any papers or make any recommendation or evaluation of your performance as a language teacher.

Any evaluation must be signed by the Program Director or specifically designated person. Facilitators/Tutors in the classes cannot sign off on Practicum experiences – they are often in training themselves.

We work really hard to provide an amazing real world language & cultural skills development curriculum. Our learners work really hard to make their dreams come true for their families in an unfamiliar world that doesn’t always appreciate them. You will work really hard to become a good teacher, too.

Here’s the Story:

One of the reasons P-P-T exists is that founder and program director Patrik was enrolled in a TESOL program at Portland State University (TESL Certificate). It’s a great program. It required 70 hours of practice teaching. He did more than 100. But the problem was – he felt that he was just thrown into these community-based settings, and didn’t really know how to turn the theory into practice. He had no praxis.

Fast forward 10 years, hundreds of classes taught, and long frustrating hours trying to make effective learning experiences. People walked out of classes. Many would compliment, but then never come back. He thought, “I’ll never actually see anyone learn anything, it’s all just thousands of drops in hundreds of buckets.”

Until he threw out everything he thought he was supposed to do. And the classes started to grow. People came back. He could see people learning – because they’d come back, and they’d respond more quickly and confidently with continued attendance.

This process took many years of frustration – not just for Patrik, but for his students too. And that’s why he started an organization that would focus more on practical skills of classroom facilitation and personal language coaching, and less on the concepts and theories of language learning. This doesn’t have to take as long for you as it did for him – but there are no short cuts. Many people say it takes 1000 hours of practice to get good. But even before you get good – well before – you can lose your fear, get your bearings, learn the ropes. Kick your anxiety.

Confidence is what we’re really offering. We’re showing you how to do it. But you can’t just act confident when you’ve got no skills – that’s arrogance. Natural confidence comes from doing it a lot. This is true for language learning; for language teaching; and for any kind of intercultural skill.