TESL Story: Sarah Lazarevic

January 17, 2023

How did you get into linguistics and why did you choose to do the TESL certificate?

I chose linguistics because I love languages. I've been learning different languages from a young age and it has always fascinated me how our brains learn languages and also how languages function, so I thought that pursuing a degree in linguistics was the best choice for me. On the other hand, I decided to do a TESL certificate because I really enjoy teaching English to other people. I knew that possibly being an English teacher is something I wanted to do in the future ever since I volunteered at a literacy centre as an ESL tutor. I had a great time there as a tutor to many wonderful students.

What is your most memorable or interesting experience of being part of the TESL program?

The most memorable part of being part of the TESL program was teaching my class in Ling362 Serbian, which is the language that I speak with my family. I was very nervous teaching it because I've never taught anyone this language before and showing them a completely different alphabet was the challenging part of coming up with a way to deliver this lesson to the class. Teaching the lesson in the end ended up being a success because of the multiple practices I did prior. I was happy with the results and effort that I had put in.

What are your plans after graduating and how are you planning on using the skills you learned in TESL to help you?

While I was planning on teaching ESL, I also did a degree in French. I am currently planning on applying for the PDP program in order to teach French to youth in the public school system.

Do you have any advice for students thinking to go into the TESL program?

One of the advice that I'd like to give is to not be too stressed when creating lesson plans for the students. Relax, go with the flow, and remember that it's important to have some fun. You can't make a student memorise every single thing and that is okay. They will acquire the language with experience. Games and hands-on activities are very helpful for the students because I find that problem-solving and working with English vocabulary that they're learning helps a lot in language acquisition.


This certificate program introduces undergraduate students to foundational topics in English grammar, second language acquisition, and classroom practices.

Applications for the Summer 2022 CTESL intake are open up to and including Tuesday, May 31.

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