"What Was It Like to Learn English?" Learner Interviews in TESL Training

  • Linda Bebout


To help the students in my introductory TESL course learn about the backgrounds and experiences of ESL learners like those they might someday teach, I have each TESL student find and interview a nonnative speaker of English in the community. They ask a variety of questions about the learners' English-language history, such as when they began learning English, whether they received formal ESL instruction, and what it feels like to live and work in a new language. They then write a report of their interview and share their information with the other TESL students in the class. Through this assignment, they gain vivid and valuable insights into both positive and negative aspects of second-language learning, the diversity of paths an immigrant can take to learning English, and the real people behind the abstractions in their textbooks.
How to Cite
Bebout, L. (2001). "What Was It Like to Learn English?" Learner Interviews in TESL Training. TESL Canada Journal, 19(1), 73-79. https://doi.org/10.18806/tesl.v19i1.921
In the Classroom/En Classe