ASU students engage with English language learners, learn about university-based ESL programs

November 12, 2020

Aya Matsuda, Arizona State University associate professor of applied linguistics, recognizes the need for her students to gain a deeper understanding of Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) and different student experiences as part of the English language learning journey.

“Most students have never seen how English as a Second Language (ESL) is taught. I wanted to provide an opportunity for my students to meet ESL students from different parts of the world and broaden their perspectives," she  said. "It gives them a chance to learn about new cultures while reflecting on what they are used to and may take for granted. That, in my view, is a great learning opportunity for any ASU student.” Students in Aya Matsuda's ENG 404 class meet with international students studying English at Global Launch. Download Full Image

To help, Matsuda called upon Global Launch, ASU’s English language learning and academic preparation unit. Currently Global Launch provides English language learning courses and programs to students seeking to improve their English proficiency for university admission or for career development. More than 40 global educators teach English in Global Launch, and all have at least a master’s degree in TESOL. 

“Global Launch has a unique way of thinking about English language learning and teaching," said Lois Malone, assistant director of academic services at Global Launch. "A lot of our teaching philosophy comes from the staff and faculty’s experiences working and living abroad, often in places where they had to learn a new language themselves. Global Launch educators bring this experience, empathy and knowledge into their classrooms and make the language learning both engaging and relevant to students. Helping students realize their dreams by removing language barriers and cultivating shared human connection is what motivates all of us at Global Launch.” 

On the day of the collaboration, students from ENG 404 observed a live class in the Global Launch Online Immersion program at various English proficiency levels. Then, Matsuda’s students were paired with the ESL learners to participate in “Meet an ASU student” — an activity created and hosted by Global Launch activities coordinator Linda Hill and global educator Tom Becskehazy.

“'Meet an ASU student' allows our ESL learners a chance to practice their conversation skills and create meaningful connections with other cultures. Conversation practice with actual American students is an invaluable experience for international students, and something that would be very difficult to replicate outside of an English language program,” Hill said.

At the same time, Matsuda’s students learned more about the language learning experience directly from the learners themselves. 

While some students were unsure about their ability to communicate with English language learners, they soon figured out how to make their speech more understandable, and began to enjoy the conversation, quickly finding out how much they had in common.

“Overall my students felt they learned a lot about their group members and their cultures, and that, in my opinion, is an invaluable learning experience,” Matsuda said.

To learn more about or to partner with the Global Launch English language program visit

Samantha Talavera

Asst. Director, Global Marketing and Communications, Global Academic Initiatives

ASU Global Launch achieves milestone 100,000 enrollments in online TESOL certification course

October 15, 2020

In the wake of the pandemic, many U.S. institutions were forced to reimagine the way education is administered online. 

At Arizona State University, online learning has lived alongside traditional learning models for almost 10 years, and at Global Launch, ASU’s English language learning and academic preparation unit, students have been learning online since 2015. Global Launch English Language Educator Nick Velde interacts with students online Global Launch English language educator Nick Velde interacts with students online. Download Full Image

Part of Global Launch’s arsenal of online programs and courses is the award-winning Teach English Now! (TEN!), a 150-hour TESOLTeaching English to speakers of other languages certification course hosted on the Coursera platform, which has helped more than 2,800 learners from around the world achieve an online TESOL certificate.

This September, Global Launch’s Teach English Now! TESOL certification course surpassed 100,000 online learners for the first time.

“We are honored to see that so many people have access to our certificate program," said Dianna Lippincott, Global Launch’s assistant director of innovation. "Some learners are beginning a new career, while others are already teachers and are improving their craft to impact the future of their students. We continually hear remarks that learners thought online learning would be difficult at first, but find that they enjoy learning in this modality and the community that is built in the courses and sustained through social media.” 

Shane Dixon, Teach English Now!’s primary instructor, attributes collaborative teaching efforts and engaging content to the success of TEN!

“We have more than a dozen TESOL professionals who were willing not only to teach, but to act out visual stories that illustrate major ESL (English as a second language) principles," said Dixon. "For example, participants will watch our educators teach reading and writing through the framework of 'The Wizard of Oz,' as they watch Dorothy, played by Global Educator Jessica Cinco, encounter different reading obstacles and famous characters along the way. Similarly, participants learn listening and speaking in technology through the theme of the movie ‘The Matrix.' The storytelling aspects of these courses help participants not only enjoy our courses, but give learners strong metaphorical links that improve the memory recall of important principles.”

Based on a survey of Teach English Now! participants, 49% of learners started a new career, 50% reported a tangible career benefit and 25% reported actual pay increases or promotions after completing the online course and earning their 150-hour TESOL certificate.

According to learner Patricia T., “I've taught for decades and learned principles I've never heard before. Teach English Now! was my first online class, but I was able to easily follow and retain the information and visualize how I will apply some of the new techniques I learned. The peer assignments were thought-provoking, and it was beneficial to see what my peers in the class had to say. I thoroughly enjoyed this course.”

For more information about the Teach English Now! 150-hour online TESOL certification or for more information about online English language programs at ASU, contact Global Launch at

Samantha Talavera

Asst. Director, Global Marketing and Communications, Global Academic Initiatives