First Advisor

Kimberly A. Brown

Term of Graduation

Winter 1998

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Applied Linguistics




Christian education -- Study and teaching, English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, vi, 126 pages)


There is currently a debate among language educators regarding the training and certification of EFL teachers. Largely ignored in this debate are short-term volunteer teachers in church-affiliated English language mission programs. These teachers fall somewhere on the continuum between untrained language teachers and trained professional language educators. The current study took place in response to the lack of research information available on this aspect of ESL/EFL teacher education.

This study focused on the training that is provided to volunteer ESL/EFL teachers affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) denomination. The four research questions sought to determine how the content and procedures of the SDA training programs compared to two intensive ESL/EFL training programs recommended by Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), what motivations and previous training or experience trainees possessed, their assessment of the training they received, and what suggestions can be made for improvement of training programs based on their evaluation.

Data from the 79 study participants were collected using a questionnaire designed to assess the practices and procedures used in short-term volunteer English teacher training programs. During a four-year period ( 1993-97) all of the study participants had taught in English language mission programs affiliated with the SDA denomination.

Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. It was shown that SDA training programs are significantly shorter, cover less content, and use fewer procedures than the two intensive ESL/EFL training programs recommended by TESOL. Most of the volunteers have no previous training or experience and one of their strongest reasons for becoming a volunteer teacher was a desire to share the gospel. Perceived weaknesses of the training greatly outnumbered strengths. Sixty-seven percent of respondents reported feeling inadequately prepared and only 27% stated they were satisfied with their training. Recommendations for improvement include mandatory training in a standardized training program which is based on needs analysis. inclusion of more content and use of a wider variety of training procedures. an action plan for implementing the needed changes, and dialogue with Christian Educators in TESOL (CETESOL) regarding the training Christian organizations provide for volunteer short-term missionaries teaching English.


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