Teaching ESL Student Success Stories


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Andrea Bogue

Andrea’s love of the English language persuaded her to try out the TESL program after having worked as a chef for many years. It was the TESL practicum—which she completed at Boulder Valley Family Literacy Program—that hooked her. “I’ve never been as happy in a job as I am when teaching,” says Andrea. After a successful Front Range experience and earning the TESL Abroad certificate, Andrea transferred to Naropa University in 2011. She’s working toward a bachelor’s degree in Peace Studies with a minor in Writing. She continues to teach as an adult ESL specialist at Boulder Valley Family Literacy Program. “I’m realizing I can do many things and can have a diverse career life. Front Range helped me to become more successful and confident in life as well as in my academic studies. I learned that I can do anything I apply myself to.”

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Helen Nielsen

When Helen decided to go back to work after staying home with her children, she wanted to return to teaching—but a different set of students. The most rewarding part of her job years before as a middle school language arts teacher, she says, was working with ESL students. But after a decade away from the workforce, her teaching resume wasn’t landing her the position she sought. Helen decided to pursue the TESL Abroad certificate at FRCC to give her a leg up in the job search. Within a month of earning her certificate, Helen was teaching part time through the Center for Workforce Development and at FRCC’s Boulder County Campus. In 2007, the outgoing FRCC ESL program coordinator recommended Helen to replace her. Today, Helen holds that role and also teaches in the ESL and TESL programs. “The thing I love most at FRCC is the students. I admire their drive. Many have jobs and family and other types of commitments, but ESL students have an added language barrier.” An immigrant herself who was born in South Korea but raised in Lakewood, Helen relates well to both English-language learners and students who want to teach ESL students. “I really feel like this is my niche.”