Your Next Adventure: Teaching English Abroad
Traveling to other countries can often focus on sightseeing, sometimes at the expense of truly getting to know a place — and the people who live there.
An exceptional way to learn more about a specific culture is to move there, and just stay awhile. And you can do that by learning a marketable skill — like teaching English — that will not only support you while you live in another country, it will give you an instant introduction to your new community.
The first step on this adventure? Get certified to Teach English to Speakers of Other Languages — or TESOL for short.
Your sherpa is skilled instructor Colleen Comidy, who uses her extensive experience in teaching foreign languages and English as a Second Language to guide budding teachers in the fine art of teaching English to non-native speakers.
Read on to learn more about Colleen’s background and experience.
What classes do you teach for Seattle Central?
I teach a wide range of ESL classes in Seattle Central’s Institute of English (SCIE) — from beginning level to college bridge, in all 4 skill areas: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
How long have you been teaching?
What's your educational & professional background?
While teaching has been my longest career — I have been at Seattle Central 16 years — I have done many interesting and varied things.
My BA from the University of Washington is in Clothing, Textiles and Art, and I worked for several years making leather bags and garments for a local Seattle shop.
I went on to working in the costume shop at Pacific Northwest Ballet, and after a few years managed the shop for a time. I was also a dresser for theatrical productions in Seattle.
While studying for my BA, I also took Italian classes and my love of the Italian language inspired me to go to Italy, where I found work with a bridal couturier. I spent a year there and when I came back, I decided to further my love of Italian by earning an MA in Italian Language and Literature at New York University.
While I studied, I worked for several costumers in New York, making costumes for Broadway plays and the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park productions. I also worked for a year at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Upon completion of my MA, I started to teach Italian at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Pratt Institute.
After some years, I decided to go abroad again and, at that time, I transferred my skills from teaching Italian to teaching English and I have been teaching English ever since!
What do you enjoy the most about teaching your classes at Seattle Central?
I meet so many interesting and inspiring people in the classroom.
I also enjoy just getting to know students, hearing their stories and watching them grow as learners and speakers of English.
I love Seattle Central’s diversity and commitment to serving all students.
I also love the lively urban setting, eating lunch in the Culinary Program’s dining rooms and Friday afternoon BOGO pastries!
Tell us about an inspirational teaching moment.
When students “get” it: They make a breakthrough and demonstrate proficiency in something they have been struggling with.
Colleen did a great job, and I immensely enjoyed her class and teaching style! It is clear that she is very dedicated to the material and her students.
- I don’t really have one favorite — I enjoy jazz, blues, Motown, funk and more
- Some of my all-time favorites are the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart and Tina Turner, but I also enjoy many contemporary artists
- It changes all the time — I like “slice of life“movies that have happy, sad, humorous and unexpected moments
- Recently, I really enjoyed Brooklyn and Boyhood