Frank Briski: From Aerospace to Teaching English as a Second Language

Frank Briski, Certificate Program in Teaching English as a Second Language

Originally a public finance instructor at Chabot College, before taking positions in the aerospace industry and as a software engineer, Briski is returning to his first love: teaching. Setting his sights on teaching English as a second language—a position he decided on while improving his own Mandarin fluency—Briski is a recent graduate of the Certificate Program in Teaching English as a Second Language

Briski credits the certificate instructors’ practical hands-on knowledge with not only bringing an excitement to the classroom but also providing him with skills to complete his student teaching practicum at the San Mateo Adult School. “The teachers have a solid background in their specialty, and it really came through,” Briski says. “Every teacher prepares a course syllabus or course reader, plus a textbook, so you have a good blend of their perspectives and the perspective of other authors.”

Briski also notes the positive experiences learning from his fellow classmates. “There’s always interaction—discussion in the classroom and in smaller groups,” he says. “Many students already have a tremendous amount of expertise in the field; it’s nice to work with students who have teaching careers right now; you learn a lot from them. The ESL program has been transformative, providing me with the essential tools to start my new career.”