Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Over half the population of the world lives under governments that restrict the entry of foreign religious workers. But when missionaries are not welcome, people with nation building skills—such as English teachers—are welcomed. For approximately 60 nations in the world, being a skilled worker is the major means of gaining entry. For 30 nations, it is the only means of entry. Whether or not you have any prior training in this area, TESOL is a course that will equip you with skills that can open many doors of opportunity in restricted access nations, and among our many multicultural neighbors.

The need

There are two billion people all over the world right now learning the English language. It’s the most widely learned and sought after second language in the world. And that’s where you come in.

Because so many people want to learn English, most missionaries from North America find themselves teaching in classrooms at some point during their overseas ministry. A large number of YWAM’s ministries around the world use English classes as a tool for evangelism by building relationships in their communities. Many of YWAM Montana-Lakeside’s outreach teams spend at least part of their time teaching English to locals or university students, and most of those missionaries have never had any formal training as language teachers.

It’s because of this need for teachers that our TESOL program was created. This short course is designed to quickly and effectively train any English speaker as a fully certified English teacher. The certification given at Lakeside is also very unique to YWAM since our graduates are not only certified by YWAM’s University of the Nations but also receive a secular Certificate IV through a recognized training institute in Australia. It’s this second TESOL certification that unlocks many doors overseas, and many of our graduates have gone on to work in some of the hardest to reach nations on the planet.

All are welcome

Since there is no prerequisite for attending TESOL, this is a great course for any who are interested in YWAM but have not yet completed a Discipleship Training Course (DTS)—the two-part introductory course that is required before you attend most other YWAM schools. For many, however, their first introduction to the world of YWAM is through attending our TESOL. This course is a great way for anyone to experience life on a YWAM campus which is respected around the world, and to make invaluable connections with other missionaries you will first meet here before meeting them again overseas.

You will need to have a fairly good grasp of the English language in order to complete this course and its spoken and written requirements, however English does not have to be your first language and multilingual students are encouraged to apply to this course!

The most intensive, the most rewarding

There is no doubt that TESOL is one of the most intensive schools in all of YWAM. It is also one of the most rewarding, as it will give you an international certification and the practical skills needed to become an English teacher in any country on the mission field—and all of this in a few short action-packed months.

Our newly designed schedule consists of two evening lectures on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 pm to 9:30 pm. Students will join with other schools and meetings on campus for prayer and worship throughout the week, and all students at YWAM Montana-Lakeside participate in various work duties that support the campus and positively add to the learning environment. Any remaining time may be spent completing assignments, preparing lessons, planning for outreaches, and participating in optional focus workshops.

Saturday mornings will be dedicated to the Practicum—the section of the course that includes hands-on experience with many hours of realistic on-the-job practice teaching with English language learners from a variety of nations. In the Practicum, the TESOL student now becomes the teacher—applying all that he or she has learned during lectures and study.

Summer and Fall Outreaches

There are numerous opportunities in our Target Nations for you to teach English, build relationships, and transform communities through sharing your life and faith with others. For those who desire to go, we will be coordinating a few optional outreaches that are open to TESOL students who graduate from the course. Students may be able to complete their outreach as part of a team, or individually on their own. Outreach locations will be determined during the course and will be selected among the growing list of opportunities in our Target Nations and The Surge.

Completing an outreach is purely optional and not required to receive a TESOL certificate. These outreaches are not included in the listed price of the course, and an additional fee would be added depending on the outreach’s location and length. Contact your school leader, Cortnie, for more information: tesol@ywammontana.org

Any students interested in joining an international outreach should plan for an additional $3000 minimum for each location, and students should bring any necessary travel documents with them to the course. If you have another outreach location on your heart that is not included in our list of Target Nations, then let us know as we would love to assist you in that mission as well. Our end goal is for more people to be connected, equipped, and sent to every nation.

TESOL & Mission Builders

This Spring we are offering a special opportunity for anyone interested in attending our TESOL course while serving as a “Mission Builder”—a full-time volunteer helping on our YWAM campus—at the same time. We have stretched our popular seminar into a three-month evening course (Monday and Wednesday evening classes, with practice teaching sessions on Saturday mornings), and by doing this we’ve made this upcoming TESOL course available to Mission Builders and our own YWAM staff. So come and experience life at YWAM Montana as a full-time volunteer, and spend the evenings side-by-side with our YWAM staff as we explore the world of English teaching in missions and prepare for whatever God is calling us toward, together. We look forward to serving—and learning—with you!

If serving the campus full-time as a Mission Builder, the cost of this year’s TESOL course will be significantly reduced for you (only $1,000 for both TESOL certificates and all necessary materials—a third of the normal price of the course). As a Mission Builder, you will be placed in a working environment that suits your abilities and meets some of the basic logistical needs of our campus. You will have the opportunity to work alongside our long-term YWAM staff and develop meaningful relationships while gaining insight into full-time service.

To learn more about this special opportunity, visit the Mission Builders International website. If you are interested in becoming a Mission Builder, apply online at their website and contact Donna at mbi@missionbuilders.net and let her know you’re interested in participating in the Spring TESOL at YWAM Montana.


Upcoming Schools

  • Spring 2016

    • Start Date:04/04/16
    • End Date:06/24/16
    • Total Cost:USD 3,000
      Apply By Dates
    • By Applicant Nationality
    • African:10/07/15
    • Canadian:03/05/16
    • International:12/06/15
    • Domestic:03/21/16
    Apply Online Chat Now
  • More Dates
    Coming Soon
Apply By Dates

The "Apply By Dates" are dates that are generated by your nationality, and our Registrar's estimation of time needed to properly process and acquire all the materials necessary for any student to attend one of our schools. If you have missed the apply by date set for your nationality and are still interested in attending the school, please feel free to email our Registrar's Office at registrar@ywammontana.org to see if applying is still a possibility.


Weekly Schedule

Highly condensed in both learning and application, the program is from 8 am to 9:30 pm Monday through Friday, with a short session on Saturday mornings. In total, this comprises more than 400 hours of lectures, small group presentations, practice teachings, homework assignments, work duties, optional focus workshops, prayer and worship, and travel. This also includes oral and written assignments, and an in-depth assessment process that meets all of the qualifications to receive an Australian Cert IV upon completion of the Lecture and Practicum components of the course. Monday and Wednesday evenings will be spent in the classroom with lectures and presentations, and Saturday mornings with be focused on Practicum—the section of the course that includes hands-on experience with more than 25 hours of realistic on-the-job practice teaching with English language learners in a nearby city.

Lectures 7 Hours/Week

7 Hours/Week

During the instruction portion of this course, students can expect many hours of lecture on topics relevant to English language teaching, with a special focus on the world of Christian missions. Most lectures include thought-provoking conversations and stand-on-your-feet activities, designed to keep you actively learning throughout these classes. Small groups are often used to facilitate and inspire discussions and to create common partnerships and presentations.

Practicum 3 Hours/Week

3 Hours/Week

Practicum is when the student becomes the teacher. It is designed to give every TESOL graduate hands-on experience in a real language classroom. Classes are taught in teams, and evaluations are given by both peers and TESOL instructors alike. Many life-changing friendships have been made in our Practicum classrooms, a testament to the power of teacher-student relationships and the promise of every TESOL graduate as a future world-changer.

Work Duties 10 Hours/Week

10 Hours/Week

As a school, we join together with other students on the campus to help care for the facilities with which we've been blessed. These work duties often include housekeeping, meal prep, meal clean-up, or another area of service. At YWAM Montana we believe in a servant-hearted attitude and lifestyle and creating a "live/learn" environment, a philosophy based on the idea of establishing a community where both staff and students live, eat, work, and study in close proximity for maximized learning opportunities.

Lesson Preparation and Study 10 Hours/Week

10 Hours/Week

Students will be required to spend a few hours of each day to prepare lessons and complete assignments on their own. Remaining time will be spent accomplishing work duties, focus workshops, or leisure activities. As preparation for practice teachings, students will spend some time in groups planning lessons with their Practicum team. With this in mind, come with a loving servant-hearted attitude that values teamwork—a necessary part of any large endeavor.


Optional Focus Workshops 5 Hours/Week

5 Hours/Week

Occasionally, we will have opportunities for students to either gain practical skills or deepen their understanding in topics introduced during the evening lectures. These seminars are completely optional and students will be given personalized instruction to suit their individual needs.

Focus workshops will include the following sessions:

  • The iPad as a tool for teachers
  • “Blended Learning” and other modern Education trends
  • Basic computer skills and resources
  • Video lecture series
  • and More...

Prayer & Worship 5 Hours/Week

5 Hours/Week

At YWAM Montana, along with YWAM International, we value Worship and Intercessory Prayer. We also think it's a great way to start your day. During TESOL we will have at least 2.5 hours of prayer and 2.5 hours of corporate worship each week.

Travel 1 Hours/Week

1 Hours/Week

Each Saturday we will drive to a neighboring city in order to complete the Practicum component of the course. It's a short drive and transportation is provided. A TESOL classic happens on some Saturdays after Practicum when we go out for coffee and ice cream with our English students in town. And be sure to look out for a wild moose or herd of bison on the ride back to the YWAM campus—such sightings have happened in the past!



A TESOL outreach is optional and not required for the certificate. Opportunities range from 4 weeks to 12 weeks.

School Leaders


Andrew & Cortnie Brooks

Andrew is originally from California and he currently resides here at YWAM Montana-Lakeside with his wife, Cortnie, and their three children, Eoghan , Finn and Lochlan. Andrew has been working with TESOL seminars in Lakeside since 2009. In fall 2012, he completed his DTS here at Lakeside along with his family, and their outreach was to Reykjavik, Iceland. Andrew has a heart for inspiring and equipping others to fulfill their dreams and all God has for them. He loves to spend time outdoors hiking and backpacking, watching movies with subtitles, and he makes a mean cappuccino.

Cortnie is from Oakhurst, California. She attended her DTS at YWAM Montana-Lakeside in fall of 2003, and her outreach was to England and Northern Ireland. She now lives in Lakeside with her husband, Andrew, and their three beautiful children, Eoghan, Finnegan and Lochlan. She has been staffing and leading TESOL seminars at Lakeside since 2009. Cortnie has a heart for seeing people grow to their full potential and daring them to dream the biggest of dreams. She always likes reading a good book, growing peppers in her garden, and drinking coffee with friends. And she loves collating.

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(406) - 844 - 2221
YWAM Montana | Lakeside
501 Blacktail Rd.
Lakeside MT, 59922
United States
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