English as a Second Language

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Sachiko Oates

Sachiko Oates



SBCC Continuing Education ESL since 2007



TESOL Certificate, UCSB, B.A. Law/Political Science, Kansai University


I was born and raised in a small town in Japan where I started learning English as a foreign language at the age of twelve. I’ve always been curious about people from different countries with their fascinating cultures and languages. However, what I was exposed to in my hometown was very limited: my father’s Beatles vinyl records, some Hollywood movies, and old “Beverly Hills 90210”episodes broadcasted through a national TV network.

It was during my college days in Osaka when I met people from so many different cultures on campus and in town that I became more serious about learning English. I was also able to travel to Europe, the U.S. and Southeast Asia to expand my horizons. In my junior year, I won a scholarship to go to University of Hawaii for a year as an exchange student where I studied International law and International relations. After coming back to Japan, my dream of being a diplomat changed to becoming an English teacher.

The way I viewed the world had changed dramatically as I was able to exchange ideas with people from around the globe, and I wanted to help others have the same experience. After college, I was hired at one of the largest private English schools in Japan. I worked there first as a teacher, then as an academic director at a branch school. This is also where I met my future husband, Jon. I moved to Santa Barbara with Jon in 2002. From 2005 to 2008 I worked for an intensive English program where I taught preparation classes for tests such as TOEFL, TOEIC and the Cambridge exams along with their core classes. I was also involved in textbook writing for their programs.

I have learned so much as a teacher and as a person through working with our wonderful, hardworking students. I am honored to be able to help improve my students’ and their families’ lives. I strive to provide relevant, informative, and fun lessons to them and try to create a sense of community in my class.

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