Carmen Harji—BCom and GCertTESOL graduate

Find out how Carmen’s Linguistics studies have taken her to high places.


Carmen enrolled in several undergraduate courses in linguistics and TESOL as part of her BCom in International Business at Victoria University of Wellington. After completing the BCom, and inspired by these courses, Carmen enrolled in the Graduate Certificate of TESOL, a 12 week programme taught over the summer trimester.

Carmen’s personal interest in geographically isolated and traditionally resource-constrained teaching contexts led her to work with the Ladakhi Women’s Travel Company in Northern India’s trekking base of Leh. Their mission is to provide young Ladakhi women with a livelihood whilst challenging traditional work roles in the male-dominated industry of mountain guiding.

Carmen’s work with this company involves building the basic language capabilities of porters in a lower English proficiency class through to addressing wider societal issues such as climate change, development and gender equality in classes for more proficient trainee guides.

Carmen identifies the practicum component of the GCertTESOL as being of particular value. As she says, it “gave me the confidence to lead classes and experiment with ways of managing a class to provide maximum opportunities for actual language use in the classroom. I could not have asked for a better start to my teaching career.”