Hip-hop creatives learn to teach EFL at NCF

Miles Iton '14
Miles Iton ’14

New College alumni are teaming up to show the campus community how to teach English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in an edgy, artistic way. The Lo-Fi Language Learning’s Arts ‘n EFL Training program, founded by Miles Iton ’14, will begin on February 1 (the deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. Fri. Jan. 22).

This is a ​three-month virtual program for​ hip-hop creatives (emcees, songwriters, music producers, DJs, storytellers, spoken word artists, etc.) representing underserved communities who are interested in pursuing careers as EFL instructors.

Students enrolled in this program must be 18 years old and have reliable Internet access. The course is open to five New College students and five community members. Participants can earn up to six transferrable college credit hours; will follow a guided curriculum toward completing both a 120-hour Master TEFL certification course through BridgeTEFL; and will attend a twice-a-week series of creative curriculum design workshops including a “Floetry” and “Freestyle Course.”

This opportunity is part of the “New College and the Cross College Alliance in the Community” program, which is made possible by a five-year $750,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Meet the teachers:

Miles Iton ’14 (founder and program director) is an interdisciplinary educator and multimedia artist from Miami. After receiving a master’s degree in creative industries design from Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University (thanks to the Fulbright program), he parlayed his thesis project into the hip-hop EFL teaching startup, Lo-Fi Language Learning. His work in the industry stretches from DJing and hosting live shows to producing ethereal concept albums, award-winning indie shorts and festival-quality music videos. As Irie Givens, his international recordings can be found on most streaming platforms. He is also a digital marketing specialist.

Naimul Chowdhury ’14 (EFL instructor) is an educator and language acquisition enthusiast who has taken the lead on keeping Lo-Fi Language Learning trainees caught up on their BridgeTEFL coursework. As a 2021 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellow and alumni ambassador for the Critical Language Scholarship Program, Chowdhury sees enormous potential for Lo-Fi Language Learning trainees to become a source of cultural exchange and competency for global youth. By learning about the diversity of peoples and dialects in the United States, children will be better equipped for engagement with people from all walks of life, Chowdhury believes. He will apply his Mandarin language proficiency to tailor arts education lessons to Taiwanese youth.

Eileen Calub ’18 (EFL Instructor) is a TEFL-certified English teacher and a lifelong language lover who is eager to assist Lo-Fi Language Learning trainees in completing BridgeTEFL coursework. As a recipient of four United States Department of State/Defense scholarships for study abroad: the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (Mandarin Chinese), the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (German), the Critical Language Scholarship Program (Turkish) and the David L. Boren Scholarship (Turkish), Calub strongly believes in the mission of Lo-Fi Language Learning to empower artists and creatives with intercultural competence. During the pilot program, Calub will assist in preparing trainees to present teaching materials that highlight the diversity of American society and foster an inclusive classroom environment.

Donovan Brown ’13 (communications and content manager) has dedicated his career to serving others. He was an English volunteer in the Peace Corps, serving in Sierra Leone, West Africa, from 2017 to 2019. After returning, Brown served as a community organizer in Jacksonville with the Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment (ICARE). He led a mental health campaign that resulted in the police department committing to train infield officers in the nationally recognized Crisis Intervention Team program. Brown joined Lo-Fi Language Learning because he believes in its mission to empower educators and creatives to pursue their passions (while using their skills to provide a stable means of income for themselves).

Click here to apply for the Lo-Fi Language Learning’s Arts ‘n EFL Training program and learn about the requirements.For more information, visit instagram.com/lofilanguage or email lofilanguagelearning@gmail.com.


Founded in Sarasota in 1960, New College of Florida is the state's only legislatively designated Honors College of Florida. New College prepares intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement by providing a highly individualized education that integrates academic rigor with career-building experiences. New College offers 45 undergraduate majors in liberal arts and sciences, a master’s degree program in data science, and certificates in technology, finance, and business skills.

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