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Posts from the ‘TESOL’ Category

*Students’ Countries: 2008-2011

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while, but never got around to it until now.

I started teaching in February 2008 at Kaplan in Seattle and finished (for now) at North Seattle Community College and Kaplan at the beginning of May 2011. Over that 3 year period, I taught students from 47 different countries! (The diversity of the classroom is just one of the many things I love about teaching English).

Check out the map and the list below to see where everyone was from:

1. Algeria
2. Argentina
3. Bangladesh
4. Bolivia
5. Brazil
6. Bulgaria
7. Cameroon
8. China
9. Colombia
10. Congo
11. Czech Republic
12. Eritrea
13. Ethiopia
14. France
15. Germany
16. Hong Kong
17. Iceland
18. India
19. Indonesia
20. Iran
21. Iraq
22. Israel
23. Italy
24. Japan
25. Jordan
26. Kazakhstan
27. Kuwait
28. Libya
29. Macau
30. Mali
31. Mexico
32. Mongolia
33. Nepal
34. Pakistan
35. Poland
36. Russia
37. Saudi Arabia
38. Slovakia
39. Somalia
40. South Korea
41. Spain
42. Switzerland
43. Taiwan
44. Thailand
45. Turkey
46. Venezuela
47. Vietnam

*Students’ Countries: 2010

This year I taught students from 36 different countries!

One of my favorite things about my job is getting to meet people from so many different places. While I teach English, I get to learn from them about their countries, cultures, and languages.

This year I learned how to say ‘Thank you’ in Amharic (Ethiopia) and Punjabi (India), ‘How are you’ in Tigrinya (Eritrea), ‘I’m hungry’ and ‘See you later’ in Arabic, ‘I have an older brother and a younger sister’ in Chinese, and ‘Hello’ in Vietnamese. (At least, at the end of the year, these are the phrases I can remember)!

Here’s a map showing where everyone is from:

The countries are:

  1. Algeria
  2. Bangladesh
  3. Bolivia
  4. Brazil
  5. Bulgaria
  6. Cameroon
  7. China
  8. Colombia
  9. Congo
  10. Czech Republic
  11. Eritrea
  12. Ethiopia
  13. Germany
  14. India
  15. Indonesia
  16. Iran
  17. Iraq
  18. Israel
  19. Japan
  20. Jordan
  21. Libya
  22. Macau
  23. Mali
  24. Mexico
  25. Mongolia
  26. Nepal
  27. Pakistan
  28. Poland
  29. Saudi Arabia
  30. Somalia
  31. South Korea
  32. Spain
  33. Taiwan
  34. Thailand
  35. Turkey
  36. Vietnam

It was definitely a diverse, interesting year in teaching.  I had a blast working with both international students and immigrants and refugees.  Here’s to 2010, and looking forward to 2011!


I’ve been slow to blog about this, but I had a great trip to Boston for the TESOL conference.  Liana, one of my friends and former classmate at SPU, and I traveled together and stayed with Karen, a friend from college who’s now in grad school at Emerson in Boston.

The conference itself was really good.  I enjoyed attending sessions to learn about successful teaching techniques and to get ideas, browsing the exhibit hall and looking through all the textbooks (yes, I’m a nerd), and catching up with former classmates and professors.

I attended sessions such as:

  • Using Podcasts to Integrate Speaking, Listening, and Pronunciation Skills
  • Real Grammar: Teaching Students How We Really Write and Speak
  • Tales from the Other Side of the Desk
  • Language Through Peace, Peace Through Language
  • Re-Imagining the Use of Authentic Readings
  • Connecting IEP Students to the University Through a Practicum Project
  • Boost Academic Vocabulary to Boost Results
  • Implementing Multiple Intelligences Theory
  • Re-Imagining Vygotsky, Dewey, and Freire for English Language Learning

If any of those actually sound interesting to you, you probably are an ESOL teacher, or ought to consider it 😉 .  During the conference I also saw two of my former professors present and was able to go out for lunch or happy hour with several former classmates to catch up.

Liana and I even attended a cocktail party put on by one of the textbook companies (Pearson Longman) at a house on Beacon St.

After the conference we stayed in Boston for a few more days to tour the city and hang out with Karen.  We visited Harvard, did a city tour on the Ducks, walked the Freedom Trail and saw the Old North Church of Paul Revere fame, ate Italian food at Il Villagio and had cannoli from Mike’s in the North End, saw Fenway Park, and went to the Museum of Fine Arts.

Having wanted to visit Boston for a long time now, I loved finally being able to explore the city. It was a really cool place; a little more alive and a little more “city” than Seattle, in my opinion. I loved all the old brick buildings, the Common, and that the public transport there works pretty efficiently. Also, I met a lot of interesting people (mainly friends of Karen’s) who are in grad school at some of the many universities in Boston.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip… Thanks to Karen for letting us stay at your place, and thanks to Seattle Community Colleges for helping pay for the trip!

*Degree complete!

Well, I am officially a Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages now. At least, I have a degree that says so!

Finishing grad school is a great feeling- for the first time in my life, I am done writing papers and taking exams with no future plans for writing or taking any more! (I’m sure I will still be grading quite a few, but that’s another thing entirely).

I had a really great experience at SPU- the program has wonderful professors and I learned so much from both them and my classmates. While I won’t miss the assignments, I will miss seeing my classmates on a regular basis.

The craziest part of it all is that I have now finished doing what I moved to Seattle to do- get a master’s degree. So, this naturally leads to the question that everyone has been asking… what’s next? That’s a great question, and one that I do not have a direct answer for, yet. (However, if you’d rather know the Latin roots of a word like “unanimous” or the difference between the simple past, past progressive, present perfect, present perfect progressive, past perfect, and past perfect progressive, I’m happy to answer those questions, with examples. Email me).

For now, I’ll still be teaching as usual and tutoring for Microsoft. I’m looking for another part-time job as well, preferably teaching an ESL class at a community college, but I’d be up for something that didn’t require planning and preparing as well. I’m also planning to finally complete a very long application for living in a particular country that is close to my heart… but we’ll see what happens with that.  Details will be given when there are details to share.  It’s too early to know anything yet!

One thing is for sure… until further notice, I am quite content to be in Seattle enjoying the sunny weather of summer, the amazing coffee, cheering on the Mariners, and spending time with my incredible friends, not stressing about school!

*English pronunciation might not be as easy as you think…

*April Showers Bring May Flowers?

As I write this, it is so gray and overcast outside that the Seattle skyline (which I normally have a pretty good view of) is all but invisible.  This morning, a little bit of snow was mixed in with the rain.  However, even though it may not feel like spring at all, “spring” break has come and gone and “spring” quarter has begun, so I guess spring is here.  (At least, Seattle’s version of spring, which is very similar to winter in North and South Carolina).

Spring break was nice, even if it went by too quickly.  Kary (former college roommate) came into town for a long weekend; it was fun to show her around.  Melissa, one of my best friends from high school, is coming to visit at the end of this month, so I’ll have lots of practice “playing tour guide” before Mom and Dad get here in June for graduation.

Speaking of, it’s hard to believe that I’ll actually be done with grad school in “3 months and 15 days” as the countdown on my computer says.  I’ve really enjoyed the program at SPU and I’ll miss seeing my classmates and professors on a regular basis, but I have to say that it will be nice to be just a teacher instead of both a teacher and a student!  I do think this quarter (my next to last quarter) will be less stressful than winter quarter was.  I’m only taking two courses, Professional Issues & Ethics and Phase II of my teaching practicum.

While I’m talking about teaching, I’d like to mention my “class blog.”  I’ve discovered that some people who read this blog actually have stumbled across it while searching for things related to TESOL.  Last quarter, in my “Technology in the Language Classroom” class, we had the opportunity to design a website that was somehow related to English teaching for extra credit.  I created a simple administrative blog for the class I teach where I can post announcements and assignments and where my students can post questions and comments.  If you’re interested, you can check it out here.

Okay, not too much else to say for now.  Check back for another post soon!

*International Students, 2008.

Well, as of today I am officially through teaching until 2009.  The other day I started thinking about how many students I had had from so many different countries, and I ended up making a list of them all.  It turns out that, when you count students at school and private Microsoft students,  I’ve taught students from 22 different countries!  This map shows where they’re from; the countries are listed below:

students countries

-Argentina (1)
-France (1)
-Hong Kong (1)
-India (1)
-Kazakhstan (1)
-Kuwait (1)
-Poland (1)
-Saudi Arabia (1)
-Slovakia (1)
-Spain (1)
-Czech (2)
-Germany (2)
-Brazil (2 or 3)
-Colombia (2 or 3)
-Russia (3)
-Turkey (3)
-Italy (4)
-Thailand (4)
-Japan (++)
-Libya (++)
-South Korea (++)
-Taiwan (++)

*The symbol ++ means, ‘too many to count!’