Language Teaching Studies Blog Site at the University of Oregon

Alumni spotlight Brandon Bigelow


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Brandon Bigelow earned his MA from LTS in 2013. For his MA Project, he designed a content-based elective history course for ESL learners studying at the American English Institute at the University of Oregon. He was later able to teach this course a few times when he became a full-time instructor after graduation.

What is your favorite memory in LTS? 

My favorite LTS memory? There are countless to choose from. The support system from both my classmates and the faculty is a distinguishing feature. There was so much camaraderie and and congratulating for finished projects and presentations…and phenomenal birthday parties. However, the sympathy and encouragement during the inevitable lows cannot be understated. I, like many others, could not have done this alone, and am tremendously grateful for the beautiful souls who were placed around me.

What was most valuable for you from the program? 

The most valuable part of the LTS program was to get a taste of the many different aspects of teaching. The “2D language teacher” simply teaches and does a little grading. The “3D teacher” thoroughly considers the context and goals of the class, creates meaningful materials and curriculum, and works with many other people and resources outside of the classroom. And does a LOT of grading. Language teaching is an incredibly nuanced craft, but since I was exposed to so many facets, I have never felt completely overwhelmed in the teaching process.

What advice do you have for current or future graduate students?

Advice? Stay positive. Stay positive. Stay positive. Take things one day at a time. Take advantage of your valuable resources (your esteemed professors). Take care of yourself too. Remember that you are not doing this alone. Ask too many questions. Give hugs. Give compliments. Give smiles. Breathe.

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