Language Teaching Studies Blog Site at the University of Oregon

Faculty Spotlight Laura Holland


Could you tell us a little bit about your connection to the LTS program?

I have been teaching in the LTS program since Fall 2009 when I co-created and began teaching the third in a series of courses for LTS and SLAT certificate students, Language Teaching Practice. I also advise and serve as second reader on Master’s Projects and each term I work with Keli Yerian to coordinate intern and long-term observation placements with cooperating teachers in the American English Institute (AEI).

Could you briefly describe the course(s) you teach?

LT4/537 Language Teaching Practice is a cohort-driven practicum-type course where the student teachers and I co-teach an actual discussion elective course for English language students studying in the American English Institute here at UO. Together students brainstorm, rehearse, give and get feedback for our weekly classes. This course gives student teachers the opportunity to put all the theory they have been learning into practice and to develop the professional skills they will need in the workplace. Language Teaching Practice was developed especially for teachers with less than two years teaching experience, so this is the first classroom teaching experience for many of the student teachers. However, more experienced teachers often take it too, and find there are still many new ideas and practices to explore.

What is the best part about your work?

Oh, so many things! I love language teaching and so enjoy sharing that with teachers-in-training. It’s wonderful to watch new teachers’ skills develop right before our very eyes, growing more adept and reflective each week and learning from the others in the cohort. The pair of courses is fun and very engaging and has grown and changed over the years. Though I have taught these courses twice a year since 2009, each new group brings something unique and fresh and I am continually learning from my students as well. I love the practice-oriented courses and enjoy honing them a bit more each year I teach them. But perhaps the very best part is watching our students move through the program and on out into the world as our colleagues now, knowing they have had great training in our program, and have developed a strong cohort to support them beyond their time here at UO.

What advice would you give to incoming LTS students?  (video answer below)

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