Language Teaching Studies Blog Site at the University of Oregon

MA Project Spotlight Al Ullman


Al is a current LTS graduate student.  His MA Project is titled:  Breaking the cycle, building a future:  A sustainable peer-based tutor training workshop for ESL learners inside the prison system.

What is your MA project?

For my MA project I am developing a tutor-training course for fluent native speakers incarcerated in prisons in Oregon to tutor other incarcerated individuals who are not fluent in English.

What inspired you to choose this topic?

My undergraduate work inspired my devotion to restorative justice. Particularly my involvement in a course held inside of an Oregon state prison led by Steven Shankman and a seminar that was also led by professor Shankman some time later. I was also very concerned about working with a MA project that was meaningful to me and that I could envision both a need for and a possible place of implementation for my project.

What has been the most challenging aspect of the project?/what advice would you give?

The most challenging thing for this project is nailing down what it was going to look like. The actual project had a number of variations before it became what it is today.

Al Ullman: MA Project Advice for Incoming Students from LTSblog on Vimeo.

 What was your most memorable moment in the LTS Program?

Every memorable and meaningful moment in my program came from saying yes to extra work, additional internships, and volunteer opportunities. Say yes to anything that comes your way! Work with Thai students, work with AEI students, tutor anyone that wants it! Are you qualified? Hey, they asked you, so you can do it. You will struggle, it’s a challenge! This is how we learn, improve, and gain confidence! Do it!



Author: Tiffany VanPelt

Tiffany VanPelt is a member of the 2014/2015 LTS cohort and Social Media Coordinator.

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