Language Teaching Studies Blog Site at the University of Oregon

Internship Spotlight Katie Rasmussen


Katie Rasmussen is a current LTS student graduating in summer 2015.  She is interested in the use of mobile apps to augment language learning.

In what context did your internship take place?KR Photo 3

I did an internship in an Oral Skills class, E-prep level. E-prep is called so because it is the lowest level in the AEI and it is preparing them to study English in the higher levels. It consisted mostly of students from the Middle East who have not had much, if any, English instruction before coming to the States. Many of them were experienced professionals in their countries.


What surprised you most about the internship?

The thing that surprised me the most was how much I enjoyed the level. I was nervous about interning for this level and wasn’t sure I would like it very much. But at this level the students require a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and because the teacher was able to give that to the students, it was a great and really fun class. Most of the students were new to the United States so they were really enthusiastic and excited to learn, so it was a great and fun environment.


What part of the internship was the most challenging for you?

The most difficult thing about the internship was giving instructions. Because of the level, some vocabulary words that are often used when giving instructions and describing activities were not known by the students. Often, the teacher would give instructions and tell the students to start the activity but they misunderstood them. I would try and help and go around and reiterate the instructions, but it was difficult sometimes to find vocabulary that the students would understand. There always ending up being lots of gesturing, writing things on the board, repetition, and modeling.


Would you be willing to share a memorable or special moment from your internship?

Honestly, there were a lot of great moments in the class. I would always leave the classroom happier and with more energy than when I entered the classroom. Spending time with the students and the wonderful teacher really energized me. A particularly special moment was seeing the students give their first ever presentation in English. It was just a 2 minute speech about their families, but seeing them make that accomplishment of getting up in front of the class and giving a speech in this new language was great to see. In the break after the presentations, one of the students went up to the teacher and asked her if they could do speeches and presentations in front of the class every week because he enjoyed it and wanted to practice speaking in English more. It was great to see the students so willing and wanting to practice.

Author: Tiffany VanPelt

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

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