Katie Carpenter is originally from Anchorage, Alaska. She speaks Spanish, and some Japanese and Portuguese, and is interested in learner engagement and motivation, and curriculum and materials planning. She has taught English at a language school in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, working with all levels.
Why did you choose the LTS program?
I chose the LTS program because of the experience I had at the UO, in the Language Teaching and Linguistics Departments, while an undergrad. I originally wanted to go into elementary education, and was taking classes to do that. Since I love languages and travel, I decided late to try out some LT and LING classes, and loved the material and faculty I got to work with. I really liked how I found everything I was learning to have a real-world application in the areas I was interested in, and I got a lot of support from others in LT and in the Linguistics department. After that, it felt like the obvious choice for me.
What is your GTF context?
I am the Curriculum Development Assistant at CASLS, the Center for Applied Second Language Studies. A lot of what I have been doing so far is helping on projects where they need some extra assistance–doing transcription, helping get the game app Ecopod (which was recently used in its first class at UO!) ready, helping at a freshman orientation booth, etc. I’ve been able to learn a lot about many different projects at the center. One project I am working on now that I really enjoy is writing classroom materials/activities for InterCom, our weekly newsletter, and that will be a portion of materials taken to this year’s ACTFL convention.
What is the most challenging part of your GTF?
A lot of the materials/resources developed at CASLS are intended to be used in a language classroom in the United States, which is not where my past experience has been. CASLS also has projects that are very game/interactive technology focused, and I don’t have much experience using that type of technology in the classroom. I’m finding that I often need to do some extra research, or ask questions of those around me, to expand upon my own experience and knowledge. I think this helps me create materials that are applicable in a wider variety of contexts than I am used to, so that they are useful to more teachers and classes. Luckily, CASLS has a really supportive environment, and I’ve been able to get lots of advice.
What is the most rewarding part of your GTF?
I’m learning so much, and I’m getting really valuable experience. It also makes me proud that the materials that I write, or projects that I help with even a little, are going to be resources that are used in language classrooms, and that will help students learn. Like I said, it’s a really supportive environment, and they’ve already made a point to not only put me on projects where they need help, but also give me work that will help me develop my own skills and qualifications.
What are you most looking forward to this year in your GTF or in the
In my GTF, I’m looking forward to learning from what everyone at the center has to offer, getting more resource development experience, and, short term, hopefully going to the ACTFL convention this year with them.
In the LTS program, I’m hoping to take advantage of all the opportunities for skill development they offer. I’m looking forward to doing an AEI internship, to starting on my MA project, and to developing more relationships with faculty.
Both contexts provide me with a lot of opportunities, and I’m eager to take advantage of them!