Language Teaching Studies Blog Site at the University of Oregon

Student Spotlight: Kateland


Kateland Johnson is a native Eugenian who loves the rain. She also loves the German language and culture, and plans on teaching in Germany after completion of her degree. When she’s not doing grad-studenty things, you can find her sipping coffee and reading German literature, learning about other languages, or spending time with her cats.


Why did you choose the LTS program?
I was a double major at the University of Oregon in Linguistics and German Language, Literature, and Culture; originally, I was only interested in the SLAT certification, but after taking a few courses (particularly Patricia Pashby’s English Pronunciation course), I knew both the instructors in the program and the LTS program itself was a perfect fit for my professional goals.

Tell me about Talking with Ducks II.
Talking with Ducks II is a conversation elective course that the American English Institute offers to international students. There are four of us from the LTS program that are co-teaching under the supervision of an AEI instructor. Each week we have different topics, some of which are chosen by the students, and we design activities around those topics that target oral skills. My favorite aspect of this course are the students themselves; I really enjoy hearing about their home cultures and their interests. The increase in teaching-time between Talking with Ducks I and Talking with Ducks II has made me feel like the relationships between my students and I are much stronger.

What other elective are you taking this term, and how does it complement the rest of the program?
I am taking a course in the College of Education that focuses on making grade-level content more comprehensible for English Language Learners in the K-5 classroom using the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) Model. My original MA project idea was targeted toward this age group, but with refugee and immigrant students in Germany learning both German and English in school. Even though my MA project topic no longer matches up with this course, I have found the features of the SIOP Model to be applicable to any type of lesson, any type of learners, and in any context.

What advice would you give about choosing electives in the program?
I think the most obvious advice is to choose electives that have some relation to your MA project topic. You can use the content from these courses to inform your research and ideas. But I think another good reason for choosing an elective is personal interest.

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