LTS

Language Teaching Studies Blog Site at the University of Oregon

April 26, 2019
by krobin14
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Alumni Spotlight- Ngan

Ngan Vu graduated from LTS in 2018. Her MA project focused on how to use extensive reading activities to inspire and develop ESL students’ reading and writing skills.

Ngan and Yumiko in Japan (both from the 2018 cohort)

Hi Ngan! You are a recent graduate of LTS. Tell us about what you are up to now since you graduated!

Hi everyone, after graduation, I spent some time with my family in Vietnam and then moved to Japan for my job. Currently, I am teaching English at Kanazawa Institute of Technology in Japan and want to take advantage of this opportunity to learn another language from scratch again.

School Name

What is it like for you to live in Japan vs. in Eugene or Vietnam?

The biggest difference is my knowledge of the language used in each country and my ability to navigate through daily life. This is the first time for me to live in a country where I have little preparation for the language. Although the first few months in Japan were challenging, I am fortunate to be helped by my kind-hearted people whether they know English or not. Apart from that, I am grateful for what is coming to my life now. And, without doubt, Eugene or Vietnam as well as Kanazawa has its own unique place in my heart.

Cherry Blossoms by Ngan’s Apartment

Is there any way that you are applying your MA project work to your current teaching, directly or indirectly?

I regularly remind myself of ‘differentiated instruction’ which is the driving force for my MA project. I have been trying to apply the idea of different stations in class. However, the idea is modified to adapt to my students. For example, instead of having them move to different stations, the stations move. My MA project’s advisor Janine recommended this idea to me when we were in the process of developing materials. And, that idea works for my class so far. In addition, my project incorporates infographics as a support for reading-writing process and as a low-stakes assessment; now, I am introducing this method to my students this term.

In the Classroom

What is an example of something that you learned as a teacher that you would not have predicted before or during your graduate program?

I would say how to communicate with students about the effect of Google Translate on their learning progress and make my oral and written instruction as clear and transparent as possible. And, I am still learning.

Do you have any advice for current or future LTS students? Remember, they are just starting the Spring term, with the MA project looming ahead…

Take a break. Small breaks such as walking to a park, going to an ice-cream or bakery shop or whatever activities that help you refresh your mind. Trust that you can do it because your cohort members and LTS instructors are always there with you. And, listen to your inner call. 🙂

From the Library in Winter

Staff spotlight Eden Cronk and Kayla Robinson

April 9, 2019 by krobin14 | 0 comments

This month’s LTS blog post features Eden Cronk and Kayla Robinson. Eden is our new Department Manager since July 7, 2018. Kayla is the new Undergraduate/Graduate Coordinator as of February 11, 2019. You can find them in the main Linguistics office Monday-Friday.

We are so very happy to be here.

Eden and Kayla, welcome to the Department of Linguistics this year! Can you tell us a little about yourselves? 

[Eden Cronk]  I was born in southern Oregon and have lived here most of my life.  After graduating from the UO with a Bachelor’s in Sociology, I was an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in southern New Mexico for two years.  In my late teens and early twenties I did some traveling, including a year in France and seven months Central America.  I have an 11 year old daughter who is my everything.  I enjoy reading, working out, and spending time with friends.

[Kayla Robinson]   I’m originally from southern Illinois. In 2015, I finished a B.S. in Communication Disorders and Sciences and moved to Eugene. “The west is the best.” When I’m not in the office I like to be in nature, try new restaurants, take film photos, and watch movies. I’m a big fan of Bob Dylan. I have a cat named Rorschach and I adore all 17 pounds of him.

“This boat is heavier than it looks!” -Eden

Both of you work a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ magic for students and faculty. Can you tell us an example of one or two of those things students may not be aware of?

[Eden Cronk]   I handle all of the contracts and personnel paperwork for faculty.  In other words, I make sure your professors get paid!  I organize the schedule with the main UO scheduling office.  This takes much more time than it should, if you ask me.  😉

[Kayla Robinson]   Students might not know there are several things I keep an eye on—registration, Graduate School procedure, etc. For example, if a student applies to defend, I will check how long their committee has been in place, how many dissertation credits they’ve earned, and if they are currently registered for dissertation. I can also help them with getting a room reserved for the defense. I do this so if anything isn’t in order, we can get it fixed before it leaves the department. My goal is to save our students from experiencing inconveniences later on.

 

What do you enjoy most about being in the Department of Linguistics and the UO?

[Eden Cronk]  I like working with the faculty and students the most.  This is a great group of people and I feel fortunate to be in this position.

[Kayla Robinson]  It is a blessing to be surrounded by people from all over the world. I also really enjoy hearing people speak a variety of languages in the office. (Sometimes Spike sings in French in the copy room!) For both our department and UO in general, the knowledge and innovation create a tangible excitement. I dig that atmosphere, and I am proud to be part of the campus community.

 

Is there anything that is, shall we say, NOT the reason you come to work every day?

[Eden Cronk]  Being at a desk 8 hours a day gets a little old.

[Kayla Robinson]  I’m not in love with sitting at my desk all day, especially when it is nice out.

“Have someone in your life who holds you like this.” -Kayla

Finally, if you had to pick a favorite word, in English or any language, what would it be?

[Eden Cronk]   I actually have several…shenanigans, superfluous, snafu, brouhaha, and kumquat.

[Kayla Robinson]   Saudade (Portuguese): Saudade is a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might never return. (Wikipedia)

This word is special to me because it describes my feeling toward leaving home for the west. I love the people and the life I lived in Illinois very much, but I know if I were to return it would never be the same. In that way I feel I miss something that no longer exists. It’s beautifully sad, and I don’t know of anything like it in English! It is similar to the Welsh word hiraeth.

Eden at Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area on the Oregon Coast

“Tide pools are my favorite part of the coast.” -Kayla

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