What is your connection to the LTS Program?
I’ve had the pleasure of teaching in the program since its beginning in 2004 and was director for four years (2007-2010). I love my colleagues, who are a very talented group of teacher educators, and the students we serve: new and/or developing language teachers from all over the world. I also teach at UO’s American English Institute, where a number of graduates from the LTS program are now employed. It’s wonderful to see evidence everyday of their success as professional, skilled, creative, enthusiastic language teachers.
What courses do you teach?
Currently I’m teaching LT 528 (Teaching Culture & Literature), where we explore culture from a sociolinguistic perspective and work on approaches for effectively bringing culture and various kinds of literature into language instruction. The other course I regularly teach is LT 541 (Teaching English Pronunciation). In this class, we study English phonetics/phonology, focusing on both segmental and suprasegmental features, and then apply this knowledge to a teaching context: What do our learners need? How can we provide this? In both courses, we work as a group on principles and basic approaches but students must then apply these to their individual teaching contexts to demonstrate mastery of the subjects and ability to adapt these to their learners.
What do you like best about your work in the LTS Program?
The people! I love working with colleagues and students who are motivated, open-minded, curious, and willing to work hard. I also really appreciate the opportunity it gives me to continuously increase my knowledge. I learn as I prepare to teach my courses (keeping up with new research, developments in the field, etc.), but I learn even more from what the students bring to the courses (their ideas, their experiences) and the innovative approaches they come up with when interacting with the coursework.
I hear you’ve had some interesting international experiences this past year…
Yes, this past year has been especially exciting. I traveled to Pakistan twice, where I visited Karakorum International University in Gilgit as part of their partnership with UO (through the U.S State Dept.). My job there was to work on faculty development in terms of teaching and publishing in English. I also had a quick trip to Colombia where I facilitated a 3-day workshop for faculty at Universidad Del Norte in Baranquilla. And then at the beginning of September I was in Egypt for two weeks working with faculty at Ain Sham University in Cairo to create a certificate program for English language teachers. I loved all of these adventures!
Do you have any advice for LTS students?