Thursday, August 23, 2012

so far, so good

It's difficult to judge a two year experience based on the first week; however, it's always encouraging when things get off to a good start. I've had my first week of classes (although I certainly haven't finished my first week of coursework), and so far I really enjoy all of my classes - much more than I had expected to - and I am feeling very glad I made the choice to begin earning my MA in TESOL. 

I'm currently enrolled in three classes, which for the sake of maintaining the vague sense of anonymity I've got going here, I'll refer to as G, A, and R. (If you can't guess what those stand for, email me or something and I'll clue you in.) Before taking a look at any of the course materials, I had expected to find G and A useful but dull, and I expected R to be incredibly boring. I'm quite pleased to report that in contrast to my expectations, I am finding most things pretty interesting. 

I can't judge A too well at this point, as the textbook is still on back-order (booo, campus bookstore; I'd have ordered from Amazon if I'd known it was going to take this long!), and as it's a wholly online course limited mainly to online interactions revolving around the course materials, we're getting off to a slow start. That being said, I like the online interface, and have been getting to know my classmates and professor online, and at the very least it seems like a good group.

G seems like it is going to be a great class. While the topic sounded dull, as soon as I opened up the textbook, I was able to get sucked in - I found myself staying up until 2am reading one of the textbooks for this class for fun. In addition to really awesome textbooks, our professor (who just so happens to be the author of said awesome textbooks) is a great lecturer who incorporates techniques that EFL/ESL/ESOL teachers can use in their classrooms into his lectures (or at least into his first lecture). I'm getting ideas on how to change how I work my lessons already!

I was really worried about R. I didn't think it was going to be difficult, just unbearably boring. The textbook put me right to sleep the first time I opened it, which I didn't think was an auspicious start. Luckily the professor is a really good lecturer. Additionally, we have a series of projects throughout the semester which should all focus on one topic... and we get to choose our own topic (as long as it pertains to TESOL). I'm focusing on Native Speaking English Teachers in South Korea - something I know a good deal about from personal experience. 

While working on the aforementioned series of projects, I discovered that there is NO scholarly literature available in the TESOL field on Native Speaking English Teachers in Rural Kyrgyzstan. Haha. No really, I looked. This is giving me ideas for the paper I'm going to write when I come home at the end of next summer... which (assuming all works as planned) I'll be spending in Kyrgyzstan, teaching English in a rural village.

My classmates are a really interesting bunch - some are actually from places in the former Soviet Union, South America, the Middle East, East Asia, etc., while many of the others have taught abroad in interesting locations. I've had some great conversations with people about their overseas teaching experiences (and mine!), and I've gotten to practice my Russian and even speak a little Kyrgyz. These things make me very happy.


Foreigner Joy said...

What school in Florida are you working on your MA?

Annie Nimity said...

Univ. of Central FL

Crazy About Ukraine said...

It's very interesting to read about your classes. Can't wait for more! :)