Tuesday, December 10, 2013

3/4 Done!

My third semester in the MA TESOL program has just come to a close. I have just one more semester and I will have my MA and be done with school for a while.

This semester I taught my first university level classes: mainly juniors and seniors; mainly education majors; all native or fluent English speakers. I had worried that while I loved teaching EFL/ESL, I wouldn’t enjoy teaching future teachers about second language acquisition and how to teach ESOL students. I needn’t have worried; I loved it. I had a really great time with my classes, and I hope I have students next semester who are as fun to teach as these guys were. I should also have a much lighter workload next semester, as I won’t be making PowerPoints from scratch for every single lesson; I’ll just be tweaking the ones I made this semester.

My experiences teaching this semester have changed my outlook on the future a bit. I used to think, ‘Why bother getting a PhD? I don’t want to be a university professor.’ Except that now I kind of do. And I didn’t go the thesis track. It seems that everybody says, ‘Oh, if you want a PhD, you absolutely must write a thesis for your MA’ and maybe that’s true. Maybe it’s not. The thing is, I don’t want to get my PhD in TESOL. If I were to shoot for a PhD, it would be in Sociolinguistics – and it would be at a different school. I didn’t want to write a thesis for the MA because I came to this program wanting to learn more about how to become a better ESOL teacher, not to conduct research. Oddly enough, this semester I took a sociolinguistics course, and ended up getting really into my research on language policy in Kyrgyzstan – and I’m hoping to get my paper published. Here’s hoping that if I do apply for any PhD programs and I get dinged for not having written a thesis, a published article will suffice. You know, assuming it gets published. I guess we’ll see what the future brings. Were I to apply to a PhD program, it wouldn’t be for a year or so anyway.

I’m heading up to GA for the next three weeks. I’m actually going to be pretty busy designing a curriculum for a baseball-themed EFL program for a major league baseball team’s training center in the Caribbean. Which should be interesting, given my general lack of knowledge of baseball. I’m also taking a fairly large dog up to GA with me, in addition to Mochi and Charlie, as I’ll be pet-sitting her over the break. That’s going to make for an interesting car ride there and back, let me tell you. Sigh.

Lastly, vimeo seems to be letting me keep my Kyrgyzstan-is-Middle-Earth video online, so check it out:

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