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Messages from Alumni

 

  • There were many times when I was stressed from the workload, but what we learned was so fascinating and worthwhile that there was never a time when I wanted to stop. There was this odd weekly routine where I would become increasingly stressed from Sunday to Friday and the pressure would peak just before class on Saturday morning.. but then we would all meet and reflect and discuss and I found the way you taught inspiring and refreshing enough to keep me working hard throughout the course. Perhaps most importantly, I've come to terms with my own need to continue developing as a teacher and participating in the academic study of ESL (2012 STG Graduates, Nathaniel Alexis Starun)
  • I wanted to thank you for the great experience in SMU! I really think that part of my graduate school life was the best part, and everything else was like if I was on cruise control. I'm finished! My experience at SMU TESOL was a huge step in my studies, and it prepared me for real-life teaching that I'm doing today! The practical teachings at SMU combined with the theoretical classes at Temple were a great balance. I'm so happy I was able to start my studies in SMU with wonderful professors, classmates, and administration that were always there to support me.“ (2010 SMU Graduates, Mika Nelson)
  • I completed my M.A. TESOL at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in May 2012. The M.A. TESOL program at UMBC is focused on training both prospective and experienced teachers of ESL and EFL by providing a strong background both in theory and practice. After receiving my TESOL Certificate at SMU-TESOL, I had a strong urge to apply what I’ve learned into real teaching. It was my first time pursuing teaching as a professional career and as much as I loved it, I could soon see my shortcomings. I discovered that I jumped into teaching without seriously taking into account the responsibility of what it means to teach. This is when I decided to get a Master’s degree in TESOL. I believed it would enrich what I’ve already learned and provide a broader knowledge and introduction into the field of TESOL.. My main interest is in ESL/EFL and program development. Teaching non-native students can be challenging but the classroom is full of dynamics and a wonderful opportunity for cultures to interact. You do not try to blend in but accentuate each student’s uniqueness while bringing harmony to the group. In order for this to be practiced, rather than expecting teachers to fulfill unrealistic goals for courses, I believe it is more important to design and develop programs that meet the students’ needs and where teachers are allowed to practice what can target those needs. This has been the main reason I’ve completed my Master’s degree in TESOL and also obtained the ISD certificate. SMU-TESOL has opened my interest into the field of TESOL. It gave me the right amount of information needed in order to function as an English teacher. However, although it may get you to where you want to be (whether that is a school or language institute), you need to build the skills that let you improvise and re-create. You shouldn’t feel comfortable with what you have but try to stretch beyond your comfort zone and feel obligated to experiment. This can only let you mature as a teacher and become better in what you want to do.(2009 SMU Graduates, YEJI YOON)