First, I have been teaching and learning as an educator of English as a foreign language (TEFL) over the past thirteen years. During this time I have found myself teaching in a multitude of situations; private tutoring of the young and elderly, in classrooms at every level of formal education from kindergartens to graduate schools, training public school teachers, and in the boardroom educating company executives. I have also been asked to teach a variety of English courses; conversational, business, academic purposes, and military. To meet the needs of my students and the goals of the administration I have had to be flexible and inventive with the content of each course. In order to accomplish these goals I have sought to stay up to date with educational theory and practice. I completed a master’s program in Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the University of Birmingham (UK) in 2011. This helped me learn and understand educational theory and developed my academic writing skills. It was also my first experience with distance learning, and it is these experiences that I draw from to design and develop sound and engaging courses.
Second, due to the variety of teaching contexts I have been exposed to, I have had to find ways to provide content to learners in a current and effective medium. This has led me to incorporate technology in my classrooms through a variety of means. Throughout my career I have evolved along with the technology that has become available, beginning with more basic elements of incorporating multimedia, such as pictures, audio and video, my lesson plans grew to include PowerPoint to support learning objectives. For my master’s thesis I chose to examine the relationship of learner autonomy, and language acquisition through the use of synchronous chat programs via mobile device. Currently, I am utilizing the learning management systems (LMS) at Yeungnam University to encourage students’ learning outside of the classroom as well as to provide timely feedback to learners. Finally, I am interested and have been experimenting more with the use of learning apps and smartphone technology in class. My familiarity with these more basic means of educational technology and an innate curiosity in how eLearning can be extended beyond the classroom to increase learning opportunities for a range of learners in a variety of contexts is ongoing.
Finally, being a language teacher while living and working abroad has taught me to be an effective and thoughtful communicator. Working with administrators and learners while navigating linguistic and cultural differences has helped me develop great listening skills and has taught me to ask guiding questions, during the design as well as the delivery of different courses. These skills have helped me to define and satisfy the goals of the administration for each course, as well as attend to the needs of individual learners. When there is a mismatch between these two I have learned to represent both parties fairly in order to achieve an appropriate compromise.
Flexible, and engaging instruction grounded in sound educational theory, supported by functional appropriate educational technology, and achieved through effective communication. Have a look at some of the samples of my work and see for yourself.