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Thrilled to be in the TESOL Arena
11/14/2018

Vian Tormis

As a person who loves English and strives for being an outstanding ESL instructor, I cherish this opportunity to attending this year's CATESOL conference--Oceans of Opportunity--and learning from other professionals in the TESOL arena.

I studied English as a second lang...
As a person who loves English and strives for being an outstanding ESL instructor, I cherish this opportunity to attending this year's CATESOL conference--Oceans of Opportunity--and learning from other professionals in the TESOL arena.

I studied English as a second language in the traditional teacher-centered classroom for more than 15 years before I came to the United States for my master's studies. In China, I earned a Bachelor's of Arts degree in English in 2017 and then came to the United States pursuing my first master's degree at UC Riverside. In fact, I visited the United States in my freshman year as a visiting student at Georgetown University under a government scholarship program in 2014 for two months. That was my first time of engaging in a student-centered classroom where students can discuss with the instructor and negotiate ideas. This interactive way of learning impressed me and made me decide to be an ESL instructor creating a warm but firm environment for English learners. This warm but firm classroom includes activities considering the multiple intelligences of students to move, talk, sing, and draw around the academic content.

After the visiting experience at Georgetown University, I made my mind to study abroad to explore pedagogies and philosophies of teaching English. Thus, I applied for the TESOL Certificate program at UC Riverside Extension Center and attended the classes after graduating from my undergraduate university. I learned a number of theories and methodologies in TESOL, such as Communicative Language Teaching, and tutored two beginners in learning English to apply the theories I learned into practice. Actually, before this experience of student tutoring, I had established a rough understanding of my philosophy of teaching English through practices in teaching and research.

During my master's studies at UC Riverside, I instructed conversational English to two cohorts of visiting scholars from Japan, South Korea, Mexico, France, Iran, and China for an entire academic year. I thrived working with scholars who were already professors/postdoctoral professionals, I felt a great sense of achievement to explore field of TESOL and work with adult learners. Hence, I decided to devote my time and energy in TESOL and this year's conference to facilitate my understanding of Teaching English.

I expect to participate in the discussions of the hot topics at CATESOL to enrich my own arsenal of teaching English, particularly teaching English writing. Some of the workshops I find most interested in are "Beyond the Five-Paragraph Essay in Academic Writing" and "Interactive Activities that Harness the Power of Social Media." I feel thrilled to have my part in the TESOL arena and am ready to learn from other professionals on Teaching English to provide opportunities to everyone.