It’s a story familiar to anyone who has ever experienced the tight-knit community and life-long professional support system that is an essential element of the Institute’s Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program. The newest installment involves a pair of alumnae—both Fulbright scholars—teaming up to do academic research in Taiwan.
Sarah DeMola MATESOL ’12 majored in international relations as an undergraduate student, but when she volunteered to teach English to refugees, she knew she had found her calling. “I find TESOL to be the perfect combination of my interests in international education and education.”
While enrolled at the Institute, she twice went to India to work with Tarana Patel MATESOL ’01 at S.K. University in Gujarat, where she collaborated with classmate Maggie Steingraeber MATESOL ’12 on developing curriculum and teaching courses. After graduation, Sarah received a Fulbright scholarship as an English teaching assistant in Taiwan, investigating her program’s impact on students’ listening skills, as well as their attitude and behavior towards learning and using English. Her job involved supporting English teachers throughout Taiwan, which offered the opportunity to learn about the diverse cultures of each region.
For her second year in Taiwan, Sarah was joined by Emily Quade MATESOL PCMI ’13, and together they developed and hosted the first annual Fulbright English Teaching Forum. Emily had served in the Peace Corps in Central America as part of the TESOL Peace Corps Masters International program. Like Sarah, the most remarkable part of her experience continues to be the perpetual support and camaraderie of the TESOL community of faculty, students, and alumni.