Lisa Irving Friel MATESOL ’99 was looking for a professional growth opportunity. An assistant professor at Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio, she knew she wanted something that would be immediately useful to her work as a teacher.
After checking around online, she realized that she could return to the Institute—this time virtually—to join an online course taught by Professor Kathi Bailey on teaching, listening, and speaking in second language contexts.
“It was fantastic having Lisa join our seminar this semester,” said Bailey. “She consistently shared her teaching experiences and challenges with her classmates and me. Her participation really added to the depth of our discussions.”
Here’s what Lisa had to say about her back-to-school experience:
I was looking for an online professional development opportunity that would be more practical than theoretical. As I dug around online, I realized that Kathi Bailey was teaching a practical online course that coincided perfectly with my availability. I had always been a bit in awe of all that Kathi has accomplished in her career while still managing to be engaging and fully invested in the classes she taught me previously. I thought it would be fabulous to be her student again. I learned after enrolling that she is retiring at the end of spring semester 2023, so I am glad to have taken the class when I did.
When I was a student back in 1998–1999, I had observed that I was experiencing my classes somewhat differently from classmates who had previous teaching experience before enrolling in the MA program. It struck me as a fun idea to see what the class would be like now that I have a couple decades of teaching experience to draw on. I also was interested in learning about developments in the field that have occurred since I got my MA.
Looking back now on the completed semester-long course, I am thankful for the new inspirations and perspectives I received in the course. I was able to get caught up on research and evolving ideas on the teaching of speaking and listening to second and foreign language learners. It was fun to interact with the other students in our online class and to experience what was like to have homework again. I head into my next semester of teaching re-energized with new ideas and strengthened in my understanding of the justification for various teaching approaches.
Middlebury Institute graduates are welcome to register for TESOL and TFL classes, whether they can attend face-to-face in Monterey or wish to join courses that are offered online. Alumni can contact Dr. Jason Martel, the TESOL-TFL program chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about schedules and tuition.