While I prepare for law school, I am currently living in Zhuhai, China, working as a teaching assistant at the English Language Centre of United International College. I help students learn to write papers in English, a skill that most of them did not learn before college. I also run a public-speaking club where I teach students the skills they need to give speeches. Last spring, I was surprised to learn that many of the students here are also interested in learning Spanish, and I began running a Spanish tutorial.
My experiences learning another language have greatly helped me in teaching English. When my students are struggling with pronunciation or having trouble using English grammar correctly, rather than getting frustrated, I draw on my own experiences and slowly work through the material with them, clearly explaining every step. Being able to relate to my students in this way makes me a more effective teacher.
Outside of the classroom, the cross-cultural experience of my major has made adapting to life in China much easier. My semester abroad in Spain taught me how to be flexible in a new environment. Without that experience, the language barrier and cultural differences I encounter here would be difficult to handle. I am continuing to learn how to work and communicate across cultures from daily tasks like buying groceries to major events like traveling to other parts of China.
My current position is not one I expected to hold, but it is a rewarding one. Thanks to my major, I have found a meaningful place to live and work far from my home in Minnesota.
(Last update: December 2013)