Second Language Development and Case Studies

It’s almost the end of the second week of classes and we’ve been going at a pretty good clip through our course work. Here are some observations that I’ve had in my classes:

In second language acquisition, the text we are using is a book called How Languages are Learned by Patsy M. Lightbown and Nina Spada. In this book (coincidentally, my professor studied under Spada at the University of Toronto), we go over how primary and secondary languages are acquired by children and adults alike. It’s interesting to see several themes in my own second language acquisition journey reflected in this book, and makes me understand why, as an adult learner, I felt like I was incapable of learning a second language.

In Research and Writing, we are examining methods of research, both qualitative and quantitative, and coming up with research proposals for implementing case studies of our own in regards to our topic of citizenship English in Oklahoma City. I hope to come up with something that would be helpful in shaping my Master’s thesis, or at least something worth presenting at the annual TESOL conference in a year or two.

Next week I am traveling out of the country for two weeks to road trip around Iceland with friends, so I am interested to see how taking satellite courses impacts the rate at which I learn about the course material. One of the big reasons I chose this program was the faculty’s encouragement and willingness to let students travel during the semester.

Until next week,

Miriah

First Day Anticipation

Tomorrow is graduate orientation, and Monday I finally begin my journey to receiving my Master in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages! I’m going into this program with a small amount of trepidation, and an even larger amount of absolute excitement! I honestly didn’t expect to ever go back to school after I completed my first Master’s in 2014. I told myself I was done with school and was never going to look back.

The universe has a funny was of proving what you thought you knew to be true was nothing but LIES!

Along with the excitement for being in a classroom setting again (which is where I feel like I really thrive), I also remember why I never wanted to enter into academia again. I forgot about the circular conversations (don’t even get me started on trying to get signed up for classes with my advisor), adapting to ‘professor time’ (as a punctual person, this hurts my heart), and as a non-traditional student, listening to the problems of people 10 years younger than me (It makes me want to shake them and scream, “You have no idea! This is nothing! You know nothing!”) knowing that I was once standing exactly where they are.

I am very fortunate that I was able to complete my undergraduate and my Master’s degree with very little student loan debt. I will be funding the majority of this degree with the help of student loans, as well as my job, and I think that it not only makes me appreciate this experience more, but it makes me even more driven to pursue a job relevant to my degree. After all, what is the point of 3 separate degrees unless you are able to use them?

My classes this semester are:

  • TESL 5003 Research and Writing
  • TESL 5103 Studies in Linguistics
  • TESL 5123 Second Language Acquisition

I’m looking forward to sharing my first impressions and experiences with you throughout this process, and throughout my whole journey at Oklahoma City University!

Miriah

The First Day of School…Part 21

So, a little bit about me: I am a 29 year old Oklahoma Girl from a rural town in the panhandle. For me, I always knew that there was something more to life than the farming community that I grew up in. As soon as I graduated high school, I went to college with a full ride scholarship to Oklahoma City University, completing my Bachelors in World Religions in the Spring of 2011.

After Undergraduate school, I attended Oklahoma City University again for my Masters, completing my Masters in Liberal Arts in 2014. I have been working full time since then, and just completed my seventh year with an amazing company.

I have always been able to take time off for travel, but wanted to know how I could transform my love of travel into a lucrative new career: enter TESOL.

When I first went to university, my end goal had always been to teach, either at a high school or collegiate level. Unfortunately, the state that I live in pays teachers a paltry wage, and university jobs aren’t nearly as glamorous or as plentiful as I was led to believe. Life sometimes gets in the way of your initial goal, but I believe that if it’s meant to be, you can find a way to make it happen.

Classes officially start on August 20th, and I couldn’t be more excited! Looking forward to sharing my experience with you all, and hopefully we will both navigate this whole thing together.

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

Inspirational speakers always say the today is the first day of the rest of your life. Never before has that sentiment rang more true for me than today. Today, I was accepted into the Masters in TESOL program at Oklahoma City University.

Why get a Masters, you ask? There are many people that go over to teach English in a foreign country with a bachelors degree and a dream and yes, I could do that as well. But a masters for me means more money, more knowledge, and the endpoint of a personal goal that I have set for myself since I was a teenager.

I’m primarily writing this blog to document my trials and impressions of completing my Master of Arts in TESOL, applying for positions, getting a VISA, moving to a foreign country, and hopefully highlighting cultural differences and similarities through food, pop culture, history and more.

Today was the day that I was officially accepted into the graduate program at Oklahoma City University.

So really, today is the first day of the rest of my life.