As an international student, I chose Virginia International University for two reasons: first, I wanted to experience the university’s diverse cultural atmosphere; second, I wanted to become a more experienced professional in my career – teaching English to the speakers of other languages (TESOL). My two years in the MA in TESOL program at VIU has been truly memorable, and I never regret having made the decision to complete my master’s degree at this university.
When I reflect on my time at Virginia International University, I see that I have been able not only to improve my skills in teaching but also gain a deep understanding of theories in the second language acquisition process. Through lessons with incredibly supportive professors, I was challenged to discover a voice that I didn’t know I had. The knowledge and experience I had at VIU gave me confidence, which serves as an internal force to drive my career further to be able to teach English successfully.
Having been educated in a supportive environment at VIU, I found myself able to understand the second language acquisition process inside out and am ready to put this knowledge into practice. With carefully-chosen textbooks and small group lessons, I became familiar with recent research theories. Through challenging me, my professors have helped me to develop my own critical thinking ability. It was incredibly useful to learn about different aspects of the teaching field and to connect these practices with modern informational technology.
Also, I benefited from the real-life teaching practice in the practicum class at VIU. I was given a tremendous opportunity to work with competent ESL instructors to observe their lessons and learn teaching techniques under their supervision. It was a great experience to teach culturally diverse ESL students at VIU. It was incredibly beneficial in terms of developing my professional teaching.
Moreover, we were exposed innumerable workshops, festivals, student activities and “Voices from the Field” talks. This was another awesome opportunity given by VIU, we gained more valuable knowledge about new achievements in our field of expertise. Through my coursework, I conducted several research case-studies on different aspects of second language acquisition, which I was able to display at VIU’s Academic Showcase to the VIU community and guests.
Having completed my MA in TESOL at VIU, I am excited to go back to my home country – Uzbekistan, to deliver my knowledge to teach the younger generation. By teaching English in my country, I will create a great opportunity for my students to become knowledgeable and see the world. I express my endless gratitude for my mentors who helped me to find who actually I am.