I want to say a lot of words of gratitude to you that you give English teachers the opportunity to participate in E-Teacher Scholarship Program! I have to say here that in this life great opportunities can be few and far between, I want to thank you for the wonderful opportunity you've given to me. I've learnt so much from the course, from the required materials, from the Blackboard Discussions, from our guiding instructors! I embraced this online course with my heart and soul!
Thank you so much for the presentation and materials on Shaping the Way We Teach English. My little students sing songs from your presentation lecture. I shared it with my colleagues. Also, I read your articles in English Teaching Forum Journal (about thematic units) and Freirian Pedagogy. Thank you, Dr. Shin for your professionalism and for your great team of instructors! Special thanks for my guide, instructor, facilitator - Teresa!
Mark Warschauer (2002) in his interview for the English Teaching Forum said, “The first time I went to an international TESOL conference, it had a huge impact on my career to realize that I was a part of this large international community of dynamic people teaching English, plus attending all the sessions, seeing all the materials, and getting all the new ideas.” I have never attended the international conferences but I was lucky to be a participant of the E-Teacher Scholarship Program. It was like a huge and tough online conference for me. I’d never realized that it could be so fruitful for my career. Before this scholarship, I thought I had been A master in methodology. Then I started reading all the materials required for the sessions, I understood, I had been far from that! I couldn’t understand ESOL terminology, never practiced using it, never talked to the teachers from the different countries, never wrote academic essays, never designed differentiated plans or action plans! What a drawback!
Throughout the course, our professional instructors, Ms. Teresa Valais and Ms. Carol Haddaway, were guiding us tactfully and were teaching us in a special way! You may ask “What is the special way of teaching?” I can answer: It encourages individuality! It lights fires! That’s what I felt during the course. I’ve learnt easily all the professional vocabulary, got new ideas, shared freely my opinions with the other scholars. Now I know how to develop my self-autonomy, how to do reflective teaching, what questions to ask at the professional conferences, what articles to read, I can go on and on and on! Above all, I got the right direction towards my future teaching development!
Ms. Teresa (a valuable asset to the online course), gave us the link to extend our knowledge participating in the webinars on Shaping the Way We Teach English. I was able to attend only one webinar on CALL. I was so proud of myself! I was able to make comments, answer the questions in a PROFESSIONAL and COMPETENT way, using terminology, ideas from the Methods I course!
I am really, really grateful that Methods I course opened many doors and opportunities for me! Kamchatka’s Board of Education invited me to be one of the experts for the Russian State Exam’s Committee. Isn’t it s a great privilege for a young teacher?
Thank you very much for everything and I wish you all the best!!!
Victoria A. Ostankova
Original letter dated: 12 February 2011.
Republished on this website with author's permission: 26 July 2011.