Our instructors are continually recognized by professional organizations as experts in their field, and our Languages program is no exception. Liz Bigler, who teaches for our TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Certificate, has just been named the 2014 recipient of the GATESOL Beverly Benson Travel Grant. This grant will allow her to attend the International TESOL Conference next year in her hometown of Toronto.
The annual conference, which draws thousands of attendees, focuses on learning, networking and sharing ideas to advance the TESOL field.
Liz said she was eager to attend since she hadn’t been able to go for the past few years. She was thrilled when she got the letter from GATESOL, the Georgia affiliate of the TESOL International Association, notifying her that they were impressed with her application and had awarded her the travel grant.
“The international conference is such a smorgasbord of people and ideas in our field,” Liz said. “There is something for everyone: amazing keynote speakers, concurrent sessions that cover all the areas of our field, and meeting and communing with so many other people who share our wacky profession. In recent years, I’ve set up my own ESL business and I’ve done a lot of studying about teaching pronunciation and accent modification. This is in addition, of course, to being a teacher for the TESOL Certificate program at KSU. So my interests and skills have changed a lot since I last attended the international conference, and I’m really happy to be able to explore my current interests.”
“Over the history of this program, we have attracted a high caliber of instructors,” said Lyn Cohen, KSU Languages program manager. “Our current slate of teachers in the TESOL program have a great depth of experience, education and unwavering dedication. The sum of these qualities translates into top-notch courses that are challenging and rewarding for our students.”
Liz said she looks forward to presenting at the statewide conference this month and attending the international conference in 2015.
“I’m so excited for my upcoming opportunities,” she said. “I have always been committed to furthering my own education as an ESL teacher — by taking classes and courses, reading books, researching ideas from the field on the Internet, becoming familiar with names in our field, and by learning and sharing what I know at conferences. I’m always amazed when I meet a teacher who isn’t interested in learning more about teaching. I never want to stop growing and improving!”
Photo: Liz Bigler, TESOL instructor, explains teaching concepts to students in a linguistics course, one of four classes in the 120-hour training program.