Monday, November 14, 2016

Meet the New Teachers, Part 2

Today we feature Karolina Formella and Daniel Kaizer.

Karolina Formella, DIP AM, teaching levels 3.3 and 5.1 Listening and Speaking
in Fall 2016

How do your personal interests and passions inform your teaching?
I bring my interests into the classroom all the time. It has been my experience that even seemingly most uninteresting subjects can spark students' attention if they are presented with passion and enthusiasm. I absolutely love using music when teaching. Songs tell stories and music conveys emotions. It is easy to remember a new phrase or vocabulary word if there is a song or tune that goes with it. I also incorporate bits from arts and literature and build lessons around them. Occasionally, I will have students e-mail me afterward with further questions about a book we discussed or artist whose painting we investigated.

What funny mistake have you made while learning a foreign language?
With English being my second language, I find myself learning new things every day. Years ago, I was visiting a friend of mine who'd relocated to England. When talking to him over the phone,  I asked him if there was anything from the US that he would like me to get for him. To my surprise, he asked for "tweezers". I happily purchased two of them thinking that, since they were so hard to come by there, it was a good idea for him to have an extra one. When I handed him the gift, he burst out laughing. When he finally composed himself, he was able to say "twizzlers" (American candy!) not "tweezers".

What has been your most rewarding teaching experience?
When teaching higher proficiency levels, I try to motivate my students to reach their academic goals. I like to share a story of me as a former ESL student who, a long time ago dreamt of studying English literature, but was fearful that her English was not up to par. I also like to tell them that I worked very hard, believed in myself and my dream came true. They respond really well to it. We talk about  how to take out a student loan, apply for a student visa, fill out an application and write a statement of purpose. It was tremendously rewarding for me to learn that one of my students, who previously doubted she could ever do it, applied to college and was accepted!

Daniel Kaizer, DIP AM, teaching level 8 Listening and Speaking and
Pronunciation Skills workshop in Fall 2016

How do your personal interests/passions inform your teaching?
I was spurred on to this profession after I made (and am continuing to make) a serious attempt to learn Spanish at the age of 50. I became fascinated by my own difficult progress, the ways in which I learned best, and after many years not being in the classroom (I had taught high school in my early 20s), decided to study TESOL, and here I am.

What are your favorite instructional technology tools?
I don't know if this is a technological tool exactly, but I love bringing in clips of movies and TV shows to classes, and then exhausting them for listening, pronunciation, and grammar points.

What is your preferred teaching footwear?   
This one is easy! It's pretty much all clogs, all the time. Even before I started teaching. But I think they're perfect for being on one's feet.

What funny mistakes have you made while learning a language?
I always marvel at how some things in Spanish, no matter how much I learn them, or know them, I can't manage to get out right when I am in a conversation. An example is viejo (old guy) and viaje (trip) -- I have frequently just come back from a distant old guy.

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