Nergis Gjinolli, MA TESOL ’18, Kosovo

  Nergis Gjinolli Nergis completed her MA TESOL degree in the summer of 2018. She chose to complete the program fully onsite in New York City,  and now lives in Kosovo.    Currently, I am volunteering as a TOEFL instructor at the American Advising Center with the Education USA program whereby I am preparing the […]

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Because Native Speakers

The other day I had an exchange with a student that left me in a quandary of a sort that I didn’t really expect to still have over a decade into my teaching career. It was a sort of fundamental question that I thought I had settled in my mind some time ago, but recent […]

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Kill your wifi

Disaster With a full mug of instant coffee in my left hand, and a blue crate of bulky toys in my right, I kneed the classroom door open, flicked the lights on, clicked my mouse awake, and typed the username/password combo into the company laptop, fingers remembering before mind.   I double clicked the Google […]

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What Happens to ESL Programs When the Money Dries Up?

A Personal Story  This blog entry grew out of my experience of working for a community-based ESL program that closed when its funding was not renewed.  My disappointment that the program, which the students found beneficial and useful, was not continued forced me to examine the shifting priorities in ESL funding. I was alarmed by […]

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Increasing and Preserving Academic Learner Engagement through Enhancing EAP Curricula

In the recent past, I began to notice an eerie phenomenon happening with the learners at the private language institute where I teach. Learners who had been highly motivated, eager participants in ESL classes were rapidly losing steam once they entered the EAP level, to the point where their attendance was flagging, their assignments were […]

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Summary of “Mutual Empowerment in Challenging Times”

On July 18, a large audience gathered in the Tishman Auditorium to hear Dr. Diane Larsen-Freeman’s thoughts on “Mutual Empowerment in Challenging Times.” Dr. Larsen-Freeman is a prolific author who simultaneously holds positions at University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, and the SIT Graduate Institute. In introducing her, Professor Leo Schmitt highlighted Dr. Larsen-Freeman’s unique […]

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ESP and Entrepreneurism

Many ESL teachers start their career in an entirely different field. Ex-nurse, ex-accountant, ex-actor, ex, ex, ex. TESOL is a field of career shifters who all share one goal: to help people communicate better in English. I’m an “ex” too. An ex-server, ex-cook, ex-cashier, ex-barista, ex-operations manager, ex-everything food related. I’d been in the food […]

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A Dialogue with International Graduate Students in New York (Part 2)

In her recent post on this blog Roshii Jolly shared some of her thoughts, experiences, and questions related to teaching and learning. Here, in this post, she shares her interview with Nergis and Giovanna which covers a wide range of topics. 1. What is your first language? G: My first language is Portuguese (born and […]

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A Dialogue with International Graduate Students in New York (Part 1)

So, I’m going to begin with my general questions first because they haunt me. Maybe haunt is a strong word. But I’ll ask anyway because I feel safe in this “Uncharted” TESOL blog, which I christened. And, human motivations are very important to me. Why do we decide to become TESOL teachers? What keeps us motivated and […]

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Letters on the first and last day of class

In this era of text messages, instant messaging, and Snapchat (whatever that may be) I somehow find myself more attracted to the old-fashioned paper letter. It’s not that I send out many letters to friends and family, though I wish I did. Sorry, friends and family. However, I frequently ask students to write letters. In […]

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