Say hi to Luan! He is a recent MA graduate from Vietnam, who completed his degree a week ago in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Let's take a glimpse at his journey at LCC!
Luan was browsing the internet for some recommended MA programs in TESOL and found LCC for the first time. When he applied for the MA TESOL at LCC, Luan had already been working on his first MA in psycholinguistics in Norway. Why did he feel studying TESOL at LCC might be the right choice for him? "My first MA in psycholinguistics taught me a lot about how to become a competent linguist but prepared me very little for becoming a competent language teacher – which was my dream job. At that time, my dream of becoming a teacher helped me make up my mind to sign up for the course," shares the graduate.
"My pursuit of the MA TESOL at LCC is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life," says Luan. The program has many benefits that other programs cannot compete with. First, Luan says, he had the chance to experience high-quality hybrid learning, which combined both on-site learning and online study. At first, he was worried that online learning was something that he would not prefer. However, at LCC, the professors are caring and supportive towards students even online. "I could learn a lot in a short period of time and interact well with my classmates via useful activities and discussion. I could also work with my schedule." Second, the MA TESOL program at LCC consists of several courses that helped him to improve not only his second language pedagogy but also his skills in curriculum development, assessing learners’ spoken and written language, implementing action research in his classroom, managing a language program, and developing his expertise in second language research.
When it comes to the courses, Luan had a hard time picking a favorite. "If I had to pick one, I would say the Action Research course taught by Prof. Doreen Ewert may be my favorite. The course helped me realize that there is nothing that is out of the control of the teacher. Every problem in our classroom has a solution. On top of that, I learned to improve learners’ autonomy and motivation for learning languages.” Another highlighted course for him was “Teaching English as an International Language” taught by Prof. Aliel Cunningham. "After this course, I realized the mission of a language teacher extends the teaching of the language and also includes cultivating hospitality and respect in our classroom. We are more than just language teachers, we are also ambassadors of peace."
Luan also had his teaching practicum at LCC. "My practicum was one of my best experiences at LCC. I had the opportunity to teach at the Summer Language Institute (SLI) – a language program at LCC that is intended for teenagers and young adults." He also taught at the English summer camp for teenagers just after SLI. "I have a lot of beautiful memories with my students and kids from that time. It was also my first time teaching languages in Europe. I learned to work with students from different cultural backgrounds than mine. I also learned to practice hospitality and respect in my classroom, which I feel was successful. I received a lot of love from my students. I love these kids!"
Regarding his thesis, his research revolved around the role of information literacy in academic writing. "Modern writers rarely start from scratch and write from their prior knowledge; they integrate information from multiple sources," he says. This change has placed severe burdens on modern writers as they have to take on alternate roles as a reader and a writer at the same time. Moreover, online information is offered in great quantities and available on many platforms. University students are, however, not equipped with sufficient skills to deal with the overwhelming flow of information. Luan felt like he needed to do something about this and how he chose his thesis. In general, however, his research interests lie in the intersection between psychology and linguistics. He is intrigued by how language is processed and produced in the human brain. "My research topics include literacy development, reading and writing research, developmental deficits, and first and second language acquisition. I am also interested in educational psychology, such as research in critical thinking and teacher-student relationships."
When it comes to his plans, the recent MA graduate says that he already is working on his PhD in Cognitive Linguistics in Belgium. "I love doing research and teaching, so I plan to become a professor soon. Through research, I’ve realized our capacities as humans to make the impossible become possible and make dreams become realities.” Luan loves science and he also wants to inspire younger generations to love it too. “Inspiring students is why being a professor is something that I aspire to every single day.”