About Me

I am currently studying for my Masters in TESOL at the University of Oklahoma, where I previously graduated with a Bachelor’s in Linguistics and a Minor in German.  I have experience as a research assistant and in writing a Bachelor’s Thesis, and I look forward to teaching English as a second language after I graduate.

Language Learning Biography

I was born in Chicago and grew up in New Jersey learning English as my first language.  Beginning in elementary school, our school had a Spanish class once per week in order to introduce us to the language and to teach extremely basic vocabulary such as colors, some of the lessons for which I still remember very vividly.  In middle school the classes changed to four days a week, before becoming five days a week in high school.  I chose to take more than the required years of language in high school, including both AP Spanish Language and AP Spanish Literature courses, since I was very interested in the language, its usage and importance in the United States, and in linguistics in general.  The vast majority of the Spanish that I learned was in this formal setting, although I did also spend time listening to Spanish music and reading Spanish books outside of class simply because they interested me.

Once I entered college I immediately began to take German, eventually completing four years of courses and minoring in the language.  I also studied abroad in Leipzig, Germany, for six weeks between my junior and senior year, where I took German language courses that combined formal instruction with cultural instruction and were heavily focused on communicative ability and fluency.  I was interested in German also due to a general interest in linguistics, as well as a desire to travel and possibly live in Germany.  While the majority of my German instruction was in a formal setting, I also attended German clubs and events where communication was more spontaneous, and the time I spent in Germany not in class allowed for a naturalistic setting.

German is the language other than English that I am most comfortable conversing in and that allows me to still be myself, particularly when actually in a German-speaking environment.  I believe I learn languages best when I am in a place where the language is spoken by the majority and there are therefore a lot of opportunities for naturalistic learning, but where I can also receive some formal instruction.  My experience studying abroad in a place where I was able to use and hear German 90% of the time was highly motivating because I could tell that I was improving, and being able to use German confidently enough to succeed in aspects of daily life as well as to be able to hold conversations on topics that interested me brought me a huge sense of accomplishment.  While I have had some demotivating experiences, such as struggling to understand some more complicated grammar points, and a person refusing to speak with me because I was not a native speaker of German, overall I immensely enjoy learning other languages and my experiences have led to me believe in myself more and to be more confident in my language abilities and my life in general.

Education

M.A. Candidate in TESOL (June 2018 – present)

University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma, USA

B.A In Linguistics, Minor in German (August 2014 – May 2018)

University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma, USA

Research Experience

Research Assistant to Dr. Mark Norris (January 2018 – May 2018)

Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

Bachelor’s Thesis (May 2018)

Demonstrative, Adjective, Numeral, Noun: Ingush in Violation of Greenberg’s Universals