I came to Biola's M.A. TESOL program with some teaching and teacher training experience, after three years in Istanbul, Turkey, at Istanbul Technical University. As my love for teaching English grew, I knew I needed training to continue to grow professionally and to fill in the holes of my on-the-job training. During my time at Biola, I learned TESOL methodology and research, as well as how to share God's heart for the nations. I also grew through strong personal relationships outside of the classroom with my classmates, the Biola faculty, and other Biola alumni.
Biola's location in Southern California means there are many opportunities to teach ESL while studying. During my first year in the TESOL program, I taught ESL at Language Systems International, and in my second year I taught at a more academic-intensive English program at Hope International University. When I finished my M.A. in TESOL, I moved into a full-time position at Hope as the Academic Coordinator of the ESL program, and I soon became the Associate Director of International Student Programs. I then moved to California Baptist University in Riverside to found and direct a new ESL program. At both Hope and CBU, my connections with Biola continued as I mentored novice teachers from Biola, hired experienced teachers from Biola, used my Biola connections to network throughout Southern California to develop both Hope and CBU's ESL programs, and taught in a Biola summer teacher-training course. Now, my husband and I will be moving to Saskatchewan, Canada, where I will begin ESL teacher training at Briercrest College.
I'm grateful for ongoing connections with my Biola classmates who continue to share stories of teaching with me, and my Biola faculty who continue to mentor me by sharing course outlines and suggestions as I move into this new stage of my career in TESOL. I'm so thankful that God brought me to Biola. While my relationship with Biola started on the first day I began classes, it didn't end when I finished my degree. It still continues to this day, and I'm sure the relationships will continue into the future.