A Whole New World

As a new blogger for TESOL, I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself to this wonderful community. My name is Tara Arntsen. I am currently pursuing a Master of Arts in TESOL online with the University of Southern California while teaching English as a foreign language to freshman at Guangdong Peizheng College in Guangzhou, China. I am from the United States but have spent more than 15 years living abroad including time teaching in Japan, Cambodia, and now China. Additionally, I have taught English online both as a freelancer and for various language companies.

With the importance of technology in our daily lives growing each year, I have become quite interested in technology and its role in education. I believe that teachers around the world, regardless of content area, should devote some time to this topic and develop their own skills as well as the skills of their students.

While technology plays a less important role in some parts of the world, students with new media literacy skills will be more prepared than others to participate in their local, national, and global communities. As teachers, we are responsible for helping our students achieve their greatest potential and, in today’s modern world, mastering technological skills will help them do that. Through my blog posts, I will introduce educational websites and resources and suggest some ways to use them in the classroom, share some of my personal experiences, and describe some traditional classroom activities, too. I am excited about sharing this material and hope to encourage more teachers to use technology in their ESL/EFL classrooms.

It is a pleasure for me to participate in such a great educational community. I look forward to reading your comments on this topic. Thank you and happy holidays!

About Tara Arntsen

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen recently completed her Master's degree in Teaching-TESOL at the University of Southern California. She currently teaches in the Intensive English Program at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She has taught ESOL in China, Japan, and Cambodia as well as online. Her primary interests are communicative teaching methods and the use of technology in education.
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6 Responses to A Whole New World

  1. Bev Haydon says:

    Hi Tara
    I was very interested to read your comments. I work in Queensland, Australia and our College is going to introduce flipped classrooms. I work in the ESL field and am not very knowledgeable about online teaching which we will be required to do in the process.

    I think your work will help so look forward to further information on this matter.

    Bev

    • Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

      Hi Bev,

      Thank you for your comment. I know that flipped classrooms and online teaching are becoming more and more common. The program I am currently in does not require anything specific in these areas, but many teachers are moving in that direction anyway. There are a lot of resources out there that can help with the transition. I hope the experience is a good one for you and your students.

      Tara

  2. Mateo says:

    As a fellow classmate of Tara’s, I can say that without a doubt, her words on TESOL and corresponding subjects will be well received. Her knowledge of both the methodologies, as well as the platforms though which they are best delivered, is strong, and I for one, look forward to reading her blog posts!

    • Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

      Thank you for your support Mateo. This is just the beginning so I hope you enjoy upcoming posts. Please feel free to add to or comment on anything. I think sharing our experiences with technology and teaching will help all of us in the TESOL community learn from one another.

  3. Diana Bermudez says:

    Dear Tara,

    I appreciate what you have posted. I am an English teacher from Lima, Peru. I have worked at a bi national center for more than nine years. I am also pursuing a master’s in TEFL.
    I couldn’t agree more with you. In recent years, I have seen how technology has impacted so positively in my students’ learning, particularly in the area of listening and reading. There are so many free PDF files of graded readers now. There are webpages such as manythings.org where students can find very interesting audios as well as texts. My students are becoming more knowledgeable about world issues and at the same time more competent in English. I am completely convinced that if used properly, technology can facilitate our roles as teachers and make us better enablers of learning. I will look forward to reading your future posts. Happy Holidays!
    Diana Bermúdez.

    • Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

      Dear Diana,

      Thank you so much for your comments and for sharing that website manythings.org. It’s wonderful that you’ve had success integrating technology into your classes. I hope that some of the resources I post about later will also be useful for you and your students. Please feel free to post more resources you use as well. Good luck with your studies and thank you again for your feedback!

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