Jacqueline Allen-Bond has worked with non-native students of English in various countries and numerous work environments for over 30 years. She presently works as part of an ESL faculty teaching team in the Transitional Studies Department at Clark College. She has been involved in teacher-training, teacher-mentoring, teacher administration, and designing and writing curriculum and teaching materials in both EFL and ESL teaching and learning environments. She continues to learn with and from others, students, teachers and administrators.
Tell us about the first time you really felt like you helped someone learn English.
The first time feels such a long time ago. I have been working in the field of English as a Foreign Language (living overseas) and English as a Second Language since the 1970’s. But I guess the first time I felt like I really knew what I was doing was after taking an RSA (royal Society of Arts) Certificate and getting my first “formal” teaching gig in Japan. I had taught informally prior to that but after this very hands-on training felt my students progress from lesson to lesson and evolve as a learning community.
If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger teacher self?
Don’t assume anything – even something as how to open a book (what is the front or back cover). Learn with your students and enjoy the processes.
Tell us about an experience that changed your perspective on yourself or the world around you. Have you ever bumped up against something so new, that it changed your viewpoint?
I think the biggest bump was when I was faced with a new group of students, launched into a warm-up activity involving thinking and talking about what your family was/is doing, and had one student abruptly stand up and walk out of the room (never to return). I hope I am now careful to leave enough “possibilities” in a learning moment that everyone feels they have options in coping with where they are (emotionally, psychologically and linguistically).
If you had a year of paid sabbatical, what would you do with it?
I would like to go back into the EFL world (English as a Foreign Language) to experience firsthand how those teaching/learning environments have changed in the last 20 years. I am also interested in exploring how vocal music, language learning and cognitive learning disabilities intertwine (or “could” intertwine) to enhance language learning (particularly listening and speaking)
Tell us something unexpected about you.
I have lived in 7 different countries, understand/speak (to varying degrees) 7 (½) different languages, but I haven’t yet learned Spanish (which everyone here seems to expect). I love to sing, act, dance, and learn languages.
If you could give one piece of advice to a new instructor, what would it be?
Try to observe as many different learning environments as you possibly can. Listen to and learn from your students.