Professional Narrative

As someone who has always cultivated a myriad of interests, I have made it a goal of mine to use English Language Teaching (ELT) as a way to not only improve an individual’s communication skills, but also broaden their perspective of the world around them and all that they may achieve within it. Sadly, despite numerous efforts recently made to combat it, there still exists a heavy stigma attached to “non-standard” varieties of English in the United States - a stigma which severely limits these varieties’ speakers’ opportunities for social, cultural, and/or economic mobility. It is my hope that, as I continue to gain more experience in the field of ELT, I may contribute to the de-stigmatization of English Language Learners (ELLs) and their idiolects. My primary method of contribution consists of always considering language as a tool for fulfilling one’s dreams and expressing one’s true identity, regardless of the prescribed norms imposed by society. 

I am happy to acknowledge that so far in my teaching career, I have been able to take advantage of a number of opportunities conducive to helping me achieve my goal of increasing English’s functional and expressive potential among ELLs. Since declaring a degree in Linguistics with an emphasis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in spring 2021, I have held several roles as either a teacher or teacher’s assistant, including leading activities in ELT classrooms at the University of Colorado Boulder’s International English Center (IEC), volunteering as a tutor to an international employee of the university through the school’s Student-Worker Alliance Program (SWAP), and working part-time as a tutor of international students through CU Boulder’s International Student Tutoring Program. In addition, I was fortunate enough to participate in the Fall 2022 Colorado TESOL Conference, during which I collaborated with a colleague on a demonstration of how to effectively teach English listening skills. All of these opportunities have not only helped me begin contributing towards the improvement of ELT in terms of destigmatizing language varieties and encouraging authentic self-expression, but also increased my awareness of the breadth of resources available to me as I continue to develop my own teaching practice. 

While my time as an undergraduate student in CU Boulder’s TESOL program has now come to an end, I look forward to a plethora of opportunities for further development and establishment of my ELT occupation. After graduating, I plan to work full-time as an English language instructor, likely beginning in a program in the US and hopefully transitioning to an international position by the beginning of 2024. Once I have gotten ~1.5-2 years of teaching experience under my belt, I plan to pursue graduate studies in Applied Linguistics, with the ultimate goal of accumulating even more knowledge and inspiration for further enhancing the expressive potential of English for speakers of all varieties.

Olivia's CV