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Student Profile: Dorothy Gudgel

My teaching skills and philosophy have been so positively influenced and improved upon by combining the teaching with the graduate TESOL program at VIU.
“I have been involved in TESOL since 1996, when I began volunteering as an ESL instructor at a church in Herndon, where I continued to volunteer for a decade. In 2006, I enrolled in the ESOL Instructor training class with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Adult Education. Upon completion, FCPS hired me to teach literacy and low-intermediate classes in their Adult ESOL program. In 2008, I went to work for Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions tutoring students for the TOEFL examination on a one-on-one basis for 2 years. I returned to FCPS Adult ESOL Program in 2010, and currently teach high intermediate and low beginner levels of English.

Even with 15 years of experience in TESOL, I began to think of earning a master's degree, a goal that I have held for a long time. I decided that an M.A. in TESOL would be a very valid, worthwhile goal for a sense of personal accomplishment. It would also help in securing employment. I looked online at different TESOL Programs in our area, and was very impressed with VIU's focus on teaching English language skills to adults. After studying the courses offered for both the TESOL graduate certificate as well as the M.A. in TESOL on the VIU website, I felt that the program was very well-rounded and very much related to my teaching experience. I made the decision to apply in October 2010 for the M.A. in TESOL Program and was accepted. I started my graduate work in the spring 2011 semester.

All of the instructors at VIU have been wonderful, very knowledgeable and friendly. My first class at VIU was 'Methods of Teaching', taught by Dr. Marietta Bradinova, who is the nicest, most supportive teacher any student could ever ask for. I graduated with a B.A. in Psychology in May, 1970, and although I was very excited to start my studies at VIU, I was also worried about successfully meeting the academic rigors of graduate school and navigating the world of computer usage in the classroom. Dr. Bradinova was so helpful and reassuring throughout the course, and I also met and made new friends with wonderful classmates. From the beginning, VIU became a supportive, comfortable place for future learning and academic accomplishment. Now that I am successfully finished with the graduate TESOL certificate, I so look forward to going forward for the remaining six courses for the M.A. in TESOL.

I think that a combination of teaching ESOL and studying for a TESOL degree is the best of all possible worlds - my teaching skills and philosophy have been so positively influenced and improved upon by combining the teaching with the graduate TESOL program at VIU. I have been very happy, and I look forward to continuing with my studies at VIU!”

Dorothy Gudgel
MA in TESOL


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