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Student Spotlight

Jiayu Hou is a current MA TESOL student graduating in May 2021. 

Jiayu Hou MA TESOL

Could you please introduce yourself?

My name is Jiayu Hou. I come from a southern city in China. One of the most famous specialties of Guangxi Province is called River Snail Rice Noodles, which is cooked with boiled soup of river snails, pork bones, and sour bamboo shoots and peanuts. Many people, even Chinese, cannot bear with the smell of it, but I love the taste very much. I have been in the US for three years but I haven’t had a chance to explore everywhere. My favorite places in the US are Universal Studio and Disneyland in Florida.

When did you first become interested in TESOL?

Before joining the TESOL program, I studied English Writing and Rhetoric and Professional and Technical writing as my minor. I first
became interested in teaching English in the summer of 2018. I went back home from school in La-Crosse and I found a part-time job as an English teacher. I had only five students at the age of 9. I was struggling at the beginning because I had no experience in teaching. But as time went by I found my strategies communicating with these little girls and we had a great time together. After the summer break I went back to school and I took a TESOL introduction course for one credit. Surprisingly, I found that some of the strategies that I had used with my students were also mentioned in class. That was the moment that I first felt that I might have some talent in teaching and I love the sense of achievement when I see students’ facial expressions of dawning comprehension. 

Are you currently teaching English? If yes, where and what is your learner population?

I am currently teaching at Washington English Center. My learner population is adult learners who are novice-mid to novice-high level.

In your opinion, what are some qualities which make a good teacher?

I define a good teacher as someone who has solid knowledge of the subject and who is able to play the role as a bridge between the knowledge and the students. A good teacher is also a role model to the students who is either consciously or subconsciously conveying them the values and the ways of seeing the world. 

In your opinion, what makes a successful language learner and teacher?

For both language learner and teacher, I think it is important to keep your mind open to every possibility and to keep a modest and motivated attitude. 

What do you plan to do after you complete the TESOL program?

I will be graduating from the TESOL program in May 2021. My dream job is to be a teacher in a quiet little town that has a beautiful landscape and small population. Outside of the classroom, I dream of living in an apartment with my best friends and adopting a dog.

Jiayu standing outside

A good teacher is also a role model to the students who is either consciously or subconsciously conveying them the values and the ways of seeing the world.