Amina Rahman is a current MA TESOL student. Read more to find out about her teaching experiences and her time in the AU TESOL program!
Please introduce yourself.
Hello! My name is Amina Rahman. I was born and raised in New York City and currently live in the Washington metropolitan area. I’ve had some wonderful experiences living and working in the DMV. I especially enjoyed attending the AU TESOL workshops on teacher education each year. I enjoyed them so much that I finally enrolled in the AU TESOL Graduate Certificate program. After I received my certificate, I returned to the University to enroll in the MA TESOL program.
When did you first become interested in TESOL?
I first became interested in teaching TESOL when I was hired to teach at a local area international high school. I was hired to be an English teacher but was assigned to teach English as a Second Language (ESL). Although I wasn’t sure I was prepared to teach ESL, the administration had full confidence that I would do just fine. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I loved working with the students and was hooked from the start.
Did you have any teaching experience before you enrolled in AU's TESOL program?
Yes, before enrolling in AU’s TESOL Certificate program, I had taught English part-time for two years at Arlington Public schools and tutored part -time at a local community college. Thereafter, I taught ESL at the international high school for another two years.
In your opinion, what are some qualities that make a good teacher?
I believe good teachers are life long learners who not only learn from books or methods or their peers, but who also learn from their students.
Are you currently teaching English? If yes, where and what is your learner population?
I currently teach for the Arlington Education and Employment Program (REEP). I teach English online to low-beginner adults.
In your opinion, what makes a successful language learner and teacher?
I believe a successful language learner is someone who seeks authentic opportunities to practice language on a regular basis and in ways that go beyond just attending class. For example, a successful learner would talk to her teacher about resources and engage the target language in one or more of the following ways: work or volunteer part-time in a place where she gets to interact and speak with a variety of people; watch the same daily/weekly TV program to get used to the accents, phrases, and gestures of the characters over time; use online technologies for language learning; read newspapers and books that are slightly below her reading level; join a language meet-up group; and/or correspond with a native speaker. I believe a successful language teacher would recommend and encourage students to seek online language-learning technologies and personal experiences outside of class. Moreover, her lesson plans would provide connections to the real world. In addition, she would take an interest in the languages and cultures of her students to better inform her teaching. Finally, I believe a successful language teacher would make a habit of keeping abreast of trends in educational research and technologies as well as best teaching practices and would reflect on how those discoveries could improve her teaching.
What do you plan to do after you complete the TESOL program?
I plan to teach adult women from non-English speaking cultures who live in the metropolitan area but who cannot speak English. Because the members of this learner population are wives, mothers, and/or homemakers whose husbands and/or children already read, write, and communicate in English, my plan is to teach them conversational English so that they too can converse in English both within and outside of their homes.
What interests do you pursue outside of the classroom?
Before Covid, I enjoyed shopping and visiting and dining in or out with friends and family. I also liked reading, going to the movies, and spending time in the regional park that is just a block from my home. These days, I do my shopping and visiting online, and I dine in with my husband. However, I still read a lot and spend time in the park, but now I watch newly released movies on cable.