Ryan P.

Majors and Certificates: International Studies and German, TESOL Certificate

Graduation Year: 2012

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Language: German

What have you done since graduating from UW-Madison?

ESL Instructor and Student Services Coordinator, WESLI, Madison, WI; February 2016-Present:

  • Teach multiple levels of ESL as assigned
  • Collaborate with administrative staff on registration and placement testing for new and continuing students
  • Manage student housing for both student dormitory and homestay program
  • Maintain students’ financial records through management of tuition

ELL Instructor, Journey House, Milwaukee, WI; May 2015-February 2016:

  • Develop curriculum and teach ELL at various levels
  • Provide orientation and assessment to potential ELL students through standardized tests and oral interviews in compliance with State requirements
  • Complete Personal Education Plans (PEP) for each student and evaluate student’s progress toward short and long term goals through the development and assessment of student portfolios
  • Develop and implement family, financial, health, nutrition, library and computer literacy for students
  • Complete grant required paperwork
  • Actively report and maintain records on registration, attendance, skill level increases, obtaining jobs, job retention, family literacy, field trips and transitions post-secondary
  • Facilitate teacher training programs through the Wisconsin ESLPRO Intiative
  • Administer and rate TABE CLAS-E listening, reading and speaking tests

Adjunct ELL Instructor, Moraine Park Technical College, Fond du Lac, WI; September 2015-December 2015

  • Taught a multi-level course with focus on listening, speaking and writing
  • Prepared reports for grant writing purposes
  • Conducted intake, orientation and testing for new students
  • Planned and coordinated grant funded community connection field trips and guest speakers

ELL Specialist, Marian University, Fond du Lac, WI; September 2015-December 2015:

  • Assisted students with various writing assignments
  • Developed academic language and critical thinking skills
  • Created learning solutions by developing relationships with students allowing them to come to their own conclusions

What motivated you to study this language?

A study abroad trip in high school to Germany opened my eyes to the idea of a second language allowing my brain to think in new ways never thought imaginable. The benefits to learning a second language go far beyond just completing some pre-req. Apart from mastering a second language, I acquired immense critical thinking and cross-cultural communication skills.

How have these languages enriched your life?

The experience of fully immersing myself in another language and culture motivated me to become an English as a Second Language instructor. Having always enjoyed my time in language classes, I joked that my career goal was to be a student forever. By becoming an ESL instructor, I have essentially made this goal a reality. Everyday, I get to use my own experiences to benefit others all while continuing to learn about the world around me through other languages and cultures.

What do you remember about your UW language classes? How were they different from other classes you took?

I remember having several of the same students in my classes from year to year which allowed for the development of academic and professional relationships that have had a lasting impact on my career and personal life to this day.

How valuable were your out-of-classroom experiences?

While studying abroad through the Academic Year in Freiburg program, I accepted an internship through a local gastronomy company. At the time, I thought my main interests were in the restaurant industry. Looking back, this internship was invaluable not for the restaurant experience I was gaining, but rather the language learning experience.

How have you maintained or improved your language since graduation?

Long lasting friendships with german speakers, current Treasurer of the Academic Year in Freiburg Alumni Association (501 c3 promoting study abroad program) in contact with our German branch. Many of my current students come from German speaking countries which allows for continued practice and improvement.

What advice do you have for current language students?

Language learning does not end in the classroom. Get out there, put yourself in uncomfortable situations and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

What is your favorite word or phrase in a language you know?

“Fernweh” translated from German to mean “Longing for travel” or essentially the opposite of “Homesick”