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Trent Student Gains World of Knowledge Teaching Abroad
July 7, 2007

Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) Course Opens Door to Unlimited Opportunities for Deanna McWhirter

When Deanna Stefaniuk McWhirter decided it was time to fulfill her lifelong dream of teaching abroad, she looked to the TESL course through Trent University’s Continuing Education Program to make it happen.

As she entered the TESL classroom for the first time in 2003, she felt similar to how she did on her first day of kindergarten. This time around she was anxious about having to remember proper syntax and grammatical conjunctions and trying to recall what those terms even meant.

Throughout the course, Ms. McWhirter found her fellow classmates to be excellent colleagues and her professors were great mentors. With confidence gained from the classroom and with words of encouragement from her family, Ms. McWhirter left for Taiwan one week after completing her TESL course.  No words could describe how nervous and excited she felt about what she was doing, but with the support behind her and a window of opportunity in front of her she knew she was already successful by just making the first move to go to Taiwan.   

The province she was in was very serene and beautiful and so full of opportunity.  With her guide book in hand she was able to explore the culture, the food, the people and look at all the teaching opportunities that were available. Her fear of the unknown quickly disappeared as she learned to understand the people and the systems of Taiwan.

As she walked into the school where she would be teaching, she saw the eager faces of the children just waiting to be taught.  She wondered what impact she would have on these young learners.

Three days before she started, Deanna was armed with notes of things she would teach the children.  But little did she know how much the children would teach her or what great gifts they would be for her life.  Everyday was an adventure, and a treasure she would always cherish.  Not only would she take home the wonderful memories of her trip, but also the knowledge that she was able to fulfill her dream.  

Learning…for your self, for your career, for your LIFE.

If you’d like more information on the TESL course offered at Trent University, please contact Melanie Sedge at (705) 748-1011 x 7132 or msedge@trentu.ca.


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