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Cuencca and Loja, Ecuador: Teaching English in Ecuador
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Carolyn Stoughton

Liberal Arts Major(s): Spanish
Other Major: Elementary and Early Childhood Education
Hometown: Jamison, Pennsylvania

What was the best part of your experience?

It was great to have the opportunity to make friends from another country. Through a conversation partners program, I met new Ecuadorian friends and learned more about their culture. It was fun to practice my Spanish and talk about important topics like sustainability and cultural values. I even went over my partner's house to make llapingachos, a common Ecuadorian food. This was one of the best experiences of the program.

This program advanced my realization of the value and necessity of learning languages

How did this experience impact you academically?

This program helped me gain new insight into classroom pedagogy. Teaching English in a university classroom helped me reflect on my teaching and connect ideas to what I learned before and after the program. Using my experience to support my current learning enhances my learning and aids in my ability to see how my classwork is interconnected.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

This experience helped me find my passion for teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). I knew I always loved language learning, but I didn't realize that I would want to be an ESL teacher until after this program. This program advanced my realization of the value and necessity of learning languages. Also, living with a host family and hearing the adults talk about how they wanted to learn English furthered my desire to open a night school to teach adults ESL.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

I already studied abroad once and thought that was all I was going to do, but being a part of the Paterno Fellows Program helped me follow my passion to travel and teach, leading me to study abroad a second time.

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