Published: Oct. 9, 1997

New Academic Teaching Program Offered For Teaching English In East Asia

Students wanting to pursue careers teaching English in China, Japan or Korea can now get comprehensive training at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Laurel Rasplica Rodd, chair of the department of East Asian languages and literatures, and Lise Menn, chair of the linguistics department, developed the new offering because the job market for English teachers in East Asia is so strong.

The opening of mainland China to trade and economic competition along with the strengthening of the Korean economy have led to an increased demand for English teachers in those countries comparable to the recent demand in Japan.

“We think we’ve really hit a need here, and students are very enthusiastic,” Rodd said.

Several students already are enrolled in new graduate-level “TESEAL” (Teaching English to Speakers of East Asian Languages) tracks in both the linguistics and East Asian languages and literatures departments. The parallel tracks were approved by the Graduate School Advisory Committee in September.

The programs combine departmental strengths to offer students instruction in an East Asian language and culture as well as in general linguistics and teaching techniques. Students also take a new seminar, in which they explore topics such as cultural stereotypes, differing expectations about classroom behavior and differing social attitudes between the United States and East Asia.

“There are a lot of people (in the seminar) who have been to Japan and China, and there are a lot of issues that are brought up about teaching and culture. It’s nice to have that perspective,” said Holly Krech, 22, of Lakewood. A first-year graduate student, Krech already has spent one year teaching in China and is considering a return after completing her master’s degree at CU-Boulder.