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Archive for October, 2014

After a long and fairly hectic month of intense training and on-the-job learning, our new AmeriCorps members have settled into their roles at LLC. We are so excited to introduce them!

Keelin McGill hails from Morgantown, West Virginia. She attended West Virginia University, where she received a BA in Professional Writing and Editing with a minor in Spanish. During her time at WVU she worked in the Center for Literary Computing, as well as the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, where she realized that Teaching English as a Second Language would allow her to combine everything she loved- the studies of English, Linguistics, and Spanish.

Keelin studied German, French, and Russian at a young age, but got serious about learning another language when she started studying Spanish as a Sophomore at WVU. She knows first-hand that learning a new language as an adult can be frustrating, time-consuming, and scary. She teaches a beginner level ESOL class at Douglass Community Center twice a week, and a multi-level class at Guilford Elementary. “I’m so impressed by my student’s desire to learn, and their determination to meet their goals in English. What they take from the classroom will help them build confidence to communicate in their everyday lives. That’s what makes this job so rewarding.”

Keelin is also excited to work with the fantastic people at Loudoun Literacy Council, and learn everything she can from them. Upon completion of her AmeriCorps service, she plans on returning to graduate school to study Applied Linguistics and TESOL.

Liesl Stach is a native of Northern Virginia and graduated from Roanoke College with a BA in creative writing this past May. “I’ve always loved reading and writing,” she says. “I hope to implement that same love in my students.” Her interests besides writing include singing and playing the ukulele — skills that she hopes to eventually use in her classes. Liesl teaches a beginner ESOL class at Sterling Library on Monday and Thursday evenings, as well as an ESOL class at Dominion High School on Wednesday mornings for parents of children in the Head Start program. She finds a lot of joy in teaching, “but I would be one hundred percent okay if I never had to step foot in a high school during school hours ever again,” she jokes.

Liesl first became interested in the idea of teaching ESOL during her junior year of college, when she spent three weeks in Cambodia during May 2013. “I was taking a class on travel writing,” she says, “And I was bitten by the travel bug. I wanted to travel the world and write about my journeys, like Rick Steves. So I talked to my professor and he suggested applying to teach English abroad. I figured if I wanted to do that, I should get some experience teaching ESOL in the US first. So after my year of service with AmeriCorps, I hope to go to grad school for education or TESOL or even English again, and then start traveling.”

Other than Cambodia, Liesl has also visited the UK, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Bermuda, and the Dominican Republic.

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