DePaul Students Teaching at Huaqiao University this Academic Year

Two DePaul students, Allison Gourley and Jordan Weber, travelled to China in August in order to teach English for a year through the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse (WRD) and their standing relationship with the English Department at Huaqiao University in Xiamen/Quanzhou, China. The collaboration between WRD and Huaqiao began in 2013 when the Director of the TESOL Certificate in WRD, Dr. Jason Schneider, and the WRD Chair, Pete Vandenberg, visited Huaqiao. An agreement was reached with the partner institution giving DePaul students whose Master's degree included the TESOL Certificate offered by WRD, preferred status as applicants to teach English at Huaqiao. In 2015, the English department at DePaul began allowing their MA students to complete the TESOL certificate, allowing English students the opportunity to go to Huaqiao as well. Two other students, before Allison (WRD) and Jordan (English), had already taken advantage of this opportunity.

Alison completed the WRD combined BA/MA program ispast June. Her interest in TESOL started with a job opportunity in the WRD department as a peer mentor for a group of international students from China. Through this opportunity she realized that teaching and working with international students was something she really enjoyed. Alison is both anxious and excited to move to and teach in China. Career-wise, she thinks the experience she will gain teaching at Huaqiao will be invaluable.

Jordan entered the TESOL certificate program through the English department. As an English Masters student he was investigating certificate offerings when he found out about the TESOL program. He had multiple friends travel and teach abroad, and seeing how much of an enriching experience it was for them, he decided to take advantage of this opportunity.During his experience at DePaul, he had a chance to volunteer to teach English at the Humboldt Park Vocational Center. Because the course engaged with English learners from multiple linguistic and cultural backgrounds at different ages and skill levels, it was extremely useful to get a chance to navigate these complex classroom dynamics.

We are delighted to see this relationship flourish and we hope that many more DePaul TESOL graduates will be able to take advantage of this exciting opportunity.