Next Stop: Teaching English in Lyon, France

Photography by: Ryan S. Brandenberg
 
Amelia Schunder came to Temple knowing that she wanted to pursue a career in teaching, but it wasn’t until she observed an English as a second language class for her degree program that her focus started to become clear.
 
Her experience changed her perspective. Instead of only teaching classic literature, she realized that she had a talent for helping students who recently immigrated to the United States become proficient in English.
 
“Fortunately, my groundbreaking decision didn’t require me to change majors,” Schunder, of Norristown, Pennsylvania, said.
 
In addition to her bachelor’s degree in secondary education, Schunder will receive a certificate to teach ESL to students in kindergarten through high school.
 
Schunder laid the foundation for her new career while working at the Temple Writing Center, where she helped tutor international students. The work helped her hone her teaching ability.
 
When it was time to get hands-on experience, Schunder was placed in Franklin Learning Center’s Newcomer Learning Academy, a program that helps students who have little familiarity with English to learn the language.
 
The class piqued her interest, and the fact that students spoke nine different languages made the experience all the more interesting for Schunder.
 
“Teaching ESL students is definitely a challenge,” she said. “But I was really excited. I realized that it captures all of the things that I like about education; it’s applicable, it’s fun, it’s active. Ever since then, I’ve been looking for volunteer opportunities and other ways to improve my skills in teaching ESL.”
 
This fall, Schunder will put her skills to work as a teacher with the Teaching Assistant Program in France.
 
Schunder will spend seven months in Lyon, France where she will teach English to French students of all ages.
 
“I know this is what I want to do in the future,” Schunder said. “The opportunity to help students learn a new language is very rewarding.”
 
- Jazmyn Burton