Sunday, May 18, 2014

Austrian Jakob Illek Joins German Studies Program as Fulbright Teaching Assistant

Jakob writes:  I honestly can’t think of any greater opportunity to have than becoming a Teaching
Assistant at a college in the United States. The thought of actually spending a whole year abroad and getting to meet new people, completely immersing myself into a new culture and simply having the time of my life makes me feel contented.  There are several reasons as to why I would love to get an opportunity like this. One of the most obvious ones is that I just love being among people from other countries. I am a very outgoing person and I enjoy talking to people from other countries, cultures, ethnicities or religions. The main reason for these characteristics of mine is the Scout Movement. I joined the Scouts when I was seven years old and nothing in my life has taught me as many values and influenced me as much as the Scouts have. I’m really fortunate that I had the possibility to go to a World Scout Jamboree in 2007 in Chelmsford, England as a participant and in 2011 in Kristianstad, Sweden as a member of the International Service Team.

Jamborees are huge gatherings of up to 40 000 Scouts from all over the world. I had the pleasure to meet people from every corner of the world and I am very happy that I can call every single person I met there a friend. These experiences also boosted my interest in the English language a lot and in 2012 I applied and got accepted as one of 10 students for a course offered by my University called “English at primary schools on their way to a bilingual class”. This course has taught me many important and interesting methods on how to teach a foreign language to children. I think this can also be applied to older students. As far as teaching goes I generally have an advantage since I have been teaching in classrooms once a week for the last two years now as part of my practical studies at the University for Teacher Education. The feedback I've received so far has always been very positive and teaching consultants keep on telling me, how authentic I am in front of class and that teaching comes naturally to me. Being an aspiring primary school teacher demands a lot of creativity, patience and imagination. These traits also definitely come in handy when teaching college students a foreign language.

                                                           Welcome, Jakob!