Tami Barker
ESL English Instructor

Native language: English, UK, US, Canadian
Currently living in: United States
Skype name: Tami Barker

I am interested in the English Instructor position. My master’s degree in TESOL education, teaching experience and life experiences living abroad in Mexico and the Micronesian Islands make me a perfect candidate for a university level English Instructor position.

For the past 3 years, I have been vigorously working at becoming an effective English Reading and Writing Instructor for ESL students. In my first year of teaching, I noticed how students were drilled on learning grammar but were seldom asked to apply the grammar through writing practice. As a result, I have several students who can label every part of speech in a passage but are overwhelmed and fearful of the writing process. They know grammar but are unable to write. In addition, I found they could read an entire 500 word essay but were unable to comprehend any kind of real meaning from what they read. From my findings, I developed the ESL curriculum at Travel University to include using the 5 W’s, reading novels, short stories and daily free writing journal exercises where I actually encourage students to feel completely free to make mistakes in their writing. I also included some speed writing exercises which encouraged students to write quickly while making mistakes. My goal was to get them writing and to help them learn how to enjoy writing by not being fearful of making the mistakes. I included peer reviews and self editing techniques to assist students with improving their writing skills. I only address grammar through writing exercises. If I witness several students making the same grammar errors, I lecture on the grammar rules surrounding that specific problem while also including self guided tutorials and practice.

Last year, I made the natural transition to teaching developmental English Composition and Rhetoric. I have taught these classes to ESL students who are enrolled in bachelor degree programs at Travel University, InterAmerican College and Southern States University. I applied the same techniques (journal writing, speed writing, self editing, peer reviews) and added blogging to the curriculum. I provided students with sample essays, writing styles, and rhetoric through the use of Moodle. Criterion, Owl Perdue and Turnitin have also proved to be excellent tools in self editing and teacher feedback. Peer reviews have proved to be the most effective tool for students to discover their strengths, weaknesses and methods for improvement when writing essays.

I focus my lectures on audience, purpose and writing styles. My lectures never exceed 20 minutes and I immediately follow my lectures with student application from the content of the lecture. Consequently, I am constantly assessing the learning outcomes. My courses always start with an autobiographical significant event narrative essay where I illustrate my personal life in chronological order through a sequence of events that include an exposition, rising actions, inciting force, crisis, climax, falling actions and resolution. I have the students label the events illustrated on the board using the (elements of plot) literary terms. Upon completion, I have students write their story using the visual graph provided with a list of the literary terms. I have found that when I share my life openly and honestly, I then give the students permission to do the same and the results are always rewarding. Their essays include raw emotion, honesty and a true depiction of their feelings, insight, discoveries and achievements.

I attend every possible teaching training workshop offered through the San Diego Adult Education department and the annual CATESOL program. At Travel University, I facilitate teacher training workshops where I relay the information learned from the workshops I attend.

It has never been my intention to be an average English Instructor; I have always strived toward being a great English Instructor and that goal will only be achieved through constant self assessment, peer assessment, observations and teacher training workshops.

In addition to my teaching contributions at Travel University, I also assist the DSO with SEVIS administrative duties, coordinate student activities and acclimate international students to American culture.

  • Onsite: San Diego, CA
  • Online
    • Presentation editing and voice-overs
    • Assessment of spoken language skills
    • I am available for tutoring using SKYPE with webcam.
Please contact me for more information.