IECP New Faculty Perspective

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Hello! Thank you for checking out our blog. We at the IECP are proud to have a space on-line where we can keep people updated about news, events, and other fun things happening in our program. This first post will give you a sense of our program and the people who attend our program.

Tom Spencer IECP Penn State Faculty

My name is Tom Spencer and I’m a new teacher here at the IECP. I have really enjoyed the first nine weeks of the fall semester.

Prior to joining the IECP I was working on—and continue to work on—my PhD in Adult Education and Comparative & International Education. Like many of the other teachers, I completed my MA TESL here at Penn State; however, I’d been teaching English to university students for about 8 years prior to pursuing my masters.

The faculty and staff at the IECP have made my first semester a great one. Everyone is friendly and helpful. The students I work with are great too. I teach a beginning level reading course and the advanced grammar classes. The students come from different places such as Brazil, Mongolia, and the United Arab Emirates. I can relate to the experience of living overseas as I have lived in central Europe and South Africa—teaching English in both places.

Mostly, the students at the IECP plan to attend university whether it’s at the undergraduate or graduate level. For full-time students, a weekly course schedule includes 18 hours of class time spent in grammar, oral communication, reading, and writing. Students study every day Monday through Friday each week., not counting the homework or extra events students are encouraged to attend.

IECP students are hardworking, kind people who share a desire to improve their English and are able to do so with dedicated—and equally hardworking—teachers. In addition to the opportunities students have to improve their English in the IECP classroom or among university students here at Penn State, we also have a tutoring center specifically designed to meet the needs of our students. Here students can receive focused attention on trouble spots they may have in grammar, writing, reading, or oral communication. Additionally, IECP Faculty, ITC Tutors and other professors provide workshops for the students that range from understanding the American health insurance system—how to understand your bill and what you are required to pay—and TOEFL preparation. I’m looking forward to presenting on renters’ rights in the state of Pennsylvania. I feel it’s very important for students to know what is expected of them and what their rights are when they sign a lease for an apartment or house.

We welcome you to check out our blog regularly and to ask us any questions you might have by contacting All the best from Happy Valley!

IECP Faculty Fall 2013- Nittany Lion Inn

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