TESOL Grad Student Wins Volunteer Award

UT Arlington graduate student Carolyn Jones was named the 2012 Literacy Texas Volunteer of the Year, a statewide honor announced last month at the Literacy Texas Conference in Austin.

Jones, who is finishing her master’s degree in TESOL this semester, was honored for her work tutoring non-English speakers at the Vickery Meadows Learning Center in Dallas. In addition to teaching language classes, the former CPA and financial executive revised the program’s curriculum and recruited UT Arlington students to volunteer.

VMLC officials praised Jones for her “countless high-quality hours as a volunteer” and her professors celebrated her commitment to serving and teaching others.

“The award is a great reflection of the training that Carolyn received in our TESOL programs, which emphasize applying theories of language structure and pedagogy to learners in settings outside the traditional K-12 school system,” said Dr. Laurel Smith Stvan, associate professor and chair of the Department of Linguistics and TESOL. “And it’s well-deserved recognition for the time, talent and enthusiasm that she’s brought to the language learners in these classes.”

Jones said she was inspired by her students to pull what she’s learned at UT Arlington into the VMLC classroom.

“The students are wonderful,” she said. “They’re trying very hard to learn English … it’s a great sacrifice to make it to class every day. But they made it all worthwhile.”

In addition to working at Vickery Meadows, Jones is also a part-time instructor at UT Arlington’s English Language Institute, teaching business English.

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