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Alumna Ashley Shaffer’s Inspirational Words

I wanted to contact the TCNJ World Languages department to say thank you and give some exciting news that I feel is overdue in writing and that I owe partially to the department. This fall, I started as a PhD student of Spanish at Temple University with a specialization in Hispanic Linguistics. I am also teaching undergraduate Spanish at the university. Along my journey to this point, the instruction I received from TCNJ professors and the passion they conveyed for the content have been priceless. My goal is to become a Spanish professor and contribute to the field of SL instruction.

Joe Goebel has been an inspiration and mentor to me since taking his methodology course. He has written letters of recommendation for my first K-12 teaching position, Master’s program, and now for the doctoral program. Apart from this, though, he models what it means to be a supportive educator. I gained a very strong foundation in SLA/SL Instruction from his teaching which allows me to teach with enjoyment and student success. It provided solid knowledge for completing a Master’s in Teaching Language (Spanish) in terms of theory and application.
All of the department professors whom I took courses with provide strong instruction and knowledge of the field. I can say this from having taught for 7+ years with other Spanish teachers and discussing our undergraduate Spanish experiences and from the utility of what I learned in application in an MA. As a teacher and higher ed. student, I have consistently referred back to Dr. Goebel’s course and information I learned in Dr. Figueroa’s classes about Latin American civilization, literature, and composition. Dr. Morin’s phonetics course was eye-opening and direction-changing for me. When I saw the correlation between language learning and the importance of understand a language’s parts, I realized I wanted to continue studying it for the long haul…and here I am! I think of these professors as inspiration for what I want to achieve and want to send a big thank you to the department – professors may not always know it, but they are inspirations to their students even after graduation.

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