Many graduate students at Messiah University experience significant life changes during their course of study. Taeko Shibasaki was no exception. In fact, her journey took her all the way from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, to Tokyo just months before she was scheduled to earn her Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree with a concentration in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Fortunately, because of the program’s flexibility and online format, she was able to complete her internship and capstone project in Tokyo and graduate as planned.
Before coming to the U.S., Taeko had been teaching English in Japan, where she is from, for almost a decade. “I started to question myself,” she said. “I began to consider pursuing graduate studies to update my knowledge and further deepen my understanding of teaching a language.”
Before enrolling in Messiah’s program, Taeko met with Jan Dormer, professor of TESOL. “In that brief meeting, Professor Dormer—who was actually dedicated to the profession and working in different contexts all over the world—opened my eyes to where the degree could take me after graduation,” said Taeko.
Taeko is an instructor at the Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages in Tokyo where she teaches Japan studies and basic English conversation. An M.Ed. with a concentration in TESOL provided her with creative and research-backed methodologies that have impacted every aspects of her career and practice.
“As an international student, my experience at Messiah was filled with learning opportunities.” Taeko said. “Through the weekly discussions and collaborative learning opportunities, I was able to work closely with peers exchanging views and ideas—even after returning to Japan, I felt the same kind of connection through the coursework.”