Education & Work History
Kent McLeod, B.A. and M.A.T. (Rice University, 1992/1994), M.A. TESOL (Teachers College, Columbia University, 2000), and Ph.D. (Texas A&M University, 2008), has taught EFL in South Korea for 8 years (1994-1998, 2000-2004), ESL in the Community English Program at Teachers College in New York from 1998 to 1999 and in the English Language Institute at Texas A&M University from 2004 to 2010 before joining the ELI at UTA in 2010. During his first four years in South Korea, he taught at Samsung, LG, and Hyundai, focusing on business English. From 2000 to 2004, he was a Visiting Professor in the Language Center at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). He was in charge of the English Village Program, Associate Dean of International Relations, and the co-host of the nationally broadcast radio show "Easy English" on the Educational Broadcasting Service. At the ELI in Texas A&M, Dr. McLeod's areas of special interest were oral skills and listening and the use of technology in the classroom. He is eager to do much of the same in the ELI at UTA and become actively involved in all aspects of the organization, from participation in the cultural activities to speaking at national and international conferences.
When he's not teaching, he can be found working out, jogging, playing tennis, traveling, or taking pictures.
As with any journey, taking the first step is usually the hardest. The Korean proverb, 시작이 반 이다, describes this situation very well. Before we even start, we need to be prepared for the long (but exciting) road ahead by packing the appropriate amount of items to take with us. (Please don’t forget those subject-verb agreement rules or those contractions. On the other hand, is it really necessary to take everyone one of those idioms you’ve learned? They could get a bit heavy.) This will include, of course, our English survival kit, which holds our stored knowledge of English, previous experiences using English, and resource materials. You already possess so much information about English; what may be surprising to you is deciding what to take and what to leave behind.
While the items above are vital for our trip, no preparation would be complete without the following:
ü Positive attitude: The road is long; don’t get down on yourself for making mistakes.
ü Confidence: Feeling sure about your ability to communicate in English is indispensable. Without it, dreams for expanding your horizons will remain just that, dreams. Without it, opportunities to experience new things will slip away. Without it, we can never reach our final destination.
ü Perseverance: Always keep moving toward your goal.
ü Understanding the “big picture”: “Rome wasn’t built in a day”; learning English is a lifelong process.
ü Receptiveness: We all get lost sometimes; be open to correction or criticism along the way to your destination.
ü Attention to both form and meaning: Don’t forget the reason for your travel. Language is for communication; grammar is just a part.
ü Independence: Don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path; the most exciting moments in life are usually the unplanned ones.
ü Resourcefulness: Use every strategy and every opportunity available to you to move yourself one step closer to your goal.
Are we ready to go? Have you checked the list above to make sure you’ve packed everything? Don’t worry too much, however; if you forget something, you can always pick it up on the way. I hear that fearlessness is really cheap in America! Bon voyage!