Josh McMillen

Josh McMillen

1.     Why did you choose Anaheim University’s MA in TESOL program?

I chose this program because of the quality of the professors and the online setup allowed me to keep a flexible schedule.  Also, Anaheim does not have a practicum, which is great.  Anaheim recognizes that its students are already working in TESOL situations, so we can use the settings that we are currently in to aid us in our studies.  

2. Can you tell us about your career to date?

 Currently, I am working in Japan as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) with the JET Program.  I work at one junior high school and two elementary schools.

3. How do you expect your Masters to further your career?

 Having a Masters qualifies you for better teaching positions and helps your employer to have more confidence in your abilities.  I now know a great deal more about my field than I did when I started in the program. 

4. Can you share a favorite memory from Anaheim University?

 The residential sessions really stick out.  It was great to meet people and the professors face to face. 

5. Did you have a favorite class at Anaheim University?

 Honestly, it is hard to pick just one.  With many of the classes, I looked forward to the next lesson because the professors were so interesting.  Even though the classes were all online, the professors created an engaging community environment that I enjoyed logging in to every week. 

6. How did you enjoy the online experience?

 This was my first fully online classroom experience and I truly enjoyed it.  It was so convenient.

7. Who would you recommend Anaheim University’s MA in TESOL program?

 Anyone interested in TESOL.

8. What were the challenges in your program?

 Starting the program was a challenge for me.  I was worried about how I would do because it had been years since my last classroom experience, I had never had a fully online class, and I just became a father.  The professors and office staff were very helpful, which put me at ease.  The user interface was easy to navigate and the internet connections were great.  Because of the time difference between Anaheim and Japan, I always had classes on Saturday mornings, which was great because my son was either still asleep or just waking up.  The class timing worked out great.  Because everyone was so helpful and supportive, any challenge that came up was very manageable.   

 9. In your opinion, how does learning TESOL improve careers for ESL teachers?

 Learning TESOL gives ESL teachers more tools to use in their “teaching toolbox.”  Learning new methods helps you to become more analytic when tracking your students’ progress. 

 10. Could you please tell us about your Research Portfolio? 

 I enjoyed my portfolio experience mainly because of the weekly readings and journaling format.  The readings helped me to understand complex topics and the journals allowed me to wrestle with these ideas and come to my own understanding.

 11. Which residential sessions did you attend and what did you like best about them?

 I attended both sessions in Tokyo (in August 2016 and August 2018).  Meeting people and making connections was a great part.

12. How did you feel connected to your learning community?

 I thought that it would be hard to feel connected because the classes were online, but I felt a real connection with my community.  Professors were quick about emailing back.  The weekly forums helped us all to stay connected throughout the week. 

13. What advice can you give to new students entering the MA in TESOL program? 

 If you have any questions about anything, do not hesitate to ask.  The professors and staff are more than willing to help.  Do not be intimidated by the professors.  I was surprised at how down to earth and easy to talk to they were.  If you are having problems with anything, let people know.  They want you to succeed.

 14. Other comments

 I am happy to graduate, but a little sad that it is over.