Graduation Date

Spring 2017

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in English, emphasis Peace Corps Service with TEFL

First Committee Member Name

Dr. Suzanne Scott

First Committee Member Email

First Committee Member Affililation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Marianne Ahokas

Second Committee Member Email

Second Committee Member Affililation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Dr. Janet Winston

Third Committee Member Email

Third Committee Member Affililation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



In 2014, I was sent to Colombia’s Caribbean coast to serve as an English teacher through the Peace Corps. I spent two years teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) at both the elementary and secondary levels in Colombian public school settings, which included time in both urban and rural areas. Despite many hardships and setbacks, my experience in the Peace Corps was overwhelmingly positive. By teaching the alphabet at the elementary level, and focusing on vocabulary, test-taking strategies, and reading comprehension strategies at the secondary level, I was able to make a positive impact in public schools which had previously never hosted a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV).

This project tells the story of my experiences during the Master’s International Program beginning with my time at Humboldt State University, followed by my Pre-Service Training in Colombia. As a PCV in Colombia, I describe the four months I spent living, working, and observing English classes in a rural town, before moving to my final site placement. I then describe the remainder of my first year of service co-teaching at the primary-school level, as well as my second year of service co-teaching at the secondary-school level. I also include a description of my community English class, and my after-school English club. More specifically, this M.A. project describes the activities that worked in the classroom as a result of my TEFL training, as well as the activities that did not work in the classroom, often due to the cultural context of teaching on the Colombian coast. Additionally, this M.A. project discusses what I now believe I would do differently after having had some time for reflection.

The final portion of my M.A. project describes my experience with different secondary projects including a photography camp, music lessons, and a skateboarding group. My aim is that readers will be inspired by my journey to join the Peace Corps, and that future Peace Corps Volunteers will learn about the rewards that come with finishing one’s service.

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