GWU Classes Give Student Confidence to Teach English in Slovakia

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Angela Meade ’18 Appreciates Support from Professors and Staff

Angela Meade working on her laptopOn a mission trip to the European country of Slovakia, Angela Meade ’18 worked with students who were learning to speak English. At times her questions were met with silence, but Meade was prepared to wait, something she learned as an English as a Second Language (ESL) major at Gardner-Webb University. “I might have even been a little uneasy or uncomfortable if I hadn’t discussed previously in my classes that providing ample wait time for the students to stop and think about my question or how they might complete the task was natural,” Meade asserted. “Having that in the back of my mind as I taught in some unconventional places—like little cabins, outside at a picnic table, or in a cafeteria—really helped me adapt and use my creativity.”

Meade is a homeschool student from Charlotte, N.C. She included Gardner-Webb in her college search, because her friend liked going to school there. On her first visit, Meade was impressed with the friendliness of everyone she met. “Gardner-Webb feels like home the second you step on campus,” Meade reflected. “Strangers become friends, and it’s hard to imagine your life without them.”

Angela Meade in the libraryHer professors show they are interested in her success by telling her about internships or learning experiences they think will interest her. She’s also had plenty of opportunities to visit classrooms and gain practical experience. “I’ve been able to pursue opportunities because of the connections and genuine concern on the professors’ part,” Meade affirmed. “All of my education classes are focused on real-world application. I have been in and out of the local schools frequently since my second semester. This allows me to observe and apply what I’ve been learning about in the classroom. My Spanish classes are all about comprehension and fluency on a conversational level. I feel so much more confident in my Spanish now than I ever have been.”

She feels her adjustment to college has been easy, because of the individual attention she receives. “Professors are always available, and I’ve never felt scared to ask a question or talk with them after class,” Meade shared. “They make time for us, not only so we can do well in a particular class, but also in our future careers.”