Rachel Pole

I'm currently teaching English at a private high school outside of Pittsburgh. However, I spent most of my career thus far teaching English as a foreign language in Europe, working for the three years after I graduated from Innsbruck as a Senior Lecturer at the English Department of the University of Klagenfurt.

The connection between my career and the programme at Innsbruck is pretty clear, but I chose to do an MA in Austria after completing a BA in the States for several reasons. Firstly, I wanted to improve my understanding of linguistics by taking both introduction lectures and more advanced seminars on the topic. Secondly, I was very interested in experiencing tertiary education outside of the States and was glad to have had the opportunity to see first-hand how another education system works. At the time I enrolled, I was pretty certain that I wanted to pursue a teaching career and was very interested in how the students around me studied and learned. Lastly, I actively observed how teachers taught the material and organised their courses. There were several courses and instructors whose practices influenced the way I teach today. Dr Cordery's editing and proofreading courses were likely the most challenging, because I couldn't just rely on my native speaker skills and instead had to train myself how best to respond to others' texts. Dr Mazzon's sociolinguistics courses made me aware of the politics and social factors that influence how we judge others' language abilities, which has made me a better EFL teacher. My fondest memory is meeting outside of class with Dr Ramsey-Kurz and a group of peers to talk about writing, reading, and learning. Those conversations were supportive and intellectually stimulating. I could recommend studying Anglistik und Amerikanistik for a number of reasons, from the diversity of faculty expertise to the research opportunities. In my experience, the skills I learned while studying, such as evaluating texts, collaborating with peers, and examining the foundations of languages, have influenced not just my career but the way I think about the world.


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