Aziza Mirkhanova

I come from a historical town in Uzbekistan called Bukhara. Growing up in this wonderful, oriental city that was always filled with foreign tourists, I was fascinated with the English language and how it easily connects people from all over the world. I dreamt of one day learning English and teaching it. However, the path to this dream was not straightforward. My mother’s side of the family is comprised of several generations of librarians. So, I followed in the footsteps of my mother and became a librarian. I liked what I was doing but there was something missing. I had an opportunity to study English language in a language institution in the DC area and that’s how I came to learn about FXUA. However, before deciding to pursue graduate studies, I spent a few months in Turkey working with refugees and providing translation services. I came to see the increased opportunities and advantages for refugees who spoke English. This experience reinforced my intention to pursue a graduate degree at FXUA focusing on TESOL.

I am really fond of FXUA, not only for the caliber of professors and support staff but also because of such a cosmopolitan and friendly environment this university offers to students. The TESOL program in particular is outstanding, and over the past months of studying I am very proud of the knowledge I have acquired and the friendships I have built with fellow students. I feel at home at FXUA and I am happy to know that I am on the path to fulfill my dream and passion of teaching English to the most vulnerable people in the world.

Aziza Mirkhanova, Alumna, MA in TESOL

Haider Semaisim

Studying my Masters in Applied Linguistics in the School of Education at FXUA prepared me to become an active contributor to the field as a future teacher and researcher. The comprehensive curriculum equipped me with the theoretical and practical knowledge of the field. I feel extremely lucky to have studied under the dedicated faculty in the SED. The program not only prepared me for how to become a future teacher/researcher, it also made me explore new personal horizons and honed my intellectual and analytical abilities. Thank you to the SED and FXUA! I am very proud and privileged to have studied here as a graduate student.

Haider Semaisim, Alumnus, MS in Applied Linguistics

ان دراسة الماجستير في علم اللسانيات التطبيقية في كلية التربية/ جامعة فرجينيا الدولية حضرتني لكي اكون مشاركا فعالا في مجال دراستي، وهذا يشمل مجاليَ التدريس و البحث. ان التصميم الشامل للمنهج الدراسي قد صمم بعناية فائقة لتحفيز و تجهيز الدارسين بمعرفة المجال على المستويين النظري و العملي. اعتبر نفسي، صدقاً، بأنني محظوظ جدا لأنني حظيت بفرصة الدراسة تحت اعضاء الهيئة التدريسية لكلية التربية. ان البرنامج لم يحضرني لأكون تدريسياً او باحثاً مستقبلياً فقط، بل جعلني استكشف آفاق شخصية جديدة كما و شحذ قدراتي الفكرية و التحليلية. شكرا لكلية التربية/ جامعة فرجينيا الدولية، انا فخور لأنني شاركت في الامتياز، الذي هو كوني احد خريجيك.

حيدر سميسم
ماجستير في علم اللسانيات التطبيقية

Mauge Tapia Escobar

Enrolling in FXUA must be the best decision I ever made. This university has provided me the opportunity to grow not only as a professional but as a person as well. FXUA has a multicultural environment and all students network with people from different countries every day; this helped me gain radically different perspectives on life. Without a doubt, FXUA faculty never cease to amaze me. I had the opportunity to work with excellent professionals that are masters in their fields. TESOL professors are outstanding when it comes to preparing activities and setting goals.

Enrolling at FXUA was very easy. They had the confidence in my potential and even more importantly they recognized my scholastic achievements. The demand for ESL professionals in Bolivia is greater than ever before, and upon completion of this program I am sure I will have a solid linguistic and pedagogic base to make an important difference in an ESL/EFL classroom in my country.

Maria “Mauge” Tapia Escobar, Alumna, MA in TESOL

Vega Beloqui Ortiz

After 3 years of thinking about it, I finally made up my mind: I wanted to go on with my studies even though I had finished my degree 14 years ago. What took me so long? Well… Apart from my full time job, my husband, my two kids (8 and 6)… Simple: I was afraid. Afraid of not being able to finish what I began. I started looking for what I wanted to study and I could only find it at Fairfax University of America. No other country, no other state, no other university had exactly what I wanted. Some others have a Masters in TESOL, but the courses in this program are really enriching. Trust me,

I´ve been teaching English as a Foreign Language for 14 years so I know what I’m talking about! Studying online in an American university while living in Spain was really challenging for me, but everybody at FXUA made it so easy and they really helped me throughout the whole application process. My biggest concern was money. FXUA is one of the most affordable universities I found, but compared to Spanish ones it was still out of my reach. They told me I could apply for the Career Online Scholarship and I didn´t give it much credit, to be honest, but I tried anyway. To my surprise they replied in a few weeks saying I had been awarded a scholarship! I´m about to finish my second course of the Masters and I´m so glad I decided to start this adventure. It makes me happy to see I can pursue my dreams without taking time from my family or work. With a little organization and the help of my professors, everything is turning out perfect! I´m so motivated and engaged in the course now that there´s no doubt the Masters is bringing out the best in me.

Vega Beloqui Ortiz, Alumna, MA in TESOL

Después de pensar en ello durante tres años, por fin tomé la decisión: quería continuar con mis estudios a pesar de haber terminado la carrera 14 años atrás. ¿Por qué tardé tanto en decidirme? Bueno… a parte de mis diez horas de trabajo al día, mi marido, mis dos hijos de 8 y 6 años… Fácil: tenía miedo. Miedo no ser capaz de lograrlo. Empecé a mirar lo que quería estudiar y sólo pude encontrarlo en Fairfax University of America. En ningún otro país, en ningún otro estado ni en ninguna otra universidad pude encontrar exactamente lo que quería. Creedme; llevo catorce años enseñando en inglés y se de lo que hablo. Estudiar online en una universidad americana supuso un gran reto para mí, pero todo el personal me ayudó mucho durante el proceso de solicitud y de inscripción. Mi mayor preocupación era el dinero. FXUA es una de las universidades más asequibles que encontré aunque, comparada con las universidades españoles, todavía estaba muy por encima de mis posibilidades. Me animaron a solicitar una beca (Career Online Scholarship). No estaba muy convencida pero lo intenté de todas formas. Para mi sorpresa, en unas pocas semanas me contestaron: ¡me habían concedido una beca de 2.000 dólares! Estoy a punto de terminar el primer año del Master y estoy encantada de haber iniciado esta aventura. Me hace feliz ver que puedo perseguir mis sueños sin quitarles tiempo a mi familia o a mi trabajo. Con un poco de organización y la ayuda de mis profesores, todo termina saliendo de la forma esperada. Estoy muy motivada e implicada en el curso. Creo que el Master está sacando lo mejor de mí.

Vega Beloqui Ortiz, Alumna, MA in TESOL

Islom Boynazarov

As an international student, I chose Fairfax University of America for two reasons: first, I wanted to experience the university’s diverse cultural atmosphere; second, I wanted to become a more experienced professional in my career – teaching English to the speakers of other languages (TESOL). My two years in the MA in TESOL program at FXUA has been truly memorable, and I never regret having made the decision to complete my master’s degree at this university.

When I reflect on my time at Fairfax University of America, I see that I have been able not only to improve my skills in teaching but also gain a deep understanding of theories in the second language acquisition process. Through lessons with incredibly supportive professors, I was challenged to discover a voice that I didn’t know I had. The knowledge and experience I had at FXUA gave me confidence, which serves as an internal force to drive my career further to be able to teach English successfully.

Having been educated in a supportive environment at FXUA, I found myself able to understand the second language acquisition process inside out and am ready to put this knowledge into practice. With carefully-chosen textbooks and small group lessons, I became familiar with recent research theories. Through challenging me, my professors have helped me to develop my own critical thinking ability. It was incredibly useful to learn about different aspects of the teaching field and to connect these practices with modern informational technology.

Also, I benefited from the real-life teaching practice in the practicum class at FXUA. I was given a tremendous opportunity to work with competent ESL instructors to observe their lessons and learn teaching techniques under their supervision. It was a great experience to teach culturally diverse ESL students at FXUA. It was incredibly beneficial in terms of developing my professional teaching.

Moreover, we were exposed innumerable workshops, festivals, student activities and “Voices from the Field” talks. This was another awesome opportunity given by FXUA, we gained more valuable knowledge about new achievements in our field of expertise. Through my coursework, I conducted several research case-studies on different aspects of second language acquisition, which I was able to display at FXUA’s Academic Showcase to the FXUA community and guests.

Having completed my MA in TESOL at FXUA, I am excited to go back to my home country – Uzbekistan, to deliver my knowledge to teach the younger generation. By teaching English in my country, I will create a great opportunity for my students to become knowledgeable and see the world. I express my endless gratitude for my mentors who helped me to find who actually I am.

Islom Boynazarov, Alumnus, MA in TESOL

Dorothy Gudgel

My teaching skills and philosophy have been so positively influenced and improved upon by combining the teaching with the graduate TESOL program at FXUA.
“I have been involved in TESOL since 1996, when I began volunteering as an ESL instructor at a church in Herndon, where I continued to volunteer for a decade. In 2006, I enrolled in the ESOL Instructor training class with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Adult Education. Upon completion, FCPS hired me to teach literacy and low-intermediate classes in their Adult ESOL program. In 2008, I went to work for Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions tutoring students for the TOEFL examination on a one-on-one basis for 2 years. I returned to FCPS Adult ESOL Program in 2010, and currently teach high intermediate and low beginner levels of English.

Even with 15 years of experience in TESOL, I began to think of earning a master’s degree, a goal that I have held for a long time. I decided that an M.A. in TESOL would be a very valid, worthwhile goal for a sense of personal accomplishment. It would also help in securing employment. I looked online at different TESOL Programs in our area, and was very impressed with FXUA’s focus on teaching English language skills to adults. After studying the courses offered for both the TESOL graduate certificate as well as the M.A. in TESOL on the FXUA website, I felt that the program was very well-rounded and very much related to my teaching experience. I made the decision to apply in October 2010 for the M.A. in TESOL Program and was accepted. I started my graduate work in the spring 2011 semester.

All of the instructors at FXUA have been wonderful, very knowledgeable and friendly. My first class at FXUA was ‘Methods of Teaching’, taught by Dr. Marietta Bradinova, who is the nicest, most supportive teacher any student could ever ask for. I graduated with a B.A. in Psychology in May, 1970, and although I was very excited to start my studies at FXUA, I was also worried about successfully meeting the academic rigors of graduate school and navigating the world of computer usage in the classroom. Dr. Bradinova was so helpful and reassuring throughout the course, and I also met and made new friends with wonderful classmates. From the beginning, FXUA became a supportive, comfortable place for future learning and academic accomplishment. Now that I am successfully finished with the graduate TESOL certificate, I so look forward to going forward for the remaining six courses for the M.A. in TESOL.

I think that a combination of teaching ESOL and studying for a TESOL degree is the best of all possible worlds – my teaching skills and philosophy have been so positively influenced and improved upon by combining the teaching with the graduate TESOL program at FXUA. I have been very happy, and I look forward to continuing with my studies at FXUA!”

Dorothy Gudgel, Alumna, MA in TESOL