NYLC instructor EJ Sepp and a group of post-advanced students headed to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for a class project last session. Their task was to track down different types of hipsters, observe one, then write a short essay or poem about the person. They were to watch and take photos from afar lest they bother anyone. With the neighborhood being the current hip hangout and home to New York City artists and musicians, the students found no shortage of subjects to covertly follow, take pictures of, and write about.
EJ has taught at NYLC since the summer of 2010; however, he's been teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) for two decades. A native New Yorker, he received his Bachelor's of Arts in Journalism at Fordham University, then he spent time at the University of California to study screenwriting. He left ESL after getting married to work in web production, content management, and writing and held positions at MTV and Comedy Central, but he later returned to ESL after spending three months in South America with his wife. Now, he's working on a Master of Science in Instructional Technology with a side focus on web design.
Tomomi, Kunnada, and Safak, who are currently in his level 6 class collectively agree that they appreciate being able to see each other's submissions online. They also like getting EJ's corrections and seeing his examples of the homework on his blog.His passion for using technology in the classroom came through during NYLC's annual faculty training session when he led a workshop on how to incorporate technology in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Fellow teachers appreciated learning about specific techniques such as Skype reporting, which sends a student outside to interview passersby while taking questions from the class inside. His presentation garnered some positive comments from his colleagues, a couple of whom found it inspiring to have a fellow NYLC instructor share his expertise.
written by Joe Yu, ESL instructor