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Victoria Millard ’20 landed a role as the student director of Berry’s English as a Second Language Program, strengthening her classroom skills while researching how students learn languages.
March 11, 2020

First-time high school teacher—with years of experience

Victoria Millard ’20 just signed on to teach Spanish at Newton High School in Covington, Georgia. Though it’s her first teaching job after graduation, Victoria already has years of experience in the classroom.  

When Victoria arrived on campus as a freshman, she planned to major in secondary education. But she discovered something else about herself on becoming an assistant teacher in Berry’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program: she wanted to teach Spanish. Victoria decided to dual major in Spanish and secondary education and immersed herself in learning how to teach language to students.

By her junior year, she rose to the position of student director of the ESL program, overseeing a team of students teaching 80 people in the Rome community. “The work I have done in the ESL Program has allowed me to complete research on our community-based program,” Victoria says.

Through interviews with 10 teachers and 30 students as well as classroom observations, Victoria explored perceptions about pronunciation instruction. She also examined ESL textbooks and related pronunciation activities in the classroom. Analysis of findings resulted in recommendations on how pronunciation instruction can change in classrooms.

During a three-week study abroad experience in Quito, Ecuador, Victoria had the chance to work in her own classroom while teaching English as a Foreign Language at an international school. “Both the research I have completed and my study abroad trip proved to me how I have found my lifelong passion throughout my time at Berry,” she says.

Associate Professor of Teacher Education Eliana Hirano says Victoria’s self-discipline and fortitude will serve her well as a high school teacher: “I think one of the great things about Victoria is her willingness to embrace a challenge. From physical challenges, like hiking in the jungle in Ecuador for hours, to cognitive challenges, like doing research and writing for publication, she will just step up to the plate, embrace the opportunity and grow with it.”

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