|October 10, 2002
Volume 33 Number 4
|A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico|
Marta Welden Has Zest!
Staff member, student, ESL teacher, and volunteer designed On-Line Writing Center
Marta Welden has worked on campus for 18 years. She recently became co-system administrator in the Wildcat Card Office. In her spare time, she is a student and a teacher.
Welden graduated from CSU, Chico with a master's degree in education with an emphasis in teaching English as a second language (ESL) in spring 2000. She returned in the fall of 2001 to take English 231: Theory and Practice in Tutoring Composition and worked as a writing assistant in the Writing Center. Associate Professor Thia Wolf asked her to develop an online writing center using WebCT, a project that combined her technical and teaching expertise. In spring 2001, she piloted the project with distance learning students, including a law enforcement officer in Tahoe and a working mother in Yreka.
"Marta's design of the On-Line Writing Center is one example of the elegant solutions students can discover when their coursework invites them to engage in genuine inquiry aimed at solving real-world problems," said Mark Hall, coordinator of the Writing Center.
Welden's interest in teaching ESL began when she volunteered to host a student from Honduras for a semester several years ago; she didn't expect it to lead to an additional career. As she talked with other people who had returned to school to learn to teach ESL, she became interested and inspired.
"I've always wanted to be a teacher, and this was a really good opportunity. I especially enjoy working with adult students," Welden said. She had the opportunity to do just that two summers ago when she used her vacation time to teach ESL to Spanish cadets visiting here. Welden smiles at the memory. "I thought that they were here to learn English in the classroom, but they were 23-year-old guys who wanted to experience America rather than study English." She also worked with Japanese students during Summer Bridge in summer 2001.
"As a teacher, you learn so much from students, and you're exposed to different perspectives on life, especially when they're from different countries," Welden said.
She doesn't expect to give up her day job, which is similar to teaching. Both involve working with many personalities, teaching, training, and problem solving.
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