What do New Zealand, Russia, North Korea, and Lithuania have in common? They are all places that Dr. Geraldine Ryan has called “home.” Dr. Geraldine Ryan brings her life-long, global experience teaching English to both the BA English program and the MA TESOL program.
Geraldine is passionate about training language teachers. Her research focuses on vocabulary acquisition for second-language learners. She teaches TESOL Methods in the BA English program and she teaches Methods of Second Language Pedagogy in the MA TESOL program.
Her academic career was launched in her home country of New Zealand. She attended a Bible College, earned a BA in History at Canterbury University, and a Graduate Diploma in Second Language Teaching at Massey University. Later, Ryan earned an MA in History with honors from Canterbury University. Her final degree was a PhD in Intercultural Education from Biola University, USA.
Geraldine shares: “From an early age I wanted to be a teacher. I was originally trained to teach secondary school, but after going overseas to Russia for the first time in 1993, I realized the advantages of teaching English as a second language. After that trip, I participated in a government-organized training program aimed at providing free one-on-one English lessons to immigrants and refugees in New Zealand. After completing the training, I requested that I would be given a Russian speaker student to teach. I had the pleasure of providing one-on-one lessons to a Ukrainian student. This experience showed me just how rewarding teaching English as a second language is. I feel that it is my calling.”
Her passion for service and her love of teaching were the tickets for living abroad. Ryan served for 14 years with One Mission Society as a teacher in Russia in 1993 and again from 1997 to 2010. She spent 1 month in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) in 2011 followed by another year in Kim Chol Ju University of Teacher Training in 2012–2013. She has taught in short-term teacher training programs in Cambodia and Laos.
Geraldine was able to live in these places because of her affiliations with and support from Christian agencies including the English Language Institute of China (ELIC). ELIC seconds teachers to the Middle East, Asia, and North Africa. Before she came to LCC, Geraldine was the Director of Professional Development for ELIC. For the past 10 years, she has spent the month of January at Eastwest College of Intercultural Studies, New Zealand, teaching a course in TESOL.
When asked about how her work changes her perspective on the world, Geraldine replied: “One of the great things my work has given me is a genuine appreciation of other cultures. We like to give lip service to the idea of all cultures being different but equal, while still holding in the back of our minds the notion that our culture is still somehow better, even if slightly. But by experiencing other cultures directly, interacting with them, and living within them, you begin to genuinely understand and appreciate the concept of ‘different but equal.’ I think that’s a great gift.”
We are pleased to have Geraldine on our faculty. We are honored that her globetrotting has landed her at LCC.
Author: Robin Gingerich, Ph.D., MA TESOL Program Director at LCC International University.
8 May 2023