Ibrahim Kanda

What is your current position?

My title is Academic Coordinator of the American English Language Program at Niger  

When did you complete your MA TESOL degree?

I completed the MA TESOL program at MSU on the third of May, in 2014!

Tell us about a story, class, or person, from during your time in the MA TESOL program that had an impact on you or your career?

I have had a bunch of people and things from that program that had an impact on my career, and my life in general! There are a few things that stick out, though.  One thing I will always remember is my cohort because we were like a family. We took our breakfast together and our lunches together. We did homework together and studies together. That’s something that sticks out to me as important in my life, and is something that I will always remember. I still keep in contact with everyone from that cohort today.

I also remember certain opportunities that the professors give you, especially the Practicum class. I loved it because it gave me a chance to teach, and a chance to practice what I had learned. As a teacher, it was so important for me during that time to have that kind of experience to practice all the things we learned about in the classroom.

All of the support and mentoring I got from many of the professors, Dr. Polio and Dr. Winke in specific, also stands out as something that I really appreciated. Everyone in the program is there to help you grow.

How did the MA TESOL program help influence your career path?

Before going into this program, I was a teacher of English. Now I am a coordinator of a program that supervises over twenty-five teachers. I do curriculum design, I proctor placement tests, all kinds of things! These are all skills I learned through the MA TESOL program at MSU, and so I really credit the program for helping me advance my career into a new role.

What was your favorite class in the MA TESOL program, and why?

The Practicum, with Dr. Hardison. Having to teach people from all different backgrounds and ages and cultures was just fantastic. All of the students brought something new to the room and it was just so interesting to have conversations with them. There was also a large potluck at the end of the class that let me try new foods from all over the globe and mingle with people from such diverse backgrounds. I enjoyed learning about teaching in all of the classes from the program, but being able to put all of that knowledge to use in a classroom full of diverse students was just wonderful.

What advice do you have for current MA students?

For the people just starting, I encourage them to visit the professors regularly. In my country, professors are not that open to their students outside of class. In this program, professors are very open to having you in their office, they view you more like colleagues, and they are willing to support you. The most important piece of advice I would give is for students to not only attend classes, but to also feel free to ask their professors specific questions they may have in their offices or to seek their opinions or advice. All of the professors there are extremely eager to help you, and you should take them up on that opportunity.