Will Heikkinen Discusses The Challenges of Working With Young Language Students

Posted April 29, 2016 by willheikkinen

Before he began studying for his degree in Government at the College of William and Mary, Will Heikkinen spent time in Spain teaching English to young students, which presented a number of challenges.

Despite having only recently started studying for his own degree, Will Heikkinen has already developed extensive experience of working to teach others. As a talented linguist who is capable of speaking three languages, he was well-placed to work as a tutor for ESL students at the Frost School of Lawrence and also received the opportunity to further develop his skills while studying at the Nebrija University in Spain. While there, he worked with a company called Canterbury English to provide lessons to young Spanish students.

This presented a number of challenges that he needed to overcome in order to provide effective lessons. Firstly, as a new teacher he needed to understand the importance of developing strong lesson plans that would keep his students engaged. While this is difficult for any teacher, it was made more so by the fact that he also needed to take the cultural differences of his students into account while trying to find ways to keep them engaged.

Furthermore, Will Heikkinen also needed to develop an understanding of the best ways to work with children. Though he had started developing these talents while still a student at Andover High School, his teaching role in Spain was one of the first times that he had been placed into a position of authority that he needed to be able to justify to both students and fellow teachers. He accomplished this goal by demonstrating his abilities in both English and Spanish, earning the respect of those around him so that he could provide effective lessons.

Finally, he also needed to work hard to adapt to Spanish culture during his teaching adventures. While he is always interested to learn more about other ways of life, which is one of the main reasons why he has chosen to minor in Hispanic Studies at the College of William and Mary, adapting to the teaching culture in Spain still presented a challenge that he worked hard to overcome.

Though he is now working towards a career relating to Government, Will Heikkinen believes that the experiences he enjoyed while working as a teacher have benefited him enormously and he aims to make use of them in everything that he does in life.

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Last Updated April 29, 2016