Kevin CarterKevin has a B.A. in Applied Linguistics from the Portland State University, and TESL Certificate from Portland State University.

He joined PELA in 2010.

Why did you become a teacher? "Studying foreign languages has made me acutely aware of the potential pitfalls and confusion that face the English language learner. This realization, coupled with a deep reverence of my own language, has motivated me to teach English to promote mutual understanding between peoples of different language and cultural backgrounds."

What experience do you have learning a foreign language or living in a foreign culture? "Language in all its manifestations has always held a central place in my life. I have studied East and Southeast Asian languages (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean; Thai, Khmer, and Lao), as well as those of Scandinavia, and had the opportunity to try to make use of what I had learned while living in Taipei, Taiwan."

How has your international experience helped your teaching? "My experience teaching international students in the United States has given me the opportunity to develop empathy and compassion for those struggling adapting to a new language and culture. Additionally, experience teaching and studying abroad not only illuminated a wider world but also enabled me to challenge my previous norms and values."

What do you do when you are away from school? "When not at PELA, I enjoy spending my time among the voluminous stacks of books in Portland's numerous bookstores, riding through the green fields of the outskirts of Portland on a bicycle, learning how to cook international cuisine, gardening, and learning one new thing every day."

Why do you like Portland? "Portland is a unique mixture of the old and new, local and international, and the traditional and cutting-edge. You can experience such a wide range of activities and cultures in a friendly, safe environment."

Why do you recommend PELA to students? "PELA helps students experience English in all of its contexts without the rigorous pressure of a university. The staff is wholly dedicated to the improvement of the students’ English skills and the students work together to achieve their goals with a positive and diligent attitude."

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