Jennifer Morrison: Associate professor of English and TESOL coordinator
June 1, 2012
Since 1993, Jennifer Morrison has been sharing her love of English and heart for other cultures with Evangel students. As an assistant professor of English, Morrison coordinates the freshman composition classes as well as the Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) programs at Evangel University. “Teaching English as a Second Language is a real passion of mine,” says Morrison. “I enjoy sharing that passion with my university students, hoping that they, too, will find that same passion in their own chosen profession.”
Prior to beginning her tenure at Evangel, Morrison taught at Missouri State University, Central Bible College and in the Springfield Public School system. Along with her teaching duties, Morrison serves as an editor for several Mid-America Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages publications.
In her free time, Morrison loves to garden, bake and read. She is married to her husband, Randy, and they have two sons. She and her family enjoy camping, hunting and watching independent movies together.
How did you get into teaching English as a second language?
When I was looking at Master’s programs, TESOL kind of popped up. I have always been interested in other cultures and languages, and TESOL was a field that combined my love of those two areas plus English. Although I knew little about the field, I jumped in.
What is your favorite part about teaching English here at Evangel?
The students. It is exciting to see students new to the field learning about and getting excited about teaching ESL. I am looking forward to seeing where they all end up in their teaching careers.
What sets Evangel’s English program apart from English programs at other universities?
We have a real focus on integrating theory and practice. Since I have taught in a variety of ESL settings, I can address practicalities in the various situations in which students might find themselves. We also have direct, close connections with both the English Language Institute for international students at Missouri State and with many public schools across the region. Our practicum experience is almost twice the amount of hours that many other universities require, so students come away with a good amount of classroom exposure before stepping out as teachers is the field. In the future I hope to also take students to regional TESOL conferences where they can learn from and network with others in the field.
Can you tell me a little bit about Evangel’s TESOL courses and what they offer?
We have two tracks for students at this point. The first is a 14-hour TEFL certificate, which is the minimal preparation for students who might be thinking about going overseas to teach English. For those who want to take more hours of preparation, and for future U.S. public school teachers, there is a 21-hour minor. This course of study allows Education majors to also receive the ESOL endorsement to teach public schools, but the minor is open to all majors — anyone who might be interested in teaching English overseas.
What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far?
Really my ESL students have given me more memorable moments than I can list here. Whether it was a college student at MSU who brought me dinner from her country, or a kindergarten student who learned to say “I love you, Mrs. Morrison,” the students are what this profession is all about.
What is your favorite part about Evangel students?
Evangel students are dedicated and have a heart to serve. I love that they are open to new ideas and that they always have a love that is evident for those they are working with. Obviously, Christ shows through them.
What advice do you have for students considering Evangel, especially those interested in the English program?
Come check us out. If you have a love for language, culture, English, and teaching, then TESOL is the program for you. Don’t believe those who tell you that you don’t need training to teach English overseas — you need to make an ethical decision to be trained to be the very best teacher for those sitting under your instruction. The TESOL program at Evangel can prepare you for the mission God has for your life.