Janna Corn is passionate, innovative, and she is leading our CESL students confidently into the future. In addition to her dedication to her students, Janna is also dedicated to advocating for the protection of the environment. She brings all of these interests together in her CESL course called Ecojustice. In this course that she created with fellow teacher, Kelsey Carroll, Janna leads her students towards a connection with the earth and a stronger connection to the world as a whole, all while teaching the fundamentals of the English language.
“We began by researching effective components of an Ecojustice class for several months,” Janna said. “Based on the research, I came up with the CASA (Connect, Analyze, Survey, Action) methodology. It is the perfect acronym because the Earth is our casa, or our home.”
In her class, students interact with nature, work as a team, and make a positive impact on the community and environment. Janna’s lessons are meaningful and give students real-world opportunities to learn the English language in an authentic way.
Janna’s 15 years of ESL teaching experience provides a springboard for her innovation. She has a deep understanding of the needs of an ESL student, and she is able to expand her lessons beyond a textbook and beyond the walls of a classroom. In addition to teaching the Ecojustice course, Janna also teaches our Advanced level core courses, the Social Justice class, and other seminars. With her experience, expertise, and creativity, Janna is an invaluable member of the CESL faculty.
We are excited to introduce you to Janna in this month’s CESL Instructor Spotlight.
Where are you from and where did you originally attend college?
I am from Norman, Oklahoma and attended college at New Jersey City University in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Growing up, what did you think you would be doing or what did you want to be?
Honestly, I had no idea of what I wanted to be when I was young. I always enjoyed reading and writing, so I decided to become a teacher. I was hired as an ESL teacher at a high school in New Jersey and discovered that teaching international and immigrant students is definitely my passion.
Who has been your greatest influence in life?
My greatest influence in life has been my daughter. I feel like her birth gave me a sense of direction and the greatest love I have ever known.
What is your favorite hobby/way to spend your spare time?
I enjoy painting, crafting, reading, watching movies, riding my bike, hiking, scuba diving, and swimming in my free time. I am also trying to learn Spanish and how to play the ukulele.
What’s the best advice you would give to an aspiring educator?
My advice to future teachers is to be flexible!!!
Do you have any advice for prospective students or current students?
My advice for students is to immerse themselves in the culture and practice English as much as possible both in and outside of the classroom. This will help them acquire English faster and help them to truly enjoy their study abroad experience.
What profound changes do you see coming to your field within the next 10 years?
With the growth and capability of technology, I believe that there will be more blended ESL classes that utilize both the classroom and the Internet.
What is the best part about being a CESL faculty member?
The best part of working at CESL is getting to meet students from all over the world.