Andy Halvorsen

American English Institute 

Courses: LT 435/535, LT 436/536, LT 611, AEIS

In my classes you will:

  • Learn with and from peers.
  • Explore new perspectives.

I was invited into the Teaching Academy because:

  • I participated in a Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching.

In what ways are you working to make your teaching inclusive?

I often work with international students, and I work to make sure my mostly Chinese students see themselves and their own interests in the course materials while inviting them into the “American University” experience. I do this in at least two ways. Firstly, I seek out course materials and content that are both linguistically and culturally authentic and relevant for international students. This often means taking time to conduct needs analyses and to learn about the social, linguistic, and cultural needs of my students. Second, I work with other UO faculty on a regular basis to ensure that the English language training we provide for our international students is aligned with the expectations that students will encounter in their other university courses. 

What do you do in terms of professional engagement with the teaching and learning culture on campus or nationally?

Much of my work is concerned with teacher training, so I am often in contact with teachers and learn from their diverse contexts. My biggest source of engagement with our professional community is through my volunteer work with the English Language Teaching's primary accreditation agency. Through my site reviews of many other programs, I have been able to experience and learn from a wide range of teaching and learning contexts.

In what ways was your teaching in this course research-led—informed by research on how students learn and inflected by UO's research mission?

Training teachers means keeping current with respect to best practices in language teaching pedagogy. Some research-based practices I often utilize involve the use of pairs and small groups to strengthen key 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. Students work with and support one another while also taking time to reflect on their own experiences and goals as learners. In my work with graduate students, I also strive to conduct and publish research in collaboration with my students, and I support their research and publication efforts as well.

How do you find inspiration?

My favorite TED Talk is about "rewilding" and the re-introduction of wolves into Yellowstone. It is a great in-class listening exercise also. I find inspiration outside. I enjoy running and being in nature, so my best source of inspiration is often a long run or hike in the forest.