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Lorie MattoxEmail Lorie Mattox

After graduating from UAB with a MAEd in ESL in 2013, I began teaching full-time at the International University of Grand-Bassan (IUGB) in Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa. IUGB is an American-style university with an Intensive English program to prepare French-speaking students for English medium university classes. Our students come from both French- and English-speaking West African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal). Many of our students will graduate from IUGB, but others have the opportunity to complete their bachelor's at U.S. universities. I serve as an instructor in the English preparatory program, and also prepare students who are applying for English-speaking internships. I've also participated in many professional development opportunities on campus and as a workshop leader with the national English Language Teachers' Exchange conferences (ELT Exchange).

One of the areas I'm constantly working to improve is teaching how to write a research paper. When my students arrive for a new semester, I already know they have never written one, because it isn't stressed in their previous education. So I have the responsibility to demonstrate and guide them through the process, and it is such a joy when they complete their first paper. Yes, it's usually very rough, but they have gained the basic skills to use in the next English level, before moving into their freshmen year.

In 2015, UAB contacted me to be an Apprenticeship Supervisor for master's level students interested in completing their teaching practicum overseas. So far, we have hosted two MAEd-ESL interns from UAB. It is always a joy to introduce my host country and IUGB to people who have never left U.S. soil or who have never visited Africa. These students bring fresh ideas and insights into our program. We are always excited when we learn about a potential candidate, and strive to give them a full and insightful experience.

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