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Faculty Story

Spencer Eckman
Professor / English as a Second Language (ESL)

"College will help you expand your academic talents into a career you love."

Please talk about your experiences working with first generation college students.

“I have lived and taught in Japan, Germany and Portugal. In those instances, I was the foreign person trying to find my way around, learn the language and make myself understood. I can therefore, truly empathize with the first generation college students I teach in California. In my career, I have taught a wide variety of ESL students from all over the world. The language needs are as varied as the students. Some first generation students need to learn academic English to enter a university; others focus on conversational English for daily life. Regardless of language and background, all of my students express the desire to excel in their language studies and thrive in America. It is a unique honor to help these individuals reach their language goals”.

What advice would you give to a new college student?

“It is very important to have a solid plan for your coursework and your life. You should concentrate on achieving one academic goal at a time and focus on your personal strengths. One of my favorite quotes is this… “If you love what you do you will never work a day in your life”. College will help you expand your academic talents into a career you love. Study hard, have fun and don’t give up!”

What’s the favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of this job is interacting with so many interesting people from different parts of the world and listening to their unique perspectives. I have the privilege of learning about many different countries via first-hand accounts. My job is an education in itself.

What was your proudest moment working with students?

I am very proud to see my students’ language abilities steadily progressing into fluent, articulate English. I have proud moments every class when I see the spark of language acquisition in my students’ eyes. My students amaze me everyday and I am proud to be their teacher.

“Success is the good fortune that comes from aspiration, desperation, perspiration and inspiration.” - Evan Esar

Spencer Eckman has his B.A. and M.A. from CSU, Stanislaus.

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