I am Judy Buchanan, a part-time instructor at Western Michigan University (WMU) in the Center for English Language and Culture for International Students (CELCIS). CELCIS serves approximately one-tenth of WMU’s international students – the ones whose English language ability is too low for immediate admission to Western. For a year or so we offer these students twenty hours a week in speaking, listening, reading, writing and grammar instruction in academic contexts. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed teaching the various courses and levels at CELCIS since 2013.

For five years before coming to Western, I was in the Middle East teaching math teachers and developing master trainers to deliver instruction in effective pedagogical practices. For the twenty years before that I taught grades 3 through 7 (all subjects) in public school and was the K-12 Math Chair.  I also had a stained glass business, taught dance, made quilts, directed Godspell and raised five kids.  Life has been very good to me!

I have a BA from American University, D.C., majoring in English, Russian and Theater, an MA in applied linguistics and another MA in Education. It seems that I’ve been teaching all my life. When we lived in China many years ago, my parents placed me in a Chinese school so I could pick up Cantonese quickly. Instead, I taught all forty of the little children to speak English. The journey through these years has been so rewarding – a continual learning forum.  My teaching-learning philosophy has emerged from the rich experiences of my past, but it remains a fluid, dynamic entity.