TESOL Students Take a Virtual Trip to Hawaii
When learning to communicate in a new language, conversations are essential for practicing vocabulary, sentence structure and pronunciation. Invited and excited TESOL students from Pace University, NYC, and the University of Hawai’i, Manoa, exchanged ideas and reactions to the expectations and realities of living and learning English in new cultures. Shared student-created narrated slide sets highlighted interests and served as a basis for conversations among peers. And the students in Hawai’i were especially interested in learning more about NYC, so Dr. Patricia Brock and her student, Pamela Escobar, shared their experiences through an interactive NYC slide set. In addition, Pamela presented images of her beautiful home country, Honduras. Students could compare and contrast cultural settings!  Dr. Saori Doi, from the University of Hawaii, served as the host and moderator in the 2-hour seminar as participants zoom-visited mutually interesting locations.  No passports needed!
Reflecting on her zoomed visit to Hawai’i,  Pamela offered this testimonial of the shared experience: “I was once an International student learning English in a different country, adapting to a new lifestyle - adapting to a very diverse culture. Thus, as an English learner myself, attending a zoom meeting with other international students was a meaningful experience. In addition, I always wanted to visit Hawaii as I learned my peers studying in Hawaii always wanted to visit NYC. So we, at least, got to zoom visit!
My now second language learners’ peers in Hawaii, and I share a common goal and common experience. As a guest, I talked about my own experience as an international student living in New York. Yet, more than a guest, I felt part of the class - I was one of them. 
To provide English conversation practice and moral support to my University of Hawaii peers through our conversations, I encouraged them to keep learning to achieve their English speaking goals, just like I have done. And then, in turn, I hope they will do the same for other peers: motivating other International students, serving as role models who are determined to meet their goals.  They just need to remember to be patient and passionate. Aloha and mahalo to my new friends!”
Dr. Patricia Brock
Faculty, School of Education, NYC
Pamela Escobar
TESOL Student, School of Education