Using Music and Conversation to Reach Students on the Black Sea

May 23, 2013

David  Masterson, English Language Fellow in Sevastopol, Ukraine performing with his students David Masterson, English Language Fellow in Sevastopol, Ukraine performing with his students David is an English Language Fellow at the National Technical University in Sevastopol, Ukraine —a small city located on the Black Sea coast of the Crimean Peninsula.  For nine years he has been teaching English to international students, helping them to “be critical, creative, and compassionate global citizens.”  In addition to teaching English classes at the university and presenting at teacher training conferences, David has become involved with the community by inviting local students, teachers, and community members to come together for conversation clubs where people can practice their English and learn more about American culture and traditions.

In his communication classes and conversation clubs, David has found that the traditional American songs available on the American English website have been effective educational tools.

“As a musician, I have found music to be an excellent way not only to connect with people, but also to learn vocabulary, pronunciation, and common phrases,” says David.  "I use music to talk about culture, history, and personal lives.” 

In addition to enriching the lives of the students and teachers he is working with in Sevastopol, David has found the experience to have strengthened his qualifications as an English teacher.

David says, “professionally, I have gained a lot of experience with teacher training as a Fellow [and] learned to feel comfortable giving presentations to audiences of up to 150 people—which I have never done before.”