Resilience in English graduate program


Natalie Tyler

Miki Tanaka, a graduate of Winona State, was nominated for her work ethic and involvement in the TESOL department while showing resilience in her work.

Kameron Wilson, Features Reporter

Aside from the celebrations of homecoming king and queen, the homecoming court and the winners of the homecoming talent show, Winona State University is also celebrating Miki Tanaka for her work ethic on campus over the past few years. Tanaka, a graduate international student involved in the TESOL department, received a nomination for their efforts in exhibiting “resilience through international education” from English instructor Karla Krause, this past month.

As Winona State’s theme of Resilience remains for the 2018-2019 school year, members of the resilience panel on campus have been searching for students and faculty who have experienced the act of resilience through their employment and education.

As a graduate student at Winona State, Tanaka assists Krause as a graduate teaching assistant in Krause’s English Language Program, advanced level writing class.

“I have truly enjoyed getting to know Tanaka this semester,” Krause said. “She is a likeable, ambitious and patient individual, which makes her the ideal role model for ELP students, Winona State International students, as well as myself and the rest of the Winona State community.”

In addition to Tanaka’s work ethic being recognized on campus; her personal interests are commemorated as well.

When Tanaka finds a break from assisting Krause with teaching duties, she finds time in training for upcoming marathons, such as the Twin Cities Marathon that took place on Sunday, Oct.7.

“I have been running long distance for a while now, at least ten miles a day,” Tanaka said. “I have been a runner for the past five years.”

While Tanaka enjoys running every now and then, her biggest passion lies within her teaching position.

“I want more students to experience what I have experienced within my life,” Tanaka said. “I want students to see the world and get more opportunities to explore what they can do through learning languages.”

As a foreign-language instructor in Japanese and a second-language teaching assistant in English, Tanaka is given a diverse list of duties with each new day of work.

“I teach once a week with my mentor and I have a meeting with her once a week,” Tanaka said. “I attend staff meetings three times a semester.”

Although Tanaka handles her work professionally, she puts forth her best effort in letting her students know she is there for them every step of the way.

“I tell my students to always challenge themselves and to get out of their comfort zones,” Tanaka said.

While Tanaka enjoys spending time in helping her students, she also enjoys the guidance she receives from Krause. Tanaka explained how, as a starting teaching assistant, she did not feel equipped in teaching English, since it was her second language.

“I didn’t think I could do well in class, but Karla [Krause] always gives me good feedback and she encourages me a lot,” Tanaka said. “Karla gave me the confidence that I am capable of teaching English and she gave me the courage to chase my dreams of being a language teacher in the United States.”