Department: Academic ESL
To fully appreciate the richness of other cultures and understand other perspectives, John Stasinopoulos began studying different languages while in middle school in his native Greece.
That’s when he became interested in English, which was the main foreign language taught in Greece.
“I realized that knowing English would be very beneficial in a variety of ways since it is the world’s number one Lingua Franca,” he said. “I decided to study English, Linguistics and Foreign Language Education at the university because these three fields are closely interrelated.”
Stasinopoulos started teaching while earning his undergraduate degree in English at the University of Athens, Greece. He then taught at a number of private English language schools. While earning his graduate degrees at Ohio State University, he was an adjunct professor at two four-year colleges, Franklin University and Otterbein College, and one community college, Columbus State Community College.
After earning his Ph.D., he worked as a full-time professor at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, before coming to College of DuPage in 1999.
“I wanted to become a teacher of English because I had personal experience with it and knew what this difficult process entailed,” he said. “I wanted to make this complex process a little easier for my students.
“As a teacher, I have direct contact with my students and can see the results of my efforts. It is very rewarding to watch students moving through the language continuum, knowing that I have helped a little. I hope my students learn enough to be able to discover for themselves the paths leading to their various academic and professional destinations.
“I hope they realize the language learning process is a slow, complicated one, and that they need to take one step at a time. I also want them to know that I am always available to help them in any way I can, even if they are not part of my classes.”
Stasinopoulos travelled to Russia in 2010 where, as a Fulbright scholar, he spent one semester teaching at Irkutsk State Linguistic University. The experience was invaluable and one he used to improve his skills in the classroom.
“One of the main factors that drew me to ESL was the opportunity of working with students from all over the world. I have become a student myself, having learned so much from them about the rest of the world,” he said.
“I admire people who have dreams and pursue them no matter what the obstacles before them are. I also look up to people who are interested in the world and want to make it a better place for everyone.”