English Learning Insights,  ESL,  Georgetown University,  Interact DC,  Lessons to Learn From

Robin Hamilton & the Power of Telling Your Story

Robin Hamilton, an Emmy-award winning television host and filmmaker, encouraged English Language Center (ELC) students to embrace the “Power of Telling Your Story,” during an engaging presentation in the department’s “Interact DC” speaker series. Using her background in mass media story-telling, Hamilton taught students to examine and share their life experiences as a means to build self-confidence.

ELC students come from many different countries around the world, and Hamilton asked them to think critically about how they got here and where they are going. In the case of their stories, being an international student could be the “middle” of their “beginning, middle and end,” as Hamilton put it. The “beginning” is where you come from, your “middle” is your present, and your “end” is where you’re going from here.

This coaching helped students to communicate about their life experiences in English more confidently while visualizing future professional and academic achievements, like finding a job or beginning a Ph.D. program. And in the immediate moment, figuring out their story may help ease the transition into life abroad.

The speech exemplifies host professor Andrew Screen’s goal to expose students to speakers who provide unique and enriching perspectives on American culture. According to the professor, “Any time you have a role model speaker, it’s a great opportunity for students to see what effective public speaking looks like.”

And now as we celebrate the graduation of many ELC students from our program, we can’t wait to learn where the next step of their journeys will take them. And of course, we hope that Hamilton’s speech helps them find meaning as they transition to university studies and employment around the world!

Author Alessandro Nigro is a MA degree candidate in Georgetown’s interdisciplinary Communications, Culture, and Technology program.