Faculty at CESL bring more than just English to Indonesia

By Tierra Carpenter, @Tierramc_

Marcela Angel is fluent in Spanish and English, and will soon add Bahasa Indonesia to that list. 

Marcela Angel, a full-time lecturer at SIU’s Center for English as a Second Language, or CESL, will soon be traveling to Indonesia.

“I’m really excited to be able to work with other teachers and show how teaching doesn’t have to be done the same way,” Angel said.


Angel will be a fellow for ten months through the English Language Fellowship Program.

A native of Colombia, Angel has a masters degree in both Spanish and Teaching English as a Second Language from SIUC.

Angel said she enjoys working in CESL with such supportive co-workers. She will be taking a leave of absence to pursue the fellowship funded by the U.S. Department of State through the education and cultural affairs program. Angel went through the struggles of learning another language and hopes she can encourage her students with her experience.

Angel said she applied for the fellowship because she wanted to do more with her degree.

Catherine Caldwell, a senior lecturer and assistant director for faculty affairs at CESL, has worked with Angel for the past few years.

“The screening process is very rigorous and speaks highly of her abilities,” Caldwell said.

Kamden Summers, a senior lecturer at CESL, has worked with Angel since she started at CESL.


“She has devoted a lot of time and effort into the program to prepare herself to do a good job in this program” Summers said.

Angel hopes this opportunity to work with other teachers will not only provide professional development, but also personal development.

“It’s a lot of collaboration and trying to inspire each other to be better at what we do,” she said.

According to her colleagues, Angel already is an inspiration. 

“She’s an artist and it shows up in her lesson preparation, her delivery, her compassion, her innovation in the classroom,” Caldwell said.

Angel hopes to get involved with the community as well, possibly by leading a cooking class in which students explain their recipes to her and in return she teaches them about her own cuisine.

Elisa Hunt, the interim director of CESL, received a similar opportunity 15 years ago, and said she advised Angel to be flexible.

“What I thought I would be doing wasn’t what happened, and I think that’s true in many jobs,” Hunt said.

Caldwell said they will miss her and this is not a goodbye, but, rather a “see you later.”

“They’re lucky to be getting her,” Summers said.

Aside from hoping to travel to a warm climate, Angel said she liked the idea of going somewhere unfamiliar. 

“I really wanted to go to Southeast Asia because it’s a place I’ve never been and the languages and food and cultures are so different from what I know in the west,” Angel said. 

Tierra Carpenter can be reached at [email protected] 

Anna Spoerre can be reached at [email protected]