My name is Mr. Ziliak and I am a Spanish teacher at Kenyon Woods Middle School. I graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B. A. in Anthropology with a concentration in Latin American Studies. Through my studies, I accumulated many credits in Spanish related courses through which I not only gained fluency in the language, but many insights into language acquisition and learning abstract concepts in general.
I began learning Spanish in high school simply to fill basic requirements. However, my journey became more exciting as the process of learning the language presented more opportunities to learn, travel, and eventually study, and work abroad. Specifically, while a student at the University of Notre Dame, I was able to spend a semester studying through an exchange program in Mexico City. Upon graduation, I spent over a year living/working as a volunteer just outside of Cuernavaca, Mexico. In 2009, I chaperoned a trip to Spain with students from the World Language Academy at Streamwood High School. In addition, I have visited many other Latin American countries from Guatemala to Costa Rica to Peru. My ultimate goal is to integrate these experiences to enhance the curriculum and bring relevancy the acquisition of the Spanish language for my students.
As for my teaching experience, I have been in U-46 for 16 years teaching levels from 5th through 8th grade. I have also taught ESL at Elgin Community College for 6 years through which I have learned much about second language acquisition. During this time I have also earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Northern Illinois University as well as various certifications and endorsements.