Tag Archives: TESOL

Stars to Steer By: TESOL Information and Next Semester's Events!

panelThe panel for this event included Nuha Alsalem, Tiffany Ellis, Leslie Erlenbaugh, Shane Lanning, and Matthias Raess. Each speaker had valuable information regarding their experience with teaching abroad and also teaching English as a second language. Students interested in teaching English to non-native speakers should check out the TESOL minor. The minor in TESOL offers the skills and knowledge necessary for teaching English to non-native speakers of English both domestically and internationally. If you are looking to teach abroad, you should look at the Fulbright Scholarship.

If you missed out on the last Stars to Steer By event this semester, have no fear! We’ve got a whole lot more coming to you in the spring semester! Our first event entitled “English Majors Can Make Millions (for Good Causes) with speakers Cheri O’Neill and Bruce Hetrick is scheduled for Tuesday, January 31 at 5 pm in Bracken 104.

Stars to Steer By: Recap and Upcoming Events

Stars to Steer By is an event series hosted by the English Department to help Humanities majors find their way. The next event is November 29th in BL 104.

On October 26, we hosted our most recent Stars to Steer By event, “Personal Branding: Monica.jpgUncovering Your Authentic Self,” in BL 104. Monica Scalf, founder of The Playground Group, was the main speaker at the event.

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Dr. Megumi Hamada recommends "THE SCIENCE OF READING"

The Science of Reading (2010), edited by Snowling and Hulme, is a volume in the series Blackwell Handbooks of Developmental Psychology, published by Blackwell. This volume offers comprehensive coverage of most of the recent research
in cognitive and linguistic processes involved in reading.

For those who are fluent readers, reading seems to happen without much conscious attention. Although this may be true, the brain is still processing information from the given text. The Science of Reading illustrates how our mind works during reading in English and other languages. The book contains 27 chapters, which are divided among seven sections: word recognition processes in reading, learning to read and spell, reading comprehension, reading in different languages, disorders of reading and spelling, biological bases of reading, and teaching reading.9780470757635

The Science of Reading views reading from an information-processing point of view. Under this view, reading is considered an accumulation of simpler processing (e.g., letter, word recognition) built onto more complex processing (e.g., discourse comprehension).

During the 1970s and 1980s, when a top-down approach to reading was more prevalent, it was thought that readers do not need to pay attention to individual words. Reading was viewed as a “psycholinguistic guessing game” (Goodman, 1973), and the reader’s job was to hypothesize what a given text means based upon their own background knowledge. The information in the text, such as meanings of words, was believed to merely confirm the hypothesis, rather than be the main source of information for understanding the text. Continue reading

Introducing our Good News series!

This post will be the first in our Good News series, which will highlight our faculty and graduate students’ accomplishments. Without further ado, here’s what our Ball State University English professors and students are doing:

Cathy Day attended the Indiana Historical Society’s Holiday Author Fair on December 4th, the largest book-signing gathering for Indiana-related material, featuring 75 Hoosier authors. The Holiday Author Fair allows visitors to converse with authors, have books signed, and listen to special presentations.

Ashley Ellison’s (PhD program, Applied Linguistics) short essay, “Connecting Memory and Research through Eco-Composition,” has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal Indiana English. It will be published in an upcoming “Green Issue.” This is Ellison’s first peer-reviewed publication.

Robert Habich’s “Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir,” appeared in the Oxford Handbook to Transcendentalism, edited by Joel Myerson, Sandra Harbert Petrulionis, and Laura Dassow Walls. Dr. Habich also co-directs the Steinbeck Lecture Series with John Straw of Bracken Library. Its next lecture is scheduled for Monday, March 21, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.

Joyce Huff’s “Fosco’s Fat Drag: Performing the Victorian Fat Man in Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White,” appeared in Historicizing Fat in Anglo-American Culture, edited by Elena Levy-Navarro from Ohio State University Press. Here‘s a link to the book on the OSU blog. Huff also read an excerpt from the chapter at the Midwest Popular Culture Association in October 2010.

Angela Jackson-Brown’s short story “Something in the Wash, ” which appeared in The New Southerner, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Casey McArdle’s (PhD program, Rhetoric/ Composition) article, “Using Web 2.0 to Foster Community and Public Writing in Composition Classrooms,” was published in the Fountain Head Press book Web 2.0 Applications for First-Year Composition Assignments (December 2010).  He also presented “Working Web 2.0: User Generated Content and Global Writing” at the Watson Conference Louisville in October.

Miranda Nesler has had two essays accepted for publication. The first was “Closeted Authority in The Tragedy of Mariam,” forthcoming (52:2) in spring 2012 in Studies in English Literature. The second was “Review: Renaissance Earwitnesses: Rumor and Early Modern Masculinity,” forthcoming (63:4) in winter 2010 in Renaissance Quarterly.

Chaehee Park (PhD program, Applied Linguistics) has two articles forthcoming in Korea:  “Subject-Verb Agreement: A Corpus Study of the Collective Nouns Majority and Minority” in The New Korean Association of English Language and Literature and “The Use of Polite Verbal Suffix –yo and –yeo in Korean Internet Café” in Linguistic Style of Korean.

Jeffrey Paschke-Johannes (PhD program, Rhetoric/ Composition) presented two papers at the Rhetoric Society of America’s 14th biennial conference in Minneapolis last May: “Burke and Butler: A Merger of Acts” and “Abandoning the Faculties: Association Psychology and Alexander Bain’s Rhetoric”; additionally, he sat on a panel, “The Ghosts of Rhetoric Past: Nineteenth-Century Assumptions and Their Legacies for Rhetoric,” along with Tess Evans and Karen Neubauer.

Craig O’Hara’s short story, “The Corner” was named second runner-up for the Second Annual Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction sponsored by Philadelphia Stories. More info can be found here. His short story “Rodent Town” has been accepted for publication in Altered States, a fiction anthology forthcoming from Main Street Rag Publishing.

Corby Roberson (PhD program, Literature) presented her paper “Pedagogically Fat: A 16-Year-Old Perception of Body Size” on the “The Fat Body in Academics:  What’s a Teacher and Student to Do?” panel at the Midwestern Popular Culture Association conference in Minneapolis last October.

Jennifer Stewart (PhD program, Rhetoric/ Composition) presented her paper “Curriculum Design in Multiple Contexts” on a panel at the 2010 Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC).

Trey Strecker delivered the keynote address, “Powers’s Disease: Narrative and ‘The Killing Responsibility of Care,'” for an international conference on “Ideas of Order: Narrative Patterns in the Novels of Richard Powers,” hosted by the Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Erlangen, Germany.

Elizabeth Young (PhD program, Literature) presented her paper “Samuel Johnson’s Fat Cells: An Illustrated Guide to Fat, Food, and National Identity” on the “The Fat Body in Academics:  What’s a Teacher and Student to Do?” panel at the Midwestern Popular Culture Association conference in Minneapolis last October.

It is also worth noting that all four student Fulbright recipients this year were from the Department of English. Those students are as follows:

Steven Jones, a doctoral candidate in English literature, has been awarded a full Fulbright grant to the United Kingdom, the most competitive of all Student Fulbright Grant programs. Jones will use the Fulbright to study the correspondence of two 20th-century authors, letters that are held in the archives at the National Library of Wales.  This research is part of his dissertation on the role of Wales in the British Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Two graduating seniors, Katherine Kovac and Erin Loch, have received Fulbright English teaching assistantships to Germany, where they will teach English as a second language to middle school or high school students. Kovac also plans to develop an American literature book club at her school, and Loch will offer tutoring services and conversation sessions that allow students to practice English skills. Staci Defibaugh received an English teaching assistantship in Romania, where she will teach English as a second language at a university and an educational advising center. Defibaugh will also offer free English tutoring lessons and will create a bilingual craft circle, on knitting and traditional Romanian embroidery and weaving.

The English Department at Ball State is very proud and honored to have such diligent and accomplished faculty and students. Keep up the great work!

Guest Post: Christine Ellsworth on being an English major, living abroad, and her unexpected career choice

Christine (right center) with her husband

When I was an undergrad, I loved being an English major. I loved reading all the time, the writing, and the discussions that came with it. It took me a little while to figure out that English literature was the right major for me, but once I got there, it felt so great to finally be in a program I enjoyed and was passionate about.

Currently, I am studying in Ball State’s MA in TESOL (Teaching English as Second Language) program. I still find it ironic that I ended up here, because when asked, I would adamantly insist that I did NOT want to be a teacher. The path that led me here started with my interest in foreign languages. I took a few German and Italian classes, but my real love is French. After I spent a semester abroad, I couldn’t wait to find a way back to France. So, I applied for a position teaching English at l’Université de Nancy through the Ball State French department. A little piece of advice: if you want to spend time abroad, teaching is a great way to go because you get paid. Seven months later, I was on my way!

Teaching English in France was a true eye opener. To begin, I was completely terrified. I’ve always been a little shy, so the idea of standing up in front of a classroom was extremely intimidating for me. I’d never done it before and sometimes I wasn’t even very familiar with the subjects I was asked to teach. (Case in point: English phonetics. AH!) But it got easier as the year went on. And what surprised me the most—I actually enjoyed it! As the year came to a close, I realized I didn’t want to stop. Teaching English as a second language combined all of my passions, plus it allowed me to work with people in a meaningful way.

The next step for me was to get a degree teaching English as a Second Language. It was an easy decision to apply to the graduate school at Ball State. First of all, my soon-to-be fiancé was finishing his masters in Architecture at BSU. Also, after a campus visit and sitting in on a class, I was completely confident in the TESOL program. The opportunity to teach English in the Intensive English Institute (IEI) at Ball State seemed exciting as well. The IEI offers English classes for international students, and when I was offered a teaching assistantship in the IEI, the deal was sealed. I was headed back to Ball State.

Now I’m in the second year of my program and planning to graduate in the spring. Graduate school is challenging, but I’ve found that my literature classes prepared me well for the type of research, writing and analysis that is expected of me. What I love most about my program is that I get to teach people from diverse backgrounds. I’ve had students from Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and Tajikistan. Meeting new people and learning about other cultures is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. After I graduate, I hope to find a position teaching ESL at the university level, or perhaps abroad.

My advice to all you English majors out there is to not worry if you’re not sure where your English major will take you. There are more possibilities than you might think. If you’re like me, it may take you somewhere you didn’t expect!