You are here: American University College of Arts & Sciences TESOL News & Events Spring 2018 Newsletter

TESOL Newsletter, Spring 2018

Student, Alumni & Faculty Notes

Kinza Cooper (MA TESOL student)

“The Impact of Team Teaching on One ELF Learner’s Beliefs”. Master’s Student Forums. Tuesday, March 27, 3:50 pm - 4:10 pm, room N132.

Andrew Screen (MA/MI TESOL 2011)

“Rubrics as Teaching Tools: Clarifying Expectations and Improving Outcomes". Co-presenters: Heather Gregg-Zitlau and Stephanie Gallop. Thursday, March 29, 5:00 pm - 5:45 pm, room E271b.

Dr. Polina Vinogradova

“Diverse Voices of Advocacy” with Heather Linville. Session: “Whose agenda? Whose priorities? Revisiting and Re-envisioning TESOL’s Research Agenda,”. Thursday, March 29, 9:30am - 11:15am, room E260.  

"Putting TESOL Advocacy into Practice" panel with Heather Linville, Diane Staehr Fenner, Heather Totton Harris, and James Whiting. Friday, March 30, 9:30am - 11:15am, room E253a.

Dr. Polina Vinogradova

“Digital Media, Storytelling, and the ESL Classroom.” Session: “Every Student a Reporter: Digital Media, Story Telling and Global Learning,” NAFSA Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA; Tuesday, May 29, 1:00pm-2:00pm.

Kinza Cooper (MA TESOL student)

Graduate Student Conference Travel Grant from AU College of Arts and Sciences for presenting her paper at the TESOL 2018 International Convention & English Language Expo in Chicago, IL.

Yulia Khoruzhaya (MA TESOL student)

WATESOL Travel Grant to attend the TESOL 2018 International Convention & English Language Expo in Chicago, IL.

Dr. Polina Vinogradova

Research Mini-Grant from TESOL International Association for the study “Diverse Voices of Advocacy in TESOL,” with Heather Linville (September 2017).

Innovative Research in International Education Award from NAFSA: Association of International Educators (April 2017) for the chapter Vinogradova, P. (2017). Teaching with digital stories for student empowerment and engagement. In M. Carrier, R. M. Damerow, & K. M. Bailey (Eds.), Digital language learning and teaching: Research, theory, and practice (pp. 127-140). Routledge & TIRF.

Kinza Cooper, Jessica Ebersole, Margaret Johnson, Yulia Khoruzhaya, Connie Patsalos, Katie Pettet (TESOL students) and Dr. Sarah Knowles

had a panel presentation “Creating Thematic, Project-Based Units for English Language Learners: What Works?” at WATESOL Fall 2017 Conference, Washington, DC in October 2017.

Calsidine Banan (MA TESOL 2016)

works as a consultant at the World Bank Group. She works with the Communication Department of the Global Financing Facility (GFF) which is a multi-stakeholder partnership that supports country-led efforts to improve the health of women, children and adolescents. With the GFF, countries are making smarter, more prioritized, results-focused investments toward greater impact on the health, nutrition and well-being of women, children and adolescents; building capacity for more sustainable funding for this agenda; and exploring more innovative ways to work with the private sector. The GFF Trust Fund is supported by the governments of Canada, Norway and the United Kingdom; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and MSD for Mothers. Cassie loves her job which gives her an opportunity to make a positive impact on deprived populations in Africa and around the world. Cassie’s fourth child, Josias, is turning one year in a month and she is very excited about him making his first steps.

Jamie Bisher (TESOL Certificate 1987)

presented a paper at the National Security Agency’s biennial Symposium on Cryptologic History entitled “A British-Japanese Cabal Against the US? US Intelligence Suspicions in 1920-1922.” in October 2017. Jamie got his AU TESOL Certificate in 1987 and he loved teaching 15 years in evening ESL classes for AACC, HCC, PGCC & PGCPS, and coordinated some large TESOL projects for foreign engineers at Northrop Grumman. Researching and writing true spy stories is just for fun, but it’s flattering to be able to present a research paper at NSA.

Vicky Fanney (MA TESOL 2016)

is currently serving a year contract at the Université de Pau et des pays de l'Adour, specifically on the campus of the Côte Basque. Her workload is pretty intense, but the upside is that between May and September, she will have tons of free time without classes, so she plans to travel a little bit in the summer. At the moment, however, her academic calendar is quite demanding, with over 200 students in 3 different science programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The students are mainly French nationals in the biology and physics/chemistry tracks, but in the IT department, the students are more diverse: French, North and West African, and a few South Americans. Currently the university is undergoing a significant re-organization of mission and personnel in terms of research and pedagogy, so it is not clear if she will stay for another year. She confesses that one thing she does miss about teaching in the US is the wider diversity of students she worked with here, specifically at Northern Virginia Community College. However, the trade-off is that there she is learning to navigate an entirely different system of higher education in a language other than English, and this knowledge and experience has frankly been invaluable in the broader context of her TESOL career goals and interests. Her job alternates daily between very humbling and highly stimulating!

Erin Haskell Ross (MA TESOL 2016)

has moved to Vermont, just south of Burlington, with her husband and their dog after almost a decade living, learning, volunteering and ultimately teaching in DC. It is a big change from urban life but she is loving the winter birds, dark starry night skies, the ever-changing Lake Champlain and the new acquaintances. She will soon dive back into teaching adult ELLs in one of Vermont's state-funded adult education programs. In the meantime, she is spending time cooking and reading and exploring, as well as learning to snowshoe (still not gracefully). She continues to serve as a board member for the Washington English Center and return to DC regularly for meetings - and to catch up with friends. She misses her AU TESOL cohort and the broader TESOL professional community in the DC metropolitan-area. She looks forward to seeing many of you at the TESOL convention in Chicago in March.

Dr. Victoria Hasko (MA TESOL 2002)

gave a guest lecture, “The dynamics of the interrelationship between bilingual language and thought: An eye tracking investigation of the domain of motion” at AU in November 2017.

Dr. Polina Vinogradova

has had a productive year. In addition to receiving an award from NAFSA and a research mini-grant from TESOL International Association (recognitions that she is very grateful for), she gave several presentations and workshops:

  • Key note address “Coming Full Circle in International Education: Questions of Empowerment, Privilege, and Advocacy” at NAFSA Research Symposium (November 2017)
  • Seminar “Willingness to Communicate, 21st Century Skills, and Student Engagement in Content-Based English Medium Instruction” at the Center for Language and Culture, Hosei University in Tokyo, Japan (April 2017)
  • Professional development workshops on apprenticeship of observation and self-reflection with Erin Ross (MA TESOL’16) at Washington English Center (January and September 2017)
  • Professional development workshop on action research for WATESOL in January 2017. Another action research workshop will take place on February 17, 2018 (Saturday) at American University. When visiting Hosei University and Tokyo in April, she was able to take a daytrip to Kyoto and get together with Jillian Olsavsky, (MA TESOL 2014) who currently lives in Kyoto and teaches English at Ritsumeikan Uji Junior and Senior High School.

Dr. Vinogradova is also thrilled that her chapter on teaching speaking is included in The TESOL encyclopedia of English language teaching – an 8-volume project of TESOL International Association published by Wiley

Vinogradova, P. (2018). The role of speaking in L2 program and curriculum design. The TESOL encyclopedia of English language teaching. J. I. Liontas (Ed.) John Wiley & Sons.


Student Spotlight: Margaret Johnson

"A successful language learner tries to use the target language as much as possible and tries to make connections and take notice of aspects of the language, inside or outside the classroom."

Margaret Johnson Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight: Philip Piatt

"It was first the desire to work and travel abroad that made me want to teach English."

Philip Piatt Spotlight

Welcome the new TESOL Students!

Jing Bai (Annie) MA TESOL Student

Jing Bai (Annie) comes from Beijing, China and she is a new MA TESOL student in 2018 spring. During her undergrad, she experienced different cultures by volunteering in Sri Lanka and participating in exchange student programs in the US. Among different part-time jobs she had in China, she found herself interested in teaching English. During her free time, she likes to do some sports, draw and learn about different cultures by traveling and talking to different people.

Megan Fullarton MA TESOL Student

Megan Fullarton grew up in Maryland and has spent the last 6 years living in North Carolina. She earned her BA in Linguistics from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a minor in Cognitive Science. After graduating, she worked as a project manager in the translation industry. Megan has studied Italian, French, Mandarin, Latin, and Classical Hebrew, and studied abroad in Florence. She is thrilled to be joining the TESOL program here at AU!

Xiao Liang (Andy) MA TESOL Student

Xiao Liang (Andy) came from Harbin, China and graduated from Zhejiang University in media and communications with a B.A. in broadcasting and hosting. Though it seems that there is no connection between hosting and TESOL, they are both related to communication. His college experience led him to be interested in teaching English.

Courtney Quintos MA TESOL Student

Courtney Quintos is the American-born daughter of Filipino immigrants. Although she originally hails from the DC suburb of Fairfax Station, Virginia, she earned her BA in History of Art at the Ohio State University (go Bucks!). After working for more than five years as an office assistant at a local law firm, she has decided on a career change that encompasses several of her primary interests: the English language, intercultural dialogue, post-secondary teaching, and the humanities. She finds in AU’s MA in TESOL program an opportunity through which she could further develop her interests and, moreover, learn how to serve better the diverse metro DC immigrant community. Courtney now lives in nearby Bethesda, MD, where she volunteers with the ESOL program at Our Lady of Lourdes.

Tracey Ryan MA TESOL Student

This is Tracey Ryan. She is a native Texan and a second grade teacher at a public elementary school in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of DC. She has been teaching for coming up on ten years. Before working with public and charter schools in DC, she lived abroad in Shenzhen and Shanghai China for a few years teaching English at a Honkongese kindergarten. She thinks it is exciting to join the TESOL team and broaden her linguistic and multicultural horizons!

Xinxin Wang MA TESOL Student

Xinxin Wang is from China. She came to the US one year ago and wants to obtain her MA TESOL as well as teaching experience here. Her dream, being a teacher, shaped when she was a pupil and has never changed since then. To get as much teaching experience as she can, she was a part-time teacher assistant for high school students in China and now is a volunteer in DC Reading Partners. She believes that getting the MA TESOL will help her move up her teaching career in the future.

Rachel Gordon TESOL Certificate Student

Rachel Gordon is the Assistant Director of WCL Abroad at American University where she manages international initiatives for the law school and administers a summer study abroad program on European law. She is an adjunct lecturer at AU teaching US legal writing and research to civil law trained students. She earned her JD at AU and her BS in Food Science at Cornell University in her home state of New York. In 2017, Rachel participated in the Fulbright International Education Administrators Seminar in Germany. When she’s not at AU, Rachel hosts a weekly pub trivia night. She is thrilled to be an AU student again!