It is a great honor to be the featured SLS member this month. I came to the field of Second Language Studies in a slightly non-linear way via my previous teaching career (English/German in Japan, Spain, and the U.S.), and my MA in Linguistics from Syracuse University.
Since starting my PhD I have rarely said no to any opportunity that has come my way. While the place I feel most at home is the classroom, I have co-authored papers with Shawn Loewen on the use of tasks in CMC modalities as well as the efficacy of statistics in the field of SLA. In addition, I have assisted Paula Winke on a research project using an eye tracker to investigate the assessment of writing samples by professionally trained raters. Although I have branched out during my time at MSU, my own research interests have over time veered toward the teaching side of things. For my dissertation, which is supported by a Language Learning dissertation grant, I am currently investigating the professionalization and skill acquisition of four MA TESOL students during their first year in their program. Previously, I have completed papers on the teacher-identity development of native and non-native-speaking English teachers and the effect cultural and socioaffective factors have on the perception and provision of corrective feedback in multicultural ESL classrooms. My teaching assignments in the past have included undergraduate classes in Teaching Methods for future K-12 teachers, Second Language Learning, Linguistics (during my MA), and ESL (all proficiency levels and skills).
I have also kept busy when not in the classroom (as a student, teacher, or researcher). Among other things, I have helped plan conferences, served on committees, participated in an interdisciplinary fellowship program, and traveled nationally and internationally to various conferences. To keep some sort of balance during this last stretch of my degree, I regularly practice Bikram yoga (which I highly recommend). I’m planning to defend my dissertation in spring 2015.