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2017 TESOL Research Mini-Grant Recipients

Navigating Cultural Divides: The Learning, Practices, and Beliefs of Novice Indonesian Teachers of English
Tabitha Kidwell, 
Doctoral Candidate
University of Maryland, College Park
United States

To support learners’ participation in the global economy, English teachers must be prepared to address the intercultural aspects of language learning. In Indonesia, this challenge is compounded by education policies that also require teachers to sustain Indonesian cultural values. In response to these dual challenges, this study aims to better understand how novice Indonesian teachers of English learn to teach about culture, what they believe about the teaching of culture, and what practices they use to teach about culture.  This qualitative case study draws on interviews and observations with English education faculty at a Muslim university in Central Java, as well as with recent graduates during their early years of teaching.  Implications from this study will inform language teaching, teacher education, and language education policy in parallel contexts where language teachers are expected to uphold local values while also fostering intercultural awareness.  

Kidwell PhotoTabitha Kidwell is a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland, College Park.  She has taught French, Spanish, and English on five continents to students ranging from pre-schoolers to adults.  Her research interests focus on language teacher education, particularly how language teachers are prepared to teach about culture.  

Diverse Voices of Advocacy
Heather Linville
Assistant Professor of TESOL
University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
United States
  Polina Vinogradova
Department of World Languages and Cultures
American University, Washington DC
United States

Advocacy is a topic of urgent importance, as seen in the TESOL standards and strategic plan, but often lacks clarity as to its actions and goals. Some might think of advocacy as only political acts, or wonder how to incorporate it into their professional roles. This research study clarifies our shared understanding of advocacy and gives voice to TESOL professionals at all levels as they consider and implement diverse approaches to and actions of advocacy in their work. The results provide ideas for professionals, from novice to advanced, on how to advocate for their students, themselves, and the profession. The study also empowers TESOL professionals to engage in advocacy with the belief that no action is too small, and that all acts of advocacy can positively impact the lives of ELs and their families. The results will be compiled into a multimedia advocacy tool, a podcast, available to all online.

HLinville_pixHeather A. Linville is Assistant Professor/Director of TESOL at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. With a PhD in Language, Literacy and Culture from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Heather’s research explores how teachers advocate for English learners and how personal, experiential, and contextual factors influence teachers’ advocacy actions.

PolinaVinogradova 2Polina Vinogradova, Director of the TESOL Program at American Univertsity, holds a PhD in Language, Literacy and Culture from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her research focuses on the use of digital technology, specifically digital stories, in language education and on postmethod pedagogy and advocacy in language teacher development. 

Teacher Candidates and Action Research: Preparing Preservice Teachers to Work with English Learners

Beverly Troiano, PhD
Assistant Professor
Elmhurst College
United States 

In this study, I examine how teacher candidates use action research to reflect on and inform their teaching of English learners. The candidates participate in a year-long action research project that is part of the coursework for the ELS/bilingual endorsement program. The project culminates in the writing of a research proposal and conducting of action research in their student teaching classrooms. I use discourse analysis methods (Gee, 2014) to identify how candidates integrate, evaluate, and critically analyze ESL/bilingual methods learned in endorsement coursework. Through the iterative coding of classroom recordings, student work, field notes, and other artifacts, I focus specifically on how they develop conceptions of language practices and apply these theoretical understandings in their teaching. The study presents a model, including its strengths and challenges, of integrating action research into teacher preparation programs and having teacher candidates collect and analyze data from classroom practice.  

BTroiano_pixDr. Beverly Troiano is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education at Elmhurst College in Illinois. She developed and directs the undergraduate and graduate Teaching English Learners ESL/bilingual endorsement programs.  She has presented her research at numerous conferences, including AERA, NCTE, LRA, NABE and Illinois TESOL-BE.