Archive for January, 2010

3 Ways to Visit SIT

January 28, 2010

What are some ways to deepen your knowledge of the SIT Graduate Institute this spring?  Mary Kay Sigda of the Admissions Office describes 3 ways, a campus open house, a virtual open house, and a personalized visit.

Mary Kay Sigda



English as Lingua Franca, 2

January 25, 2010

In the first part of this series, student Ginna Allison reflects on the prevalence of English in the world.  In this second part, she considers various models of English as a lingua franca.  Currently, she is in Mexico for the winter where she is an interning teacher — checking her perceptions — at the ABC School of English in Pachuca.

The Status of Variations on the Lingua Franca

It is important to note that not all manifestations of English are equal in the eyes of the world. (more…)

Alum Akisha Pearman: English Language Fellow

January 21, 2010

Applying her Peace Corps experience at SIT, Akisha Pearman went on to be a US State Department English Language Fellow in Mozambique.  Here she reflects on her SIT experiences and presents a compelling, insider’s view of what it means to teach, to listen, and to change.  In this email interview, note how she uses her SIT learning in a variety of settings.  How different education would be if we all had had teachers like Akisha! (more…)

How to Write a Successful Proposal

January 18, 2010

ACTFLThis post reviews Barbara Rupert’s article, “How to Write a Successful Proposal for the ACTFL Convention,” in The Language Educator (November 2009, vol. 4, issue 6).  Members of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages can access the article in context.

Using experience as a guide, Ms Rupert describes the multiple stages of thinking that can lead to presenting at a meeting of a professional association of any kind, not just those teaching foreign languages.  While her article is written from the perspective of this association, its content is easily transferred to other professional contexts. (more…)

Alum Wilma Luth: Good Practices

January 15, 2010

Wilma Luth

How do you increase awareness without anyone standing right beside you and calling your attention to what is there?  How can you see what’s right in front of you, familiar and predictable, with a fresh perspective?  How can teachers grow and development themselves professionally?  How can students learn to create awareness for themselves?  Ask Wilma Luth.

Wilma Luth (SMAT 17, 1998) has lived on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido for many years.  Besides her own EFL teaching, she is an active member of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT).  It is in the dual capacity that she was invited to present a workshop on good teaching practices to Hokkaido’s EFL teachers at a regional meeting of the national association.  Describing the work, she says, “I enjoy giving workshops like this that help teachers stop and think about what they’re doing in the classroom. So many teachers rarely spend the kind of reflective time that could really re-energize their teaching.” (more…)

Teaching Success in Keene

January 11, 2010

Keene, New Hampshire, a town of 23,000 people, is about 20 miles from SIT Graduate Institute and enrolls 3,787 students in its K-12 public school system.  Keene has two full-time teachers of English to speakers of other languages, both alumni of SIT, who were featured in Saturday’s Keene Sentinel (January 9, 2010).

Reading between the lines below, note the learner-focused approaches to teaching and, especially, the thoughtful and engaging integration of the students’ identities into their learning.  The teachers’ sense of delight in their serious work is obvious.

Culture club

Above, pupil Mann Patel works on his English skills in class Thursday at Franklin School in Keene. Below, teacher Morris Kimura works with pupils at the school.

Keene program helps immigrants adjust to region

By Sarah Palermo, 
Sentinel Staff

Published: Saturday, January 09, 2010

What did you have for breakfast? (more…)

English as Lingua Franca, 1

January 7, 2010

Do you know the term “lingua franca“?  Ginna Allison, a current student, reflects here on the subject of her teaching degree, English, and its prevalence in the world.  Undoubtedly, she will apply this learning during her teaching internship.  Note that she had one intention, but in the process of writing discovered her learning needed to shift direction.

While her statement was originally written for an academic purpose, her topic and admirable depth of research and reflection have applicability to all of us who use English as our everyday medium of communication.  This post is the first of two parts.

It has often been said that language is inextricably linked with culture. But what can one say about a single language — in this case, English — spoken natively or secondarily by people from scores of different cultures? In such a situation, there is no one culture that embodies the expression of the language. With so many cultures speaking English as a lingua franca, the idea of culture as an integral part of language becomes convoluted. (more…)

Alum Myles Grogan: Extensive Reading

January 4, 2010

Reporting to the general membership of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT) in the December 2009 issue of The Language Teacher (vol. 33, no. 12), Myles Grogan (MAT 34, 2002) highlights the emergence of Extensive Reading in Japan.  At its first conference this past July, the newly created JALT Extensive Reading Special Interest Group attracted significant numbers of teachers.  The event was sponsored by JALT’s chapters in Osaka and Kyoto.

Read Myles’ article in the magazine if you are member of JALT.  Read more about Extensive Reading at the special interest group’s website.

By all accounts a very successful conference, SIT congratulates Myles on his vision and hard work!