Once more, a lot has happened since my last update. To begin with, this past summer I had the pleasure to teach LING 311, or Fundamentals of Phonology and Morphology. Despite the fast pace of the course – due to it being an intense 4-week class – I absolutely loved the experience! It was wonderful to teach in the Linguistics Program again and to talk about allophones, circumfixation, and preantepenultimate shortening. I hope I get to do this a lot more in the future!
In addition to teaching, this summer I conducted a pilot study to help me prepare for my dissertation research and I am now officially collecting data! My study consists of a series of focus groups and interviews, through which I hope to examine the linguistic, cultural, and pedagogical challenges to professional development faced by International Teaching Assistants (ITAs) in the English Program. Based on my findings, I want to identify and suggest university resources that can help aid international faculty and staff. To help empower ITAs and to improve the relations between local and international faculty and students, I will propose a university-wide educational initiative that draws from the World Englishes framework and encourages a more informed discussion of diversity issues. Although I have only just begun my project, it has already yielded some interesting results and I look forward to sharing them with you!
In addition to working on my research and teaching ENGL 106i, this semester I have presented two papers at the annual meeting of the Semiotic Society of America, which was held in Seattle. I was excited to give the following presentations with my audience and happy to receive a lot of great questions and comments:
“I wanted an English teacher”: ITAs’ Struggles as Non-White, Non-Native English Speakers.
“Grandmatka” and “Slavic blood”: Forms and Functions of English in Contemporary Polish Music.
Finally, since I plan to graduate next year, I have started applying for jobs… Although filling out job applications is not one of my favorite activities, so far it’s going alright. So I’m optimistic and it will turn out great.