Semester wrap-up

It’s been a while since I posted on my blog, but today’s the day!

AAAL group photo, courtesy of Jakub Kasztalski (

AAAL group photo, courtesy of Jakub Kasztalski (

The (academic) year is again coming to an end and this semester has turned out to be quite busy but also exciting for a few different reasons. Firstly, I presented at two conferences: In March, you may have seen me at AAAL in Portland, OR (Feel Like At Home”: How English is Shaping Poles’ Identities As Global Citizens and Non-Native Speakers) and in April at CSAS in Normal, IL (Soccer, Faith, and Patriotism: Polish Internet Memes as Social and Linguistic Commentary).

Secondly, this has been my second (and last) semester with a 0.75 TA appointment. Since I am teaching my second semester of ENGL 106i (First-Year Composition for International Students), this time I was able to develop my own syllabus, which has allowed me to incorporate some new assignments and workshops. You can check out a few sample PowerPoints and handouts on my fresh new Teaching tab! I also uploaded other materials from my ongoing work as a tutor at Purdue’s Oral English Proficiency Program and from my past introductory linguistics courses.

I really miss teaching linguistics, so for the past couple of months I have volunteered as a tutor to an undergraduate student in linguistics. It’s always such a blast (for me, at least) to talk to people about phonemes and allophones! The little linguist-teacher in me is also super excited about the fact that this summer I will be the instructor of an intense Maymester course at Purdue: LING 311 (Fundamentals of Phonology of Morphology). “Happy” only begins to describe my reaction when I was offered to teach the class!

Getting to some bigger news, I have just submitted my dissertation prospectus, which I will be defending on April 30 (cross your fingers!). Moreover, I can now officially announce that in a few months I will be a published author. My article, The Impact of English on Contemporary Poland is scheduled to appear in the next issue of the World Englishes journal, which makes me immensely proud, though still seems a little unreal. Keep an eye out for the paper and let me know what you think! Until then – cheers!

Edit: As of May 3, my article is published in the June issue of World Englishes and is available online!

Conferences… Conferences everywhere.

Phew! What a semester it has been…

First of all, I am learning a lot as an instructor of a freshman writing and composition for international students and a tutor at the Purdue Oral English Proficiency Program. In addition to allowing me to gain more experience in teaching English to non-native speakers, my current posts are also an opportunity for me to work with both undergraduate and graduate students. Each group of course has very different need and presents different challenges to a teacher. It’s a nice change of pace from teaching Introduction to Linguistics…. though I have to admit that I miss talking about cranberry morphemes and wugs!

Because of my .75 TA-ship appointment, it has at times been a struggle to continue my own research. Fortunately, having conference presentations lined up is a very effective motivator! Just this past weekend, I presented a paper titled “Language Play and Glocal Identities in Polish Internet Memes” at the annual meeting of the Semiotic Society of America (SSA) in Dayton, OH. I was excited to share my most recent findings with others and I look forward to pursue this course of research. It was also wonderful to present in Dr. Myrdene Anderson’s panel again and to meet linguists, anthropologists and archaeologists from so many different places.

Enjoying some live jazz after my presentation.

Enjoying some live jazz after my presentation.

The conference season is far from over for me though – this coming Saturday, I will be presenting at the Indiana TESOL (INTESOL) meeting in Indianapolis, IN. My presentation, titled “Why Johnnie Can’t Read About Poland: Absence of Central and Eastern European Voices in Mainstream ELT Discourses,”  will be part of a Purdue student panel organized by Dr. Margie Berns. I will also be presenting in Dr. Berns’ panel at the annual conference of the International Association of World Englishes (IAWE), which will be held in Phoenix, AZ this November. Also in November, I will once again discuss my meme research, but this time at the meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in Chicago, IL. Talk about a full schedule!

Although I love conferences because of the intellectual stimulation they provide and the networking possibilities they create, I am definitely looking forward to a more laid-back spring semester. So far, I only have one conference presentation lined up: I will be presenting a paper titled “Feel Like At Home”: How English is Shaping Poles’ Identities As Global Citizens and Non-Native Speakers” at the annual meeting of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) in Portland, OR.  I will also be traveling out of state to attend a close friend’s wedding, but hopefully my travel plans will end at that.

To conclude my update, let me share one of the Third World Problem memes, which contains a caption in the Silesian dialect of Polish:


Translation: “I want to study… But there is a computer in the room.”



Semester recap and summer agenda

The spring semester has been over for several weeks now, but what with final papers and family travel, I haven’t been able to post until now. Overall, it was a good, relatively stress-free semester, because I was only taking two classes. That said, it was an important semester for three main reasons: Firstly, I defended my prelims and am now officially ABD. Secondly, it was my last year serving as an officer (President) of the Purdue Linguistics Association, as next semester I cannot be as involved in our student organization. Finally, it was my fifth and last semester (for now, at least) as an instructor of Introduction to Linguistics. I absolutely love teaching linguistics to undergraduates and I will miss my Intro students dearly.

The reason I will not be teaching linguistics in the fall is because I was offered to teach a section of First Year Composition to International Students. As I want to get more hands-on experience in college-level ESL, I am delighted at this opportunity and excited to teach a whole class of international students. Although I have worked and volunteered as an English tutor before, this will be my first time working as a formal/paid instructor; it will be a challenge, but a welcome one! In addition to working half-time in the English department, I also received a quarter-time assistantship as a tutor at Purdue’s Oral English Proficiency Program (OEPP). What I like most about this arrangement is that I will be able to complement my writing instruction in the English department with oral language instruction at the OEPP, and thus get a valuable set of experiences in different areas of ESL.

Besides teaching in the fall, I will be finalizing my dissertation topic and, hopefully, defending my prospectus. I hope to get a head-start on my research this summer, as I was awarded the Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) grant to work toward my dissertation. The additional motivation will definitely help! For the next couple of months, I will also work as an ESL materials developer for Lumenus, an organization that overlooks intensive English language and college prep programs. This too as an amazing opportunity that I am extremely grateful for!

All and all, I am excited about this summer. I am currently visiting my family in Arizona and I have been enjoying the past couple of weeks because I got to see both of my brothers and do some traveling. However, my time here is almost over, as I will be back in Indiana on June 1st. I will miss the dry heat, but I am also looking forward to seeing my friends and colleagues at Purdue and to getting back into work-mode.

Until next time!