Monthly Archives: February 2010

MIIS Career Fair

For the first time, an institute-wide career fair was organized by the Institute‘s new Center for Advising and Career Services. The Center, launched last spring, combines the traditionally separate functions of academic and career advising into a comprehensive campus resource intended to ensure students receive a constant flow of support, advice, and training from the day they register to the day they graduate.

Registration & Career Fair Check-In

Registration & Career Fair Check-In

Ranging from local non-profits to global corporations, participating employers included government agencies such as the U.S. Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency, private sector leaders such as Apple and Facebook, and NGOs such as Catholic Relief Services and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Employers such as the Defense Language Institute, the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy, UC Riverside and Monte Vista Christian School were hiring MA TESOL/TFL students and alumni.

“We‘re extremely pleased with this year‘s fair,” commented Institute President Sunder Ramaswamy. “The strong turnout from employers speaks to the value they place on the kind of cross-cultural, cross-sectoral professional skills that Institute graduates acquire.”

Students introduced themselves to employers at booths throughout the conference center‘s expansive Serra Room, learning about job opportunities, dropping off resumes, and setting interview times. Workshop panels during the day featured Institute alumni talking about their professional experiences and offering tips on launching a career, networking, and advanced career strategies. The daylong fair finished up with a networking reception for students and employers.


By Anna Bellersen, MA TFL German Candidate

Leo van Lier, Anna Bellersen, Nancy Grabow, Caroline Fuchs

Leo van Lier, Anna Bellersen, Nancy Grabow, Caroline Fuchs

With graduation approaching and the state of the FL education job market looking bleak, several of my colleagues and I packed into a car and headed to the 2009 ACTFL convention in San Diego last November, hoping to network, learn about innovations in language teaching, and maybe get a peek at the beach.

The convention theme was:      Speaking Up For Languages The Power of Many Voices. Steve Hildebrand, the keynote speaker, riled the crowd of several thousand into a pro-language learning frenzy by first admitting that he couldn‘t remember anything he learned from high school Spanish classes and expressing his shame. He then touched on the lack of focus on foreign language education today and outlined how his successful grassroots campaign for Barack Obama could serve as a guide for an ACTFL-lead campaign to speak up for languages. After the unveiling of ACTFLs new social networking and resource-sharing site, I left my MIIS colleagues and went to the first German session. The rest of the weekend flew by in a blur of workshops and panel sessions on integrating technology into language learning, introducing linguistic variation into classrooms, practical tips for motivating learners and, my favorite, a series of presentations on teaching cultural variation through modern music.

Between sessions, I met with members of the American Association of Teachers of German, colleagues from previous schools, new-found friends with similar teaching interests, and representatives from several exchange and study abroad organizations. I gained valuable knowledge about the job market and my options, gathered resources for students and MIIS colleagues in the German language classes, and gained a sense of belonging in the German teaching community. I also joined the ranks of teachers fighting for German programs across the U.S., signing petitions and writing letters to administrators, officials and schools considering canceling programs.

Imagine the occasional loneliness of being the only student in your department. Imagine watching your student teaching mentor cry while she tells you that your language is being discontinued in her school. Now imagine walking into a room with over one hundred other people who believe that your chosen language is worth teaching. People who are striving and working together to support programs all over the U.S. People who are choosing to fight against closures by making their programs stronger, even as they face imminent budget cuts. That is the energy, the drive and the passion that we TFL students learn to bring to our teaching, and that we are going to have to bring to our advocacy, as we continue to speak up for languages.

Found in Translation: Metaphor Awareness

Who: Translation students
What: Found in Translation series – Prof Zinan Ye
When: Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 12:15 PM
Where: Irvine Auditorium

A Metaphor-Awareness Approach to the Teaching of Translation – Professor Zinan Ye

This paper attempts to apply knowledge of cognitive study of conceptual metaphor to the teaching of translation.  It adopts the argument put forth by some cognitive linguists that language is basically metaphical and then points out the universal aspect of conceptual metaphor and its relation to the teaching and practice of translation. 

PCMI student in Kazakhstan

Christina Baldarelli is currently serving as a Peace Corps Masters International (PCMI) candidate in Kazakhstan.  She recently sent an update back to her colleagues at MIIS along with her thanks for a PCMI care package.  She writes,

Christina Baldarelli, PCMI in the field

Christina Baldarelli, PCMI in the field

I have to tell you … having spent two semesters at MIIS prior to joining the Peace Corps has basically made me a rock star over here. I live and work in a small city surrounded by different villages that are home to 8 other volunteers who are first-time teachers right out of various non-education related undergraduate programs. Not a weekend goes by without one of them coming in to the city to talk about lesson plans or vent about administrative frustrations, and I feel so equipped and empowered to listen to them and try to help. Sometimes I get frustrated that I’m not living the typical ‘Peace Corps’ life (i.e. there are BMWs on the streets and all of my students have expensive cell phones, etc), but I feel like some of the best work that I’m doing is actually just helping the other volunteers be more effective, which feels good.

You can read further about her adventures via her personal blog.

Corpus linguistics and concordancing

This past weekend GSTILE students, faculty and staff attended a five-hour workshop on corpus linguistics and concordancing, presented by Susan Conrad, an alumna of the MIIS TESOL program, and now a faculty member in the Department of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University.

Susan Conrad, corpora and concordancing workshop

Susan Conrad, corpora and concordancing workshop

Susan’s workshop focused on the use of corpora for language teachers, and covered both software programs and web-based resources.

Materials from Susan’s workshop — as well as those from other GSTILE lecture series events — are available in the GSTILE >> TESOL/TFL section of Moodle:  Materials from TESOL/TFL Speaker Series.

Alum to be published in CATESOL Journal

MIIS TESOL alumna Janine Poreba recently received news that her Applied Linguistics Research (ALR) project will be published in the Winter 2010 issue of the CATESOL Journal.  She writes,



Recently, I dusted off my ALR project (“Negotiation Strategies in Two-Way Conversation Partnerships: Their Use and Usefulness”) and re-read it. I’m working at Santa Monica College, and some colleagues and I are starting a Conversation Exchange Program here, so I wanted to see if I’d uncovered any useful information back in my grad school days. Sure enough, I had, and what’s more, the paper was still interesting to read. I made some changes and submitted it to the CATESOL Journal, and I just found out that it’ll be published in their Winter 2010 issue.

Congratulations, Janine!  And thanks to Kathi Bailey for passing along the news.

Beverly Derewianka, Friday, Feb 19

Who: TESOL/TFL students & all others with an interest in languages
What: Guest speaker Beverly Derewianka
When: Friday, February 19, 2010, 2:00-4:00 PM
Where: Morse, Room B104

Getting Personal: Using language to engage with readers to express feelings, persuade others to our point of view, judge peoples’ behavior, and moderate our expression of attitude.

A major function of language is to enable the expression of interpersonal meanings – feelings, opinions, judgments, humor, sarcasm, and so on. Often, however, this important aspect of language competency is not taught explicitly, possibly because such meanings are so deeply embedded in the culture that even native speakers are not consciously aware of how they employ these subtle resources. This paper will draw on Appraisal Theory (Martin & White 2005) for a model to help language teachers think about such issues as:

  • how is language used to express feelings, persuade others to our point of view, judge peoples’ behavior, and so on?
  • how can we moderate our expression of attitude?
  • how can we use language to engage with the reader in various ways?

GSTILE welcomes everyone and hopes to see you there.

Spring Lecture Series

Save the dates!

For further information about the program of dynamic speakers in the GSTILE Lecture Series please contact Angie Quesenberry at the GSTILE Front Desk:

Speaker Date Title Lecture / Workshop
Susan Conrad February 12/13 Corpus Linguistics Workshop Workshop
Beverly Derewianka February 19 GETTING PERSONAL: Using language to engage with readers to express feelings, persuade others to our point of view, judge peoples’ behavior, and moderate our expression of attitude Lecture
Lynn Vission March 5-7 Conference Terminology and Procedures Lecture
Shirley Brice Heath March 19 Moving the human eye and mind:  Visual, musical, and literary arts in grounding cognition Lecture
Peter Bush April 1 The Shock of the New: Translating a Classic

(Open to all students of all languages)

Ulrike Irmler April 5 Windows Localization – Language for Worldwide and Local Audiences Lecture
Anne Lafeber April 9/10 Translating for International Organizations: The Inside Scoop April 9 –Lecture

April 10 – Workshop

Matt Poehner April 16 Dynamic Assessment Interactive Lecture / Workshop
Kumaravadivelu April 30 Language and Identity Interactive Lecture and Discussion