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TESOL | Working Papers

Number 2, April 2004

This publication showcases research by members of our programs. We hope you enjoy this window on the AU TESOL community's endeavors. Let us know ( how this series can help you in your own intellectual and pedagogical pursuits.

Co-editors: Naomi S. Baron and Christina Cavella


Lauren M. Squires, "College Students in Multimedia Relationships: Choosing, Using, and Fusing Communication Technologies"

Lauren graduated in 2003 with a BA in Public Communication and Philosophy. She currently lives in Boston and works with AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) in early literacy programming.


Sharyl Tanck, "Speech Act Sets of Refusal and Complaint: A Comparison of Native and Non-Native English Speakers' Production"

Sharyl Tanck holds an MA in TESOL from American University and a BA in Anthropology from University of Maryland. She currently works at the Center for Applied Linguistics as Program Coordinator for the Cultural Orientation Resource Center. She serves as Recording Secretary for the WATESOL, and is substitute teacher for the Carlos Rosario Public Charter School. Her interests include language pragmatics and refugee education. She enjoys racewalking and has completed two marathons and three long distance relays.


Donna Southwood-Smith, "Language as a Vechicle for National Themes"

Donna is originally from Jamaica. Her undergraduate degrees are in English and in Theatre, and while in the service, she earned another degree in Construction Technology. She is moving into a third career. After five years as a professional actor and ten on active duty in the US Air Force, she decided to put her belief in the importance of education, interest in English as a language, and curiosity about the world into the same basket. She is ultimately focused on teaching English as a foreign language to support her travel habit. While on active duty, she was stationed in South Korea and in Okinawa, and has visited about twenty different countries, sometimes at the behest of the Air Force, sometimes on her own. She regrets that she has not yet been able to visit the other five continents, but plans to rectify that during the course of her teaching career.


Christina Cavella, "How the Past Affects the Future: The Story of the Apostrophe"(Co-author: Robin A. Kernodle)

Christina graduated from Arcadia University in May of 2001 with a BA in Sociology and Spanish. During that time, she studied abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico to improve her Spanish proficiency. She also studied abroad in Toledo, Spain where she completed her undergraduate thesis on domestic violence. Christina has taught adult ESL at La Comunidad Hispana in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. She is currently studying to obtain an MA in TESOL.


Robin A. Kernodle, "How the Past Affects the Future: The Story of the Apostrophe"
(Co-author: Christina Cavella)

Robin graduated from Harding University in 1998 with a BA in English. She holds certification in Secondary English and taught in a bilingual school in Honduras for one year before returning to the U.S. to teach in the public school system in Nashville, TN. She later served as the coordinator of Learn To Read, Inc., a nonprofit agency in Jacksonville, Florida devoted to adult literacy. She currently volunteers in a faith-based ESL program in DC. Robin is in the MA in TESOL program.


Erin Wright, "Dominance or Preference?: A Case Study of Cross-Linguistic Transfer in Bilingual Child Language Acquisition"

Erin is pursuing an MA in TESOL at American University. She currently teaches American Business Practices to Japanese professionals at International Internship Programs (IIP) in Dupont Circle. Prior to joining IIP, Erin spent three years in Marketing & Sales for Lockheed Martin Co. in Washington, DC and a Chicago-based real estate firm. She received her undergraduate degree in English and French from Georgetown University.


Xiaohong Yang, "Using Color and Shape Coding to Teach Sentence Structure in Chinese"

Xiaohong is currently pursuing an M.A. in TESOL at AU. She came to the United States in 1995 after teaching English to Chinese students for four years at one of the premier high schools in Beijing, China. From 1995 to 1996, she taught Chinese language, history and culture to English-speaking students in public schools in the Boston area as an exchange teacher with the American Field Service program. From 1996 to 1999, she taught Chinese language, history and culture to American students in public and private schools in Washington, D.C. area and to adult students in private classes. In her present position as a member of the Foreign Language Department at the Landon School, she has established and administered Landon's Chinese Language Program involving students in the fifth through twelfth grades.


Kathryn E. McDonnell, "Academic Plagiarism Rules and ESL Learning - Mutually Exclusive Concepts?"

Kathy is currently enrolled in American University's M.A. in TESOL program. Her interest in the program stems from her four years of volunteer work teaching English as a Second Language to adults at Language, Etc.and the SED Center in Washington D.C., as well as a lifetime of working with people from all over the world. In 2000 she left a 30-year career practicing international commercial law in the telecommunications industry . Since that time she has been appointed to the international commercial panel of the American Arbitration Association, as well as the arbitration panels of the New York Stock Exchange and NASD. She enjoys part-time work as a commercial arbitrator in addition to continuing her volunteer work as an ESL teacher.


Cara Anne Gadel, "Case Study: The Struggles of One Orally Proficient English Language Learner with English Literacy Acquisition"

Cara was part of the first group of DC Teaching Fellows in the summer of 2001. She received her MAT:ESOL from AU last year and is currently teaching second grade ESOL in Montgomery County Public Schools.