Michigan State University
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English Language Center
International Teaching Assistant Program


ITA Pronunciation Instruction Fellowship

The English Language Center International Teaching Assistant Program and the Graduate School have partnered to provide graduate fellowships in the area of international teaching assistant preparation and pronunciation instruction.  With funding from the Graduate School, the ELC ITA Program awards a number of fellowships each semester to qualified graduate students in fields related to second language acquisition (such as the Second Language Studies PhD Program and the MA TESOL Program) who have demonstrated teaching and/or research interest in pronunciation instruction and ITA training.  Under the supervision of the ITA Program coordinators, fellows in the program work with international teaching assistants (ITAs) enrolled in ITA support classes to assess ITA pronunciation needs and address those needs in weekly individual or small-group instructional sessions outside of regular class hours.  This personalized instruction enables ITA students in the program to identify and implement a plan for individualized oral skills improvement.  Fellows maintain contact with classroom instructors and track ITA student progress throughout the semester.  At the conclusion of their fellowship, fellows submit a final portfolio presenting their work and outcomes of the fellowship.

Spring 2020 Fellows

Maria Belen Buttiler

Maria Belen Buttiler received her BA in English Language and Literature from the National University of La Plata, Argentina, where she also pursued a graduate certificate in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language. She is a Fulbright Scholar and an MA TESOL student at Michigan State University (MSU). At MSU, she also serves as the Secretary of the Student Organization of Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy (SOSLAP) and as a Pronunciation Instructor for international teaching assistants. She has eight years of English language teaching experience at elementary and high schools, language centers, and universities in Argentina, Brazil, and the United States.

Dmitrii Pastushenkov

Dmitrii is a Ph.D. student in the Second Language Studies (SLS) program. He holds a bachelor’s degree in intercultural communication and foreign language pedagogy from Tver State University (Russia) and two master’s degrees from Kent State University (United States): dual MA in translation/MBA and MA in TESL.  Dmitrii's experience includes work in Russia and the United Stated in the areas of translation, foreign language teaching, and SLA research. He has taught Russian, French, EFL, ESL, and TESL courses. As a researcher, Dmitrii strives to connect social and cognitive approaches to SLA and bridge the gap between SLA research and language pedagogy. His primary research interests are peer interaction and instructed SLA.

Alyssa Wolfe

Alyssa Wolfe is a first year PhD student in the Second Language Studies program. She has a B.A. in Spanish with an ESL certificate from The University of Montana and a M.A.Ed in TESOL from Seattle University and has taught EFL in South Korea and Ecuador, for about 3 years each. She has taught all levels and ages of learners, from young children to middle school students to university students to university faculty and has also worked in curriculum development and program administration. Her main teaching areas include pronunciation, presentation skills, grammar, and academic writing. Her research interests involve psycholinguistics and Instructed Second Language acquisition with an emphasis on investigating cognitive processing of languages as well as the relationship between learners’ native language and the language being learned. 

Fall 2019 Fellows

Marisol Masso

Dmitrii Pastushenkov

Dmitrii is a Ph.D. student in the Second Language Studies (SLS) program. He holds a bachelor’s degree in intercultural communication and foreign language pedagogy from Tver State University (Russia) and two master’s degrees from Kent State University (United States): dual MA in translation/MBA and MA in TESL.  Dmitrii's experience includes work in Russia and the United Stated in the areas of translation, foreign language teaching, and SLA research. He has taught Russian, French, EFL, ESL, and TESL courses. As a researcher, Dmitrii strives to connect social and cognitive approaches to SLA and bridge the gap between SLA research and language pedagogy. His primary research interests are peer interaction and instructed SLA.

Olga Pinchuk

Robert Randez

Alyssa Wolfe

Alyssa Wolfe is a first year PhD student in the Second Language Studies program. She has a B.A. in Spanish with an ESL certificate from The University of Montana and a M.A.Ed in TESOL from Seattle University and has taught EFL in South Korea and Ecuador, for about 3 years each. She has taught all levels and ages of learners, from young children to middle school students to university students to university faculty and has also worked in curriculum development and program administration. Her main teaching areas include pronunciation, presentation skills, grammar, and academic writing. Her research interests involve psycholinguistics and Instructed Second Language acquisition with an emphasis on investigating cognitive processing of languages as well as the relationship between learners’ native language and the language being learned. 

 

Spring 2019 Fellows

Maria Belen Buttiler

Maria Belen Buttiler received her BA in English Language and Literature from the National University of La Plata, in Argentina, where she also pursued a graduate certificate in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language. In the fall of 2018, Maria joined the MA TESOL program at Michigan State University (MSU) as a Fulbright Scholar. She has worked as a teacher of English at language centers, elementary schools, and high schools. In 2013, she taught English and Spanish in Brazil through a university grant. Now at MSU, she serves as a pronunciation instructor for International Teaching Assistants. Her research interests include instructed second language acquisition, pronunciation instruction, and assessment.  

Alyssa Bulow

Alyssa Bulow is currently an MATESOL student at Michigan State University and a TA at the English Language Center. She obtained her diploma in TEFL, is certified as a secondary English teacher, and received her BA in speech-communication and professional writing. Additionally, she has a decade of teaching experience ranging from IELTS instruction, individualized pronunciation tutoring, university academic writing classes, and US History and Culture. She has lived and taught English abroad in countries including Honduras, Mexico, and China. Her teaching interests include English teacher training, presentation and pronunciation skills, and the creation of dynamic language learning environments in high school and university classrooms.

Steven Gagnon

Steven Gagnon joined the MA TESOL program in the fall of 2018. He received his BA from Michigan State University where he studied Korean, Japanese, speech language pathology, and linguistics. During his undergraduate study, he completed a teaching practicum in a Korean 102 course as part of his independent study and worked for the TEAM tutoring program, teaching ITAs using a variety of pronunciation tasks. His research interests include Korean language learner phonological development and pronunciation instruction. He currently teaches ESL courses at the English Language Center.

Elena Vasileva

Elena Vasileva holds a specialist degree in Teaching English and German Languages from Samara State Pedagogical University and a diploma in Teaching Russian as a Foreign Language from Moscow State University. In 2012, she was awarded a scholarship to study for a semester at Pädagogische Hochschule Ludwigsburg, Germany. In 2017, Elena obtained her CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) by Cambridge English Language Assessment. For the last six years she has been teaching English in a variety of contexts such as teaching children and adolescents, teaching adults Business English, general English, and English for Specific Purposes. Last year Elena was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and is currently completing her MA TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) at Michigan State University.

Fall 2018 Fellows

Karolina Achirri

Karolina Achirri holds an MA in English. She taught in Poland, England and China for 12 years and worked as an IELTS Speaking and Writing examiner. She published two books on IELTS and a cultural memoir on her life in China. Karolina is currently in her third year of the Second Language Studies doctoral program, working as a Teaching Assistant for LLT 361 (Second Language Learning) and LLT 346 (Pedagogical Grammar). She is also a fellow for Interdisciplinary Inquiry & Teaching at James Madison College. Her research interests include teacher identity, Chinese students' academic adaptation in the US, and intercultural language learning and teaching.  

Maria Belen Buttiler

Maria Belen Buttiler graduated as an English Language and Literature Teacher at the National University of La Plata, in Argentina.  In 2013, she was awarded a scholarship to teach English and Spanish in Brazil for a period of four months.  In 2016, she did a graduate specialization in Teaching Spanish as a Second Language.  For the past five years, she has worked as a teacher of English in language centers and elementary and high schools.  She has teaching experience with children, teenagers, college students, and professional adults and has taught general English courses and helped students prepare for international language exams. Last year, Maria was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and is currently doing her Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at MSU. 

Amy Cheadle

Amy Cheadle received her BA in English from Central Michigan University and earned her Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) from the University of Cambridge.  After teaching English abroad for 14 years, she joined the MA TESOL program in the Fall of 2017 to strengthen her teaching foundations and also became a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the ELC.  Her teaching interests include instructed second language acquisition, pronunciation, and task-based language teaching.

Nicholas Hrinczenko

Nicholas (Nick) Hrinczenko just received his MA in TESOL from MSU in December 2018. In the summer of 2017, he received his BA from MSU as well, with a major in Linguistics and a minor in TESOL. In addition to tutoring pronunciation through this fellowship, he has tutored conversational English, reading, and writing. He co-taught two conversation classes for English Partners in Communication at MSU in 2017 and 2018. He currently teaches English grammar at Frienship House in East Lansing and leads an English conversation study group for graduate students, visiting scholars, and spouses at MSU.

Spring 2018 Fellows

Amy Cheadle

Amy Cheadle received her BA in English from Central Michigan University and earned her Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) from the University of Cambridge.  After teaching English abroad for 14 years, she joined the MA TESOL program in the Fall of 2017 to strengthen her teaching foundations and also became a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the ELC.  Her teaching interests include instructed second language acquisition, pronunciation, and task-based language teaching.

Jin Soo Choi

Jin Soo Choi joined the SLS Ph.D. program in the Fall of 2017 as a Fulbright scholar.  She received her BA in Linguistics and English Literature from Korea University and MA in TESOL from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Korea.  Her research interests include second language speaking, computer-assisted language learning (CALL), cognitive science, and second language fluency.

Dr. Dustin Crowther

Dr. Dustin Crowther is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where he earned his doctorate in Second Language Studies. His primary research emphasizes the attainment of intelligible speech for second language (L2) speakers of English, and takes into account the linguistic and intercultural considerations that define native-nonnative and nonnative-nonnative interaction. As an experienced English language instructor, his long-term scholarly objective is to link research to pedagogy.

Matt Kessler

Matt Kessler is a Ph.D. student in the Second Language Studies program at Michigan State University.  Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Matt received an M.A. in Applied Linguistics and a B.A. in English Literature from Ohio University.  Prior to joining MSU, Matt taught English in Thailand through a Fulbright grant; at Ohio University for the English Language Improvement Program; and he also previously served as an executive communications and grant writer for The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.  Now at MSU, he serves as both a research assistant and teaching assistant.  His primary research interests center around second language (L2) writing and L2 writing development, but he also has multiple years of experience in working with International Teaching Assistants (ITAs) on pronunciation improvement.  He has taught ITA pronunciation courses at Ohio University, and while there, he also served as a pronunciation tutor and rater for the SPEAK Test.   

Shinhye Lee 

Shinhye Lee earned her doctorate degree in Second Language Studies at Michigan State University in the spring of 2018. Shinhye has been, and continues to conduct a number of research studies on speech production and assessment practices concerning a variety of learner population, from K-12 English Language Learners (ELL) to collegiate level and beyond. With her primary research interest being language assessment, Shinhye has direct experiences in assessment-related research and test development by working/interning with testing agencies such as WIDA at the Wisconsin Center of Education Research and ACTFL.