Positions

Overview

  • Presently, I am Associate Professor of English Learner Education, Program Director of Secondary Education and K-12 Single Subject teaching fields, and Principal Investigator for professional development grants from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA). I hold an undergraduate degree in Linguistics from the University of California in San Diego, a master's degree in teaching German from the University of California Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (English as a Second Language) from the University of Alabama.

    I have established a research agenda on the preparation of educators for effectively serving English learners and coupled it with my career interest in issues related to English learner pronunciation. In a recent study, my colleagues and I have examined the impact of our National Professional Development grants. In another study, we are examining the oral English proficiency of non-native English speakers pursuing graduate degrees in education and factors related to their identity and perceptions of self-efficacy as teachers. In earlier studies, we examined how mainstream teachers learn to implement ESL Best Practices and how they help their colleagues through collaborative mentoring. I also explored how visual analogies in "The Fun-Analogy Train" served to empower graduate students in understanding phonological concepts and in using such concepts to help ELLs improve their pronunciation.

    I currently teach EESL 625 "Phonology for Second Language Teachers" in the master's degree program for teaching ESL and world languages, EDC 732 "Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Instruction" for the EdS in ESL and secondary education, and EDC 760 "Engaging Glocal Communities" in the Educational Studies in Diverse Populations PhD program. I have given presentations at over 80 conferences (in 20 states and 5 countries) and have conducted professional development workshops for over 4,000 educators in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi as well as Nicaragua, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

    My major service activity entails leadership roles in the Alabama-Mississippi TESOL affiliate and the regional Southeast TESOL council, such as chairing the 2016 AMTESOL conference and the 2017 SETESOL conference. I also serve on the Speech/Pronunciation/Listening Interest Section (SPLIS) board for the TESOL International Association. My service to UAB includes serving on the Faculty Senate and chairing the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.

    Before coming to UAB, I was a teacher educator in Paraguay for 20 years. After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer, I taught linguistics at Paraguay's National University, English at a language institute associated with the British Council, and Spanish as a Second Language at the American School of Asunción where I also served as Curriculum and Professional Development Coordinator.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2018 Accent reduction vs. intelligibilityThe TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching.  Teaching Speaking and Pronunciation, Volume 3:1597-1602. 2018
    2018 Pronunciation assessmentThe TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching.  Assessment and evaluation, Volume 8:5174-5180. 2018
    2018 The Role of Speaking in Academic LanguageThe TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching.  Teaching Speaking and Pronunciation, Volume 3:1789-1794. 2018
    2015 Why didn't anyone tell me this before?Advances in Research on Teaching.  24:205-232. 2015
    2013 A doctoral student’s shift from modified AAVE to Standard English: Evidence for taking a Language for Specific Purposes (LSP) approachScholarship and Teaching of Languages for Specific Purposes.  99-108. 2013
    2013 Enhancing languages for specific purposes through interactive peer-to-peer oral techniques.Scholarship and Teaching of Languages for Specific Purposes.  121-128. 2013
    2011 New Teachers for New Students: A Teacher Education Program for the Linguistically DiverseChildhood Education.  87:318-322. 2011
    2010 Issues in Education: Children Were Punished: Not for What They Said, but for What Their Teachers HeardChildhood Education.  86:130-131. 2010
    2010 Children were punished: Not for what they said but for what their teachers heardChildhood Education.  86:130-131. 2010
    2010 Collaborative mentoring among K-12 teachers: Professional development on the effective instruction of English language learnersAccELLerate! National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition.  2:11-13. 2010
    2010 Effects of visual analogies on learner outcomes: Bridging from the known to the unknownInternational Journal on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.  4:1-30. 2010
    2009 Fostering language in English language learners through grammaring and IPOTsFocus on Teacher Education.  9:3-4. 2009
    2009 Role reversal within the mentoring dyad: Collaborative mentoring on the effective instruction of English language learners 2009
    2006 Helping English language learners with pronunciationFocus on Teacher Education.  7:3-4. 2006
    2004 English Immersion in Paraguay: Individual and Sociocultural Dimensions of Language Learning and UseInternational Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.  7:412-431. 2004
    2004 English immersion in Paraguay: Individual and sociocultural dimensions of language learning and useInternational Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.  7:412-431. 2004
    1998 Perspectives of preservice foreign language teachersSystem.  26:65-76. 1998

    Chapter

    Year Title Altmetric
    2012 Summer book clubs for ELLs: Teacher collaboration for promoting academic achievement.  175-184. 2012
    2005 English immersion in Paraguay: Individual and sociocultural dimensions of language learning and use. 2005

    Education And Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Teaching English As a Second Or Foreign Language / Esl Language Instructor, University of Alabama 2002
  • Master of Arts in Teaching English As a Second Or Foreign Language / Esl Language Instructor, University of California Berkeley 1975
  • Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics, University of California San Diego 1973
  • Full Name

  • Susan Spezzini
  • Fax

  • 205-934-4792