The Fossilization of Ms. Hsu’s English


This project analyzes the language produced by someone who speaks English as a second language. Analysis of a learner’s errors can help shed light on how individuals acquire or fail to acquire a second language. Corder maintained, “A learner’s errors… are significant in they provide evidence of how language is learned or acquired, what strategies or procedures the learner is employing in the discovery of language” (1967, p. 167). This study investigates the speaker’s errors and performance, the sources of these difficulties, social distance, psychological distance and address possible reasons for the speaker’s fossilization. Continue reading The Fossilization of Ms. Hsu’s English

A Reader Who Struggles – A Case Study of Steven

The following case study is a paper I submitted to the graduate faculty of Southeast Missouri State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Arts in TESOL degree.


This case study investigates what an individual struggling student’s reading difficulties are and how to remedy these difficulties. Steven (whose name has been changed for anonymity) is a second grade English language learner living in central Taiwan whose English reading ability is far below his classmates. Qualitative data was gathered through surveys, screenings and diagnostic reading tests. Information gathered from these tests helped pinpoint what this struggling student’s reading difficulties are. Using this information a series of teaching strategies are suggested to better meet this student’s instructional needs. One such strategy is differentiated instruction which varies rates of instruction, rates of complexity, and use of support systems to better meet the instructional needs of all learners. Explicit instruction using several research-backed strategies to teach phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension while addressing reading motivation are also essential to closing the reading performance gap for all readers.

Keywords: literacy, differentiated instruction, English language learners Continue reading A Reader Who Struggles – A Case Study of Steven

Professionalism in Taiwan’s Native English Speaking Teacher Population

The following work is research I conducted for my final project in my Problems in TESOL course at Southeast Missouri State University during the fall 2018 semester. A survey was designed and disseminated to gather data about Taiwan’s native English speaking teacher population. Survey responses reveal that a majority of NESTs in Taiwan are male, North American, have more than five years of teaching experience, and rarely have any professional certifications beyond a TEFL certificate. Data also indicates that schools are not supporting their teachers to become better educators as half of all respondents stated that their schools never provide opportunities for professional development. Recommendations are designed based on research by Patten, Parker, and Tannehill (2015) on the importance of professional development. Additional recommendations are made using findings by Kelch (2011) to improve the state of English language teaching in the Far East context.
Continue reading Professionalism in Taiwan’s Native English Speaking Teacher Population

Case Study of a Struggling Reader

The following is a case study of a student with reading difficulties. It is a portion of my final project for Marygrove College’s Reading 510 – Reading Diagnosis and Differentiated Instruction for Diverse Learners which I took during winter 2017. I utilized a variety of formal and informal literacy assessment tools to provide information that was useful in planning effective strategies to better meet my struggling student’s instructional needs.


Emma (name changed for confidentiality) is a ten year old student at Yan-Feng Elementary School in Caotun Township, Nantou County. After school, she receives English instruction at U-Best Educational Institute. I chose to work with Emma for this course because over the last few months I have observed her mumbling difficult words when reading aloud, she often asks me or her classmates how to spell high-frequency words when writing, and she looks unhappy when presented with large blocks of text to read.

Continue reading Case Study of a Struggling Reader