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Teaching Philosophy

Purdue University is a top destination for international students, and PLaCE provides a strong instructional and assessment program to help them develop the academic, linguistic and cultural competencies needed to participate in university life and to compete for graduate school and employment opportunities.

In PLaCE courses ...

  1. Learning is a process, where students are guided by instructors through multiple cycles that include experience, reflection, conceptualization, and experimentation.
  2. Students develop linguistic competence through balanced learning opportunities across core language strands of meaning-focused input and output, language-focused learning, and fluency development.
  3. Students develop intercultural competence by learning to recognize their own cultural traditions and to understand, appreciate, and participate in other cultural traditions.
  4. Students develop the ability to set learning goals within the course curriculum and to monitor their progress toward reaching those goals.
  5. Students learn why and how to take an active role in classroom learning, including working collaboratively in class in pair and group activities.
  6. Students learn how to form relationships that contribute to their academic, social, and professional development, including with their peers, their instructors, and members of the university community.
  7. Instructors primarily serve as facilitators of learning rather than transmitters of knowledge, so that students and teachers engage with each other in a process of inquiry and knowledge creation.
  8. Instructors provide timely and appropriate assessment and feedback to students, making the results of assessment transparent and actionable.
  9. Instructors foster a mentoring relationship with students and model effective learning practices for the development of language and cultural competencies.
  10. Instructors are part of a community of practice that fosters collegiality, values innovation and creativity, promotes the use of research-supported teaching practices, and provides opportunities for professional development.

References & Recommended Reading

Agar, M. (1994). Language shock: Understanding the culture of conversation. New York: William Morrow & Company.

Bennett, M. J. (2013). Basic concepts of intercultural communication. (2nd ed.) Boston: Intercultural Press.

Byram, M., Gribkova, B., & Starkey, H. (2002). Developing the intercultural dimension in language teaching: A practical introduction for teachers. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.

Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE bulletin3(7), 2-6.

Eckert, P. (2006). Communities of practice. In K. Brown (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (pp. 683-685). Oxford: Elsevier.

Ellis, R. (2005). Principles of instructed language learning. System33(2), 209-224.

Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers: The story of success. New York: Little, Brown and Company.

Grabe, W. (2001). Reading-writing relations: Theoretical perspectives and instructional practices. In D. Belcher & A. Hirvela, (Eds.). Linking literacies: Perspectives on L2 reading-writing connections (pp. 15-47). Ann Arbor: U of Michigan Press.

Hinds, P. J., Carley, K. M., Krackhardt, D., & Wholey, D. (2000). Choosing work group members: Balancing similarity, competence, and familiarity. Organizational behavior and human decision processes81(2), 226-251.

Kolb, D. A. (2014). Experiential learning (2nd ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Nation, I. S. P. (2006). The four strands of a language course. TESOL in Context6(2), 7-12.

Nation, I. S. P. (2007). The four strands. International Journal of Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching1(1), 2-13.

Nation, I. S. P. (2014). What do you need to know to learn a foreign language? ebook available:

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist55(1), 68-78.